The ultra-Orthodox Talmud Torah Tashbar school at 1A Rookwood Road in Stamford Hill, north London, with more than 200 students, was ordered by the Department of Education to shut down next month, after Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) inspectors had announced it was not meeting minimum standards.
Ofsted inspectors said that the school curriculum created “cultural and ethnic insularity because it is so narrow and almost exclusively rooted in the study of the Torah.” They added that they found the school to “severely restrict the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils,” not allowing them to develop “a wider, deeper understanding of different faiths, communities, cultures and lifestyles, including those of England.”
Among other things, the school was cited for not teaching in English “as a matter of religious principle.”
The British Humanist Association, which makes it its business to do away with faith-based schools, was delighted with the decision: “We’re glad that the Government has now moved to shut this particular school down… However, there are clearly many more out there just like it. The situation revealed by these reports is simply outrageous and those in government who have failed to act in the past ought to be ashamed of themselves for standing idly by while thousands of children have their childhoods stolen.”
A Department of Education spokesman said: “It is a criminal offense to operate an unregistered independent school. This school’s application for registration has been rejected and on 30 December it was informed of this decision. It has been told to close by 12 February.”
According to the Jewish Chronicle, the head of Ofsted Sir Michael Wilshaw has been leading the charge against illegal schools, urging tougher action from government after three unregistered Muslims schools were discovered in Birmingham in recent months.
The ultra-Orthodox school has the right to appeal the decision but has not yet done so.Jewish Press News Briefs