A petition signed by thousands of members of the strictly-Orthodox community has been handed to the Department for Education, opposing sections of the new Schools Bill designed to make religious institutions accountable.
Levi Weiss of the Rabbinical Committee of the Traditional Charedi Education in UK said: “The Charedi population in the UK is alarmed about the contents and objectives of the proposed Schools Bill after it became known last month. In London and Manchester, where there are large Charedi populations, many special prayer sessions have been held.”
Mr Naftoli Friedman, an executive member of the RCTCC, said:”We believe the bill aims to transform our religious centres into ordinary schools. The DfE should consider that many current school regulations are in contradiction with our religion.”
The government’s Bill will close a loophole which exists at the moment allowing yeshivot to teach a narrow religious curriculum because they do not count as schools under the present definition of the law.
As a result, they are exempt from registration with the Department of Education and they are not subject to Ofsted visits.
More than a thousand Charedi boys aged 13 and above in Stamford Hill are estimated to be currently learning in institutions beyond the reach of state scrutiny and standards.
The government will also be given powers to suspend schools where there are serious safeguarding failures.
Schools will also be instructed to teach children on LGBT issues.
However, members of the Charedi community say Ofsted is failing their schools because of their adherence to religious principles. The community says both juvenile crime issues, as well as low academic achievement, are rare among Orthodox Jewish youth.
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we’re asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity…
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.
This content was originally published here.