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United Kingdom - London Jewish Schools Facing Potential Closure For Refusing To Teach Alternative Lifestyles

Published on: June 27, 2017 10:39 AM
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London - One of three Orthodox Jewish girls’ schools in London that failed government inspections for refusing to teach respect and tolerance for the LGBT community is facing possible closure by the Department of Education.

The Vishnitz Girls School in Hackney did not meet the required criteria in its third consecutive inspection by the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Schools, also known as Ofsted, because the school’s curriculum does not include material on alternative lifestyles as required by the 2010 Equality Act.

According to the Ofsted report issued on May 10th, school officials were not able to demonstrate that it taught tolerance for those who have “protected characteristics.”

“This restricts pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and does not promote equality of opportunity in ways that take account of differing lifestyles.”

The school teaches girls ages three to eleven and has 212 students.

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The Equality Act was created to protect United Kingdom citizens from discrimination and requires all schools to teach “fundamental British values” including different sexual orientations and transgender lifestyles. While religious schools are allowed to teach the relevant subject matter subject according to the tenets of their faith, the material cannot be presented in a discriminatory way.

Officials at the Vishnitz Girls School acknowledged their failure to cooperate with the Equality Act in October, indicating that they could not meet the government standards. While the school has shown improvement in multiple areas including safety, staffing, accommodations and education, the Ofsted report still found the school to be lacking in quality of education because its continued failure to provide instruction on sexual orientation would provide students with “a limited understanding of the different lifestyles and partnerships that individuals may choose in present-day society.”

Failure to comply with the Equality Act can result in a school being removed from the registry of independent schools, making it a criminal act to keep the school in operation.

Two other Orthodox Jewish girls schools in London also failed their most recent inspection for similar reasons. While a July 2013 Ofsted reported categorized Bnos Zion of as a good school, the most recent report released last week said that Bnos Zion failed to comply with the Equality Act because it did not provide students with instruction on LGBT lifestyles. Beis Ruchel D’Satmar also received failing grades in its May 2017 Ofsted report and all other Orthodox Jewish schools in the United Kingdom are likely facing similar reviews.

Gill Robins of the Christians in Education blog said that the idea that the report gave the Vishnitz Girls School a failing grade and ignores the fact that the school has met most of the necessary criteria indicates that alternative lifestyles are a higher priority than religious rights to Ofsted, reported Heat Street (http://bit.ly/2tO5NNa).

“The Equality Act is actually hierarchical, with sexual orientation and gender reassignment at the apex of the Act,” wrote Gill Robins. “All equalities are equal, but some equalities are more equal than others.”



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Read Comments (18)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jun 27, 2017 at 11:35 AM Educated Archy Says:

Yonosanw,

This is precisely my point. You keep on reminiscing the great democratic party who fought for so many worthy jewish causes like shabbos laws, anti work place discrimination, immigration rights etc... You argue this is our party. However, times change and issues change. 21st century Judaism has new issues to deal with. Our modern day threats are, forcing jewish schools to teach sex education or forcing LGBT rights on our schools etc... We now have to worry about a jewish baker refusing to bake for an LGBT wedding. Or how about when the first jewish transgender student tries suing a jewish school for not letting him/her use the other restrooms. These are real threats to our value system. This is why nowadays the republican party should be the party Representative of orthodox Judaism.

2

 Jun 27, 2017 at 12:02 PM Anonymous Says:

So often on this website I read people mis-using the term "Kiddush HaShem". This qualifies as a Kidush HaShem, that the Jewish schools are standing their ground, and not having to wait for the Muslim schools to do so.

3

 Jun 27, 2017 at 12:10 PM Lawrence M. Reisman Says:

Please remember that in the UK, religious schools receive government aid, unlike in the US,. And that aid comes with strings, or in this case. shackles.

4

 Jun 27, 2017 at 12:15 PM mythoughts Says:

This is in England and soon it will be in the U.S. Thanks libs. You want to shove your mental illness down our throats.

5

 Jun 27, 2017 at 12:24 PM Anonymous Says:

I wonder if it bothers the United Kingdom that these schools have no sex-education either. Or do they recognize that such programs could be innapropriate for students aged 3-11. Interesting that they must teach about LGBTQIA+ which represent a minority in types of relationships, but not about mainstream sexual relationships. Teaching respect for all human beings is no longer important, only respect based on gender identity. A little ridiculous from my perspective, but who knows what is really going on here.

6

 Jun 27, 2017 at 12:42 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Lawrence M. Reisman Says:

Please remember that in the UK, religious schools receive government aid, unlike in the US,. And that aid comes with strings, or in this case. shackles.

In the USA, religious schools also get government aid in many forms.

7

 Jun 27, 2017 at 12:50 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Educated Archy Says:

Yonosanw,

This is precisely my point. You keep on reminiscing the great democratic party who fought for so many worthy jewish causes like shabbos laws, anti work place discrimination, immigration rights etc... You argue this is our party. However, times change and issues change. 21st century Judaism has new issues to deal with. Our modern day threats are, forcing jewish schools to teach sex education or forcing LGBT rights on our schools etc... We now have to worry about a jewish baker refusing to bake for an LGBT wedding. Or how about when the first jewish transgender student tries suing a jewish school for not letting him/her use the other restrooms. These are real threats to our value system. This is why nowadays the republican party should be the party Representative of orthodox Judaism.

Republicans have fought against LGBT rights? When? The perverts have made all their progress BECAUSE the Republican congress let them! None of it would have happened without the republican lawmakers!

Trump is religious? Mitch McConnell believes in any kind of G-d? John Boehner knows what the inside of a church looks like?

How far back do you have to go to show that republicans even claim to be pro-G-d or pro-morality? They gave up on that charade ages ago.

8

 Jun 27, 2017 at 12:52 PM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #3  
Lawrence M. Reisman Says:

Please remember that in the UK, religious schools receive government aid, unlike in the US,. And that aid comes with strings, or in this case. shackles.

Thats a mixed bag. Because while there is no official school money. there is money allocated for lots of programs within schools. We do get for example government money for textbooks. Thus the government can say you must purchase text books that promote LGBT rights or no textbooks. Furthermore, if a law is passed one day requiring all public spheres to allow transgenders to use the bathroom of their choice jewish schools won't be so immune to the culture war. If I were you I'd vote republican to protect jewish rights.

9

 Jun 27, 2017 at 01:28 PM Reb Yid Says:

Ofstead reports to the Department of Education. The DOE can decide what it wants to do with the information. Hopefully they will smooth it all over.

10

 Jun 27, 2017 at 01:39 PM ex-pat Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

In the USA, religious schools also get government aid in many forms.

Agreed. But as Mr. Reisman says, there are lots of strings attached in the UK. It is very difficult to deal with Ofsted and all the other educational rubbish. My opinion is... go totally independent. There is plenty of money in Vishnitz, I'm sure the Rebbe can make sure it is fully funded.

11

 Jun 27, 2017 at 02:20 PM Mordechai Says:

Reply to #3  
Lawrence M. Reisman Says:

Please remember that in the UK, religious schools receive government aid, unlike in the US,. And that aid comes with strings, or in this case. shackles.

In the UK, independent (i.e. non public) schools DO NOT receive state funding. There is a national curriculum that is set by OFSTED that all schools must follow.

12

 Jun 27, 2017 at 02:24 PM Mordechai Says:

Reply to #10  
ex-pat Says:

Agreed. But as Mr. Reisman says, there are lots of strings attached in the UK. It is very difficult to deal with Ofsted and all the other educational rubbish. My opinion is... go totally independent. There is plenty of money in Vishnitz, I'm sure the Rebbe can make sure it is fully funded.

It has nothing to do with self-funding a school, as this school is already self-funded. Here in the UK,if you provide any form of child care or education provision for children, you must be registered with OFSTED, which gives them a right to come and inspect to ensure that they are following the rules.

13

 Jun 27, 2017 at 02:25 PM Eddie30 Says:

this matter makes no difference if the school receives money from the state or not. these 3 schools do not receive money. all Jewish schools in the UK are being forced to teach this rubbish, and they are all standing their ground. Even the MO schools.

14

 Jun 27, 2017 at 02:43 PM Edcuated Archy Says:

Reply to #7  
Anonymous Says:

Republicans have fought against LGBT rights? When? The perverts have made all their progress BECAUSE the Republican congress let them! None of it would have happened without the republican lawmakers!

Trump is religious? Mitch McConnell believes in any kind of G-d? John Boehner knows what the inside of a church looks like?

How far back do you have to go to show that republicans even claim to be pro-G-d or pro-morality? They gave up on that charade ages ago.

It was actually our wonderful Justice kennedy who is a moderate and hopefully retiring very soon who made the trouble. Not congress. Most republicans are pretty good about this. Look at the state of North Carliona and I believe Texas is passing similar rules. True Trump is not a real republican and does not give a hoot about transgender as it does not advance himself. But you are far better off with republicans.

As a side note, its an outcry that a child who is deemed immature and unable to make decisons just about anything, can't drink, can't vote, cant drive, yet they are mature enough to choose their gender? We have parents of 7/8 yr olds deciding their child is a trans? Really an 8 year old has enough sechel to decide such a life long decision? Are Parents deciding this about their 8 year olds whom they can't marry off? How crazy and perverted has our world become? SO sad

15

 Jun 27, 2017 at 07:33 PM amerikaner Says:

your solution is to register all these children in the UK Public Schools for FREE and let them worry about opening more buildings to "accomodate" these children. Then when the new school year starts just don't send them and let them have the "hezeq" . - they'll start to talk to you and ask what do you guys want from us?
Just like they did in Monsey years ago......................

16

 Jun 28, 2017 at 03:27 PM Anonymous Says:

Unfortunately his same problem will come to New York, New Jersey very soon. And our current Orthodox legislators do NOT care about fighting against the LGBT attack on God

Laws mandating schools (no private school exemptions in the laws language) teach a pro gay propaganda have been law for years (and was voted on by Dov Hikind). Last year we had a bill voted on by David Greenfield, and Chaim Deutch saying that the NYC gay rights bill's religious exemptions should be interpreted narrowly. This past Monday Gary Schaer voted to mandate transgender use which ever bathroom they want to in schools.

17

 Jun 28, 2017 at 05:22 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #8  
Educated Archy Says:

Thats a mixed bag. Because while there is no official school money. there is money allocated for lots of programs within schools. We do get for example government money for textbooks. Thus the government can say you must purchase text books that promote LGBT rights or no textbooks. Furthermore, if a law is passed one day requiring all public spheres to allow transgenders to use the bathroom of their choice jewish schools won't be so immune to the culture war. If I were you I'd vote republican to protect jewish rights.

don't vote Republican many Republicans also support this trash, and a minority of Republicans oppose it. research every candidate and oppose the LGBT agenda.

18

 Jun 28, 2017 at 05:20 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

In the USA, religious schools also get government aid in many forms.

these laws apply even if you don't accept a penny

19

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