Jewish state school plans single-sex academies to avoid gender integration

A Jewish state school that illegally segregates boys and girls is planning to form a multi-academy trust so that it can split itself into two single-sex schools rather than integrate its pupils. Tes reports.

The decision of Yesoiday Hatorah School, an 881-pupil primary academy in Prestwich, Manchester, follows a 2017 Court of Appeal ruling that an Islamic school’s policy of segregating boys and girls was unlawful sex discrimination.

Yesoiday Hatorah principal Jonathan Yodaiken told Tes that when it considered its response to the judgement, the Department for Education had said that “the obvious solution” was to form a multi-academy trust and create two single-sex schools.

The letter from inspector Sue Eastwood, published last month following a short inspection in December, says: “Despite the plans for structural changes, leaders and governors have not put sufficient opportunities in place to allow boys and girls to mix in unstructured times.

“Segregation at these times is detrimental to pupils and is therefore unlawful.”

Dr Yodaiken said that Ms Eastwood’s letter was the first time the school realised its policy for pupils during break and lunchtimes was unlawful.

Ofsted’s letter tells the school to ensure that boys and girls have opportunities to socialise together, “including at unstructured and informal times of the school day”, and continue its plans to establish two separate schools for boys and girls.

He emphasised that Ofsted said the school remains “good”, and that the inspector praised the school’s curriculum and made no recommendations about the quality of education.  

Read more Jewish state school plans single-sex academies to avoid gender integration

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