The Government has again said no to a new Modern Orthodox Jewish school in south Hertfordshire because the area already has good schooling options.
Those pushing the New Jewish High School (NJHS) in Hertsmere said they “gave it our best shot” after the Department of Education again turned down proposals. Planners only approve new free schools in areas deemed to be “of low standards,” which it is not.
Plans for the envisioned NJHS came about following the merger of two competing new Jewish free school bids – Kavannah and Barkai – in 2017.
In the week they merged, JFS and JCoSS offered an additional 90 places between them, while planning permission approved at Hasmonean that year also incorporated additional places. This year, Yavneh College announced a new class.
“We have given it our best shot,” said NJHS supporter Eve Sacks. “We believe the pressure of potentially having a new Jewish secondary school pushed other Jewish schools to open more places, which we hope they will continue to do.”
A statement from Partnerships for Jewish Schools (PaJeS), an umbrella body, said NJHS proposers “have certainly given our existing schools food for thought and a determination to ensure that a provision is in place to expand their current size”.
PaJeS added that it was “working with existing secondary schools to ensure increased capacity across the board” and “liaising with the government to try and receive financial support for the expansion”.