Orthodox Jews in north London protested against a school inspection this week, arguing that the national inspectorate was conducting “an inquisition”.
The protest took place outside the 850-pupil Bnois Jerusalem Girls’ School in Stamford Hill on Wednesday, during an inspection of the Amhurst Park institution.
Bnois was deemed ‘Inadequate’ in every area following an inspection in June 2018, with particular concern around safeguarding, pupil outcomes, leadership and management, and censoring educational material to “deny equality of opportunity”.
In a sign of the distrust, parents have requested that inspectors not speak to pupils during the last two inspections, after Ofsted noted that pupils were not allowed to take any external GCSE exams “as a consequence of the censorship process”.
Orthodox community representatives have repeatedly clashed with Ofsted inspectors over the teaching of non-heterosexual relationships and people who do not identify with the gender of their birth. Both a legally protected characteristics and teachers are legally bound to teach schoolchildren about them under the Equality Act 2010.
This week’s protest follows the forced closure last month of the 55-pupil Talmud Torah London, also in Stamford Hill, with Hackney Council citing a lack of planning permission or compliance with building regulations.