Stamford Hill’s Orthodox Jewish TTD Gur School - which does not teach basic English or about diversity in modern Britain - fails Ofsted inspection
PUBLISHED: 17:51 24 January 2020 | UPDATED: 12:21 25 January 2020
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An Orthodox Jewish faith school where youngsters aren’t learning the basics of how to speak, read or write English is providing a “poor standard of education in secular subjects”, according to Ofsted inspectors.
Pupils at TTD Gur School in Margaret Road, Stamford Hill are also not taught about diversity in modern Britain, the role of women in society, or any of the protected characteristics like sexual orientation, in contravention of its legal requirements as an independent school.
During the inspection, which took place in November, staff from Ofsted were forbidden from speaking with children by their parents.
"As a result, inspectors could not gather evidence about pupils' experiences of teaching, learning and behaviour, how the school deals with bullying, how the school promotes fundamental British values and respect for others and whether pupils feel safe," said Lucy Nutt in a report which was published this week.
This means the school has been deemed "inadequate" in those areas too, although pupils did "behave well and appeared happy in lessons".
It was found that youngsters get confused between English and Yiddish - which is the only subject they learn to read in - and they aren't taught how to blend and segment initial sounds in English accurately.
When they try to speak English their "many error and misunderstandings" are not corrected by adults.
As a result, no child achieved the national early learning goals last year, meaning its leaders are not ensuring statutory requirements.
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Pupils are supposed to be aged from three to seven, however the school, which shares its building with a yeshiva where pupils study Jewish religious texts - had kids as old as 11 on its books.
There are also 100 more pupils on its roll than it is registered to teach, with 242 pupils instead of 140.
Youngsters, who mostly adhere to the Gerrer Chassidic Orthodox sect, study Jewish religious studies for most of the time they spend at school, and a Yiddish translator was on hand during the inspection.
"Lessons about other beliefs and cultures are 'superficial'," notes the report.
Pupils are "not prepared for the experiences of life in British society", and "leaders do not give pupils sufficient opportunities to learn about diversity in modern Britain".
Leaders were criticised for "relying too much on external advice", and inspectors are concerned they "do not have the capacity to improve the school".
The Gazette has approached the school for comment, however no one has responded.
TTD Gur School was also deemed to be "inadequate" at a full Ofsted inspection five years ago, although in 2013 it was said to be "outstanding".
Stamford Hill West Conservative councillor Aron Klein, who disagrees with efforts to regulate the many schools in his ward that - unlike TTD Gur School - are unregistered, came under fire this week for an email that he sent to the Gazette in which he said Jewish faith schools "don't need Ofsted giving children ideas of homosexuality".