U.K. Chareidi Schools Rated High for ‘Progress’

LONDON -

A chareidi school in London judged “inadequate” by Ofsted, has been found to be one of the top 20 maintained secondary schools in the country, by a government performance measure known as “Progress 8.”

Yesodey Hatorah Secondary Girls’ School in Stamford Hill was handed a controversial ‘inadequate’ Ofsted result earlier this year when it was found among other things, to be providing a “narrow curriculum” with a “not good enough” quality of teaching.

“Progress 8” is used to evaluate how well pupils perform at GCSE, compared to expectations when they entered secondary school. It measures a student’s performance across eight subjects, with double weighting given to English. Yesodey Hatorah came 17th among 6,530 maintained secondary schools and academies in the U.K., and is in the top league for raising outcomes for pupils – despite Ofsted’s conclusion that “outcome for pupils requires improvement.”

Rabbi Avrohom Pinter, Principal of Yesodey Hatorah Secondary Girls’ School, said, “This is a spectacular achievement for our hard-working students, dedicated and talented staff, and the community as a whole.” He added, “I would like to pay tribute to every member of the faculty for their vision in educating the young women of the future.”

According to school leaders, the high ranking is not surprising considering that students’ achievement is clearly exceedingly high on a regular basis. In 2006 the school was rated “outstanding” by Ofsted.

The DfE Progress 8 data brought good news not only for Yesodey HaTorah, but for the chareidi community at large. Menorah High School in NW London was ranked as number 6 on the list, and Beis Yaakov High School in Salford came in 15th.

Chinuch U.K. is in dialogue with Ofsted to look at how the inspection of chareidi schools can be improved. Chairman David Landau said, “At an event attended by a number of chareidi school leaders in July, Ofsted acknowledged that they have got it wrong in the past and want to do better in the future.”

Some of the areas being considered are training for Ofsted inspectors about the chareidi way of life, and how inspectors can engage appropriately with chareidi pupils. He added, “There is also work for our mosdos to ensure that they present themselves at inspection in the best possible light.”

Last week’s Chinuch U.K. events in London attracted over 100 school leaders, with further events in Manchester and Gateshead to follow.