A synagogue has suspended an unregistered school operating on its premises after BBC video footage showed a teacher striking a young child.
The Board of Deputies spoke of its “deep concern” about the issue in a statement on Tuesday morning, after Southend and Westcliff Hebrew congregation suspended the “home school” in the video.
The video, filmed from an adjacent building, appears to show a Charedi teacher striking and man-handling a young Jewish pupil, who is shown cowering from the man.
The law says any school teaching five or more children for at least 18 hours a week must register, but the synagogue said on Tuesday that it fell short of the registration requirements in terms of hours of operation.
A spokesman for the Board of Deputies said: “Anyone watching will have shared our deep concern at the images shown. We call on those involved to cooperate fully with authorities and take urgent action to address this.”
He added: “There are a number of unregistered schools in Charedi communities which operate in an environment which presents health and safety concerns for the pupils and an education which is narrowly focused.”
He continued: “We would certainly not condone any lawbreaking and fully support efforts to bring schools into the regulatory framework. However, it is important to note that the vast majority of Charedi schools not only comply with regulations but are high achieving and provide an excellent education.”
Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield reviewed the footage and told the BBC that there were “huge safeguarding issues,” adding: “Any parent watching that would be very, very worried about what was going on.”
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