Haringey Jewish Primary becomes Eden

IT has been a big week for Haringey’s first free school and Jewish primary as it changed its name, purchased a site in Muswell Hill and received a formal go-ahead from the government.

What was formally known as the Haringey Jewish Primary will now be known as Eden Primary when it opens in September, after its business case was approved by Education Secretary Michael Gove MP.

In a letter approving the school to open this year, Mr Gove wrote: “The detailed work [the group] have undertaken to reach this point is testimony to the careful consideration and great commitment shown… and augurs well for the proposed school.”

The group behind Haringey’s first free school, which will be government funded but not have to follow the national curriculum, also this week announced the purchase of land on Creighton Avenue, where the school will be built. Eden Primary’s first 30 pupils will be placed in temporary accommodation while the school is built around them, ready to open next year.

Headteacher Jo Sassienie only arrived in the UK this week from New York, where the native north Londoner was the principal of a Jewish day school in Manhattan for eight years.

She said: “It’s definitely all coming together so we can put together a school that will be unique and inspiring. It’s just a question of putting all the pieces together. There’s lots of enthusiasm and I think the school will be a wonderful place to be.”

Peter Kessler, part of the group behind the opening the school said 83 children had applied for the 30 places on offer. Speaking about the name change, he said: “The school is all about breaking down barriers between different communities and calling it a Jewish Primary, even though it has a strong core of Jewish teaching, it sends out a message to non-Jewish families it’s not been built for them. Three separate people came up with Eden independently. It’s a Hebrew word meaning delight.”