web analytics
October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Jewish Schools Endangered by New UK National Curriculum

Many Jewish school educators believe it might prove impossible to continue their programs.
2-three-and-4

Educational achievement in England has been in a downward spiral, of late, and the British Education Secretary, Michael Gove, addressed the problem by instituting a new national curriculum.  One of the new requirements, however, looks like it may have dire consequences for Jewish schools in England.

As part of the new national curriculum, British schoolchildren will be required to take a foreign language, starting at age seven.

Foreign languages had been compulsory in England, but in 2004, students were permitted to drop the second language once they reached age 14.  When that happened, the percentage of students taking competence examinations at age 14 – 16 (the Graduate Certifiate of Secondary Educations, or GCSEs) in languages dropped from 75 percent in 2002, to just 43 percent in 2010.

The foreign language choices offered to British students to meet their national requirement will be French, Spanish, German, Mandarin, Latin and Greek.

But this new requirement may have a devastating impact on the Jewish day schools of England, because Hebrew is not one of the officially recognized languages for purposes of satisfying the new foreign language requirement.  Jewish schools already have a heavy course load because of their Jewish studies classes in addition to the required secular classes.  Many Jewish school educators believe it might prove impossible to continue their programs if they are compelled to require another foreign language, in addition to Hebrew.

According to England’s Jewish Chronicle:

Board [of Deputies] senior vice-president Laura Marks said the government proposals could be “extremely detrimental to our community’s identity, as language — including modern and classical Hebrew — is a vital ingredient to understanding our faith and culture”. She urged the government “to reject the idea of stipulating just a narrow range of languages”.

However, it is not true, as it has been portrayed in some media accounts, that Hebrew specifically has been stripped from its standing as an “official language” in the UK.  There is and has been only one official language in England – English.  Arabic is also not offered as one of the recognized languages for purposes of satisfying the school language requirement.

The new national curriculum will not be put into place until the fall of 2014.  Therefore, it is possible that an accommodation will be made for various schools which have language requirements as part of their own curriculum, to be granted waivers.  Another option could be for the government to expand the list of languages, competence in which will satisfy the national curriculum foreign language requirement.

 

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

8 Responses to “Jewish Schools Endangered by New UK National Curriculum”

  1. Charlie Hall says:

    "There is and has been only one official language in England – English. "

    The UK parliament has ever declared English to be the "official" language of the UK. AFAIK the only language ever to have been granted "official" status is Welsh, in Wales.

  2. Charlie Hall says:

    "There is and has been only one official language in England – English. "

    The UK parliament has ever declared English to be the "official" language of the UK. AFAIK the only language ever to have been granted "official" status is Welsh, in Wales.

  3. Charlie Hall says:

    The UK Conservatives have enacted anti-immigrant laws in the past; this may be yet another example and we Jews may be collateral damage. The UK has huge numbers of immigrants from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh; there is absolutely no reason not to include Hindustani and Bengali among the list of "approved" languages as they are among the most widely spoken languages in the world. Similarly, there are now huge numbers of Polish immigrants in the UK and there is no reason not to have Polish as one of the "approved" languages. Other modern literary languages with large numbers of immigrants to the UK include Italian and Swahili — and the Jewish population of the UK is sufficiently large to justify inclusion of OUR language. Hopefully the government will reconsider — the next general election is not until May 2015 and this government can do a lot of damage before voters get the chance to boot it out.

  4. Grace Acosta says:

    Looks like it's time to plan Aliyah.

  5. Chaiya Eitan says:

    Oh…Latin is really useful…. Enough! It is time for the Jews of England to leave…and come to Israel.

  6. I can't believe that you have a great problem- I live in Brazil- Rio de Janeiro and at our schools children learn, portuguese, english and hebrew.

  7. I can't believe that you make out of this a great problem – In Belgium at our schools children learn Dutch, French, English and Hebrew. We can even add German or Latin….
    The more languages the better! Especially at a young age!
    Aliya is OK if that's what you wish, but know that in Israel we also learn more than one language! ;-)

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Facebook post from man believed to be Canadian convert to Islam who rammed soldiers with his car in possible terrorist attack, Oct. 20, 2014.
‘Radicalized’ Convert to Islam Attempted to Murder Canadian Soldiers [video]
Latest News Stories
Route for weapons shipment to Gaza from Iran.

After lying in coma for months, 83-year-old Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani has died, Iranian media reported Tuesday.

Facebook post from man believed to be Canadian convert to Islam who rammed soldiers with his car in possible terrorist attack, Oct. 20, 2014.

A radicalized Canadian convert to Islam rammed soldiers in what may have been an act of terrorism.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas speaking in Ramallah. (archive)

PA unity govt chairman Mahmoud Abbas raises the penalty for selling land to a “hostile nation” (Jew).

Israel sends supplies to combat Ebola virus outbreak in Sierra Leona.

Israel’s government is recruiting citizens to help combat the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa.

The Beach Boys aren’t coming to Israel next month…

The Jerusalem Light Rail has finally instituted a ‘zero tolerance’ police towards Arab violence against its trains.

A 2,000 year old stone fragment bearing an official Latin inscription dedicated to the Roman Emperor Hadrian is found in Jerusalem.

The woman’s father and other ISIS members stoned the woman to death for adultery.

Hamas has created a museum exhibit, currently showing at al-Aqsa University in Khan Younis, Gaza. Hamas is showing off its weapons and propaganda pieces from this past summer’s war, Operation Protective Edge.  

A bill that would end the control of the Chief Rabbinate over conversions to Judaism in Israel was nixed Monday by PM Netanyahu.

Haaretz smears U.S. terrorism expert for being a Republican and friend of Sheldon Adelson.

Leslie W., 48, and his partner Akiwa H., 56, are charged with having sold more than 88,000 pounds of non-kosher meat for a marked-up price.

The Rabbinical Council of America said that since the arrest last week of Rabbi Barry Freundel of Washington, DC, it has been working assiduously to address the many challenges that its members and their communities now face.

It was an outright miracle: a tiny teahouse in the pass, and the equivalent of a Sherpa Pony Express to deliver a call for help.

ISIS propaganda video warns “our grandchildren will sell your sons as slaves.”

More Articles from Lori Lowenthal Marcus
Facebook post from man believed to be Canadian convert to Islam who rammed soldiers with his car in possible terrorist attack, Oct. 20, 2014.

A radicalized Canadian convert to Islam rammed soldiers in what may have been an act of terrorism.

Steve Emerson, author, journalist and terrorism expert.

Haaretz smears U.S. terrorism expert for being a Republican and friend of Sheldon Adelson.

#BDSFail as daughter of Hamas leader is treated in Israeli hospital.

Abbas was denounced by the SWC for trying to disassociate Jews from their holy sites and inciting violence against them.

Giuliani to keynote Klinghoffer opera’s opening night press conference and protest rally

Someone in the U.S. gave the order to stop assisting Israel in locating a kidnapped soldier this summer. Who was it?

Abbas promises donors no Gazan violence and financial integrity. And unicorns and leprechauns.

PLO ignores US aid cut threats, saying it will introduce UNSC resolution to ‘end occupation’ by 2016

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/jewish-schools-endangered-by-new-uk-national-curriculum/2012/12/16/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: