- Governors of Clore Shalom School, Shenley, HertsChair of Governors
Postpone the new admissions criteria for 12 months with a full consultation
We believe that the revised admissions policy at Clore Shalom School, runs contrary to the values of Jewish identity and community and Torah, on which the school was founded.
It unfairly prejudices and ostracises children already at the school. The welfare of current and future children has been ignored. We call upon the Governors to accommodate all existing nursery children and postpone the new criteria for 12 months during which a full and proper consultation may take place.
CLORE SHALOM SCHOOL
NEW ADMISSIONS POLICY IS A MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE
You may be aware that Clore Shalom School has recently changed its admission policy for 2013. This was as a result of a local authority adjudication made on 3rd August 2012, resulting from a single anonymous complaint.
The complaint concerned the School’s existing admissions policy, which gave priority to Nursery Children applying for the Reception class. They also took issue with the requirement that applicants be members of a synagogue.
The Adjudicator ruled that the current procedure is unfair. As a result, the Governors have issued a new policy that gives priority to only 25 of the current Nursery children. Parents of the last five children on the list of entrants to Nursery have been told they almost certainly will not get a place in Clore Shalom’s Reception class.
We accept that under existing guidelines, nursery attendance does not guarantee a place in reception, but the criteria on which we entered the School gave us a legitimate expectation that it would. The Board of Governors has operated a flawed policy for 13 years. As such, the nursery has been run as a de facto reception class.Every effort is made to treat nursery children as part of the wider school, from wearing the same uniforms to sharing activities with reception children. From day one, children are embedded into the Clore Shalom way of life.
On September 19th – six weeks after the ruling, and two weeks after our children started at the School, we were advised to apply to other schools for our children, for Reception. The Board of Governors had been aware of the complaint since May, but chose not to tell us. This denied us the opportunity of making other plans or applying for other Schools.
Solicitors acting for the Board of Governor’s have advised them that the Adjudicator’s interpretation of the Admission Code is incorrect. They have decided not to challenge the ruling, due to the potential cost.
This amounts to a miscarriage of justice.
We passionately believe in Clore Shalom. In only a few weeks our children have become settled and happy, and are already asking questions about joining reception class. Having been embedded into the School, with all that a Jewish education involves, they will effectively be expelled next Summer. We face having to explain why they won’t be joining their new friends next year.
We believe that this is profoundly wrong, both morally and ethically. Furthermore the way that this had been handled by the Board of Governors runs contrary to the values of community, Jewish tradition and Torah on which the school was founded. The welfare of our children has been ignored and that can’t be considered as either fair or just.
We approached the Board of Governors with suggestions on how this might be resolved, such as a larger class just for this year, but all proposals have been ignored. The only option the Governors have given is to fund a judicial review ourselves, on their behalf.
In the published prospectus the School claims to be a close and caring community … supporting the needs of individuals and families… supported by our Jewish ethos and values.
This obviously doesn’t extend to our five children.
We understand that the policy of admitting 30 children into nursery each year will continue with only 25 of those children being given a place in Reception the following year. This means that once again, five children will be welcomed into the school, with no hope of a place in Reception.
Ordinarily, a school is required to put its admissions policy out to consultation for several months. Due to the late complaint and very late adjudication, this policy has been rushed through and put up for a two-week consultation period ending on 25th October 2012
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I believe that the revised admissions policy at Clore Shalom School, runs contrary to the values of Jewish identity and community and Torah, on which the school was founded.
It unfairly prejudices and ostracises children already at the school. The welfare of current and future children has been ignored. I call upon the Governors to accommodate all existing nursery children and postpone the new criteria for 12 months during which a full and proper consultation may take place.
This doesn’t just affect our children, it affects your children too.
Many thanks for all your support.
- Chair of Governors
Governors of Clore Shalom School, Shenley, Herts
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