web analytics
August 4, 2015 / 19 Av, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


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. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com


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.

Current Top Story
Firefighters put out fire in firebombed car near Beit Hanina on August 3, 2105.
Jewish Woman Severely Burned, 2 More Injured in Yet Another Arab Firebombing Attack
Latest News Stories
Kayaking on Jordan River

Israelis enjoy kayaking in the Jordan river in Northern Israel on August 2, 2015, as temperature reached 47 degrees Celcius in some parts of Israel.

Representative Kathleen Rice (D-NY-04)

New York Democratic Congresswoman Kathleen Rice will vote against the Iran deal.

Firefighters put out fire in firebombed car near Beit Hanina on August 3, 2105.

Arab terrorists threw firebombs at a Jerusalem car, severely burning the driver and two more people.

Some Israelis seem to have forgotten no one has yet tracked down the murderers of Ali Bawabsheh.

Americans oppose the Iran deal, and only a slight majority of Democrats support it.

Chuck Schumer’s office has received more than 10,000 phone calls over the past two weeks, all of them from groups and individuals opposed to the Iran nuclear deal.

Kerry reassures the Gulf States, who are gouging him for more arms and to force Israel out of Judea and Samaria.

Its so hot, the Arab threat to drive us into the sea don’t sound half bad…

No one was injured from the mortar fire that apparently strayed during clashes.

The gang attacked a Haredi man and then a religious couple with brass knuckles and a knife. The woman recited the Shema prayer.

The Muslims preacher is a permanent fixture on the Temple Mount to incite Muslims but finally has been arrested.

The “friendly” game was cancelled after the fans took over the soccer field.

Late PM Yitzhak Rabin’s granddaughter has announced her launch into politics.

Israeli soldiers deployed at the Gaza security fence shot over the heads of Arabs who had approached the no-go zone Monday, Palestinian Authority media reported. No one was injured. Arabs frequently approached the security fence, usually with intentions to infiltrate into Israel or to carry out a terrorist attack on the spot. Palestinian Authority media […]

Iranian double talk is clear when a top official praises the nuclear deal but warns of no IAEA inspector access to military sites.

More Articles from Lori Lowenthal Marcus
Representative Kathleen Rice (D-NY-04)

New York Democratic Congresswoman Kathleen Rice will vote against the Iran deal.

It's a deal

Americans oppose the Iran deal, and only a slight majority of Democrats support it.

RJC Demands Obama stop demonizing Jews for opposing the Iran deal.

Cong. Albio Sires of New Jersey is the third Democrat so far to come out against the JCPOA because it won’t bar Iran from becoming a nuclear state

California Democratic Congressman will vote against Iran deal because it fails to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear threshold state.

Kerry justifies keeping Iran deal “side deals” from the American public, while skipping Israel on ME trip.

A poll suggesting American Jews support the Iran deal is flawed, while a new poll reveals the opposite.

Netanyahu called Pollard’s wife over news of his impending release from prison.

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: