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Orthodox Jewish independent school Wiznitz Cheder fails fifth Ofsted inspection in a row

PUBLISHED: 18:49 05 March 2020 | UPDATED: 18:49 05 March 2020

Wiznitz Cheder School in Stamford Hill. Picture: Google Street View

Wiznitz Cheder School in Stamford Hill. Picture: Google Street View

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An independent Orthodox Jewish school in Stamford Hill has failed its fifth Ofsted inspection in a row.

The latest inspection at Wiznitz Cheder School, carried out in January and published this week, and has deemed the school to be inadequate and follows four others with similar findings dating back to June 2018.

Ofsted inspector James Waite found the reading, literacy and English programme at the school in Stamford Hill does not take into account pupils' ages, aptitudes and needs, and their literacy skills are poor, while teachers with "poor subject knowledge", "over-relied on commercial worksheets".

The personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education programme is is delivered through its religious studies curriculum and does not pay due regard to all the protected characteristics.

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In response the school's leaders said that "making pupils aware of sexual orientation and gender reassignment in year seven goes against the school's Orthodox Jewish ethos".

Inspectors found unclean shower and toilet facilities, a cluttered medical room and portable electrical devices which hadn't been safety checked by a qualified professional for years, and they also raised concerns about failures to record vetting checks on staff appropriately. 
The school's headteacher declined to comment.

The National Secular Society, which has campaigned for the separation of religion and state since 1866 said: "Ofsted and the government mustn't allow schools to undermine children's fundamental rights in the name of promoting their religious ethos.

"The repeated failings at Wiznitz Cheder School are a reminder that some religious groups who run schools are stubbornly refusing to abide by reasonable standards.

"When PSHE is delivered via religious studies, children are frequently taught distorted views about society and relationships. Schools may omit vital information entirely if it doesn't fall in line with religious teachings."

Ofsted's chief inspector revealed in January that 47 per cent of independent Jewish schools across England are failing to meet the independent school standards.

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