Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Golders Green school failed again by Ofsted

PUBLISHED: 08:00 19 November 2015

Talmud Torah Tiferes Shlomoh Jewish school in Golders Green. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Talmud Torah Tiferes Shlomoh Jewish school in Golders Green. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

An ultra-Orthodox Jewish school failed by Ofsted for teaching too much religious studies has come under fire again.

Talmud Torah Tiferes Shlomoh, in Golders Green, was hit with another damning inspection report by the education watchdog on Thursday. It is criticised for not improving quickly enough since being rated ‘inadequate’ – the lowest score – earlier this year.

Inspectors had judged that pupils were not being adequately prepared for modern life in Britain under guidelines brought in following the Trojan Horse Islamic extremism scandal in Birmingham schools last year.

Following a follow-up inspection in October, inspectors now say the independent school for boys aged three to 11 has made some improvements but that it still fails to meet some of the watchdog’s standards.

They wrote: “The school does not sufficiently promote diversity and wider faiths. There were few displays of pupils’ work. Cultural development is not broad and diverse. Pupils reported to inspectors that they had studied Ramadan. They did not have an understanding of this subject.”

They added that the school, in Elmcroft Crescent, still spends the “majority” of its time on Jewish religious studies, with little teaching of literacy and numeracy.

Earlier this year, inspectors said pupils were shielded about learning of cultural differences, including sexual orientation.

School leaders now recognise the importance of teaching pupils about differences, but inspectors did not observe youngsters learning about these issues, the report said.

Ofsted was criticised for failing the school, as reported on the front page of the Ham&High in April, with the National Association for Orthodox Jewish Schools claiming that the watchdog had a history of being unduly harsh to strictly religious Jewish schools.

But Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw denied leading an anti-faith school “witch hunt”.

In 2010 and 2007, the school was judged by Ofsted to provide a “good” standard of education. Places are often over-subscribed.

Since the damning Ofsted judgement, it has brought in a new headteacher.

The school did not respond to a request for comment.

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