Strict Jewish faith school redacting homosexuality from textbooks failed by Ofsted

A strict faith school that came under fire for redacting any mention of homosexuality or basic women’s freedoms in textbooks has been judged to be failing by Ofsted. iNews reports

The Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls’ School, a state secondary serving a strictly Orthodox Charedi community in north London, was heavily criticised in March for removing women socialising with men in a standard textbook. The school even covered up a picture of Fred Astaire dancing with Ginger Rogers.

Textbooks, which had pictures of women’s shoulders and legs coloured in with black pen, had been passed to Humanists UK by members of the community concerned about the education on offer.

Ofsted’s latest inspection downgraded the school from a “good” rating four years ago to “inadequate”.

“They have redacted textbooks, texts such as ‘Sherlock Holmes’ and historical texts on subjects like ‘Elizabethan England’. This redaction is detrimental to pupils’ learning, and pupils do not have equal opportunities for learning compared to pupils elsewhere,” the report warns.

The watchdog also raised fears that school leaders were trying to “deliberately restrict” pupils’ access to advice and guidance about how to keep safe in the world, including blanking out helpline numbers from books.

Yesodey Hatorah’s behaviour policy also sets out a series of Draconian rules to be adhered to even outside of school, which includes a ban on “bowling and ice-skating”.

Students are also prevented from “accessing the internet” outside of school, while it adds “girls may only visit public libraries if accompanied by parent” and prohibits “sleepovers”.

Read more Strict Jewish faith school redacting homosexuality from textbooks failed by Ofsted

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