Jewish schools offer exceptionally high achievement, good behaviour, warm, caring environments, and the chance for young people to learn about their identity as 21st century Jews.
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Choosing a school

Why should I think about choosing a Jewish school?
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Jewish schools offer safe, caring and warm environments where children flourish personally and academically. Your child will learn about Jewish practices and values and enjoy the chance of celebrating the Jewish calendar. Many of us look back at primary school as a time of enjoyment, creativity and excitement in learning about the world. Jewish schools offer all this, plus the chance for you and your child to become part of a warm caring community.

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How do I go about applying to a Jewish primary school?
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You will need to contact the individual schools for their admission procedures. For voluntary-aided schools, application for reception is made through your home local authority as well as the school itself.  If the school has a nursery which you are applying for, you need to contact the school about their admission procedures.

You should also be aware of the school's geographical location on our map, as the school nearest to your house may be in a different borough, although you would still need to apply through your home local authority, not the one in which the school is located.

For more detailed information on how to apply to a Jewish Primary School, click here.

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Are all Jewish primary schools voluntary-aided schools?
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Many are voluntary-aided. However, five Jewish free schools have opened in the past three years. Some Jewish schools are independent. Check the 'Schools' section for details.
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Admissions policy

I've heard it is very hard to get your child into a Jewish primary school because they are oversubscribed. Is that true?
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There are over 30 Jewish primary schools in London and they are generally very popular. All voluntary-aided schools are governed by the same admissions code which gives preference, for example, based on how close you live to a school. At the same time the number of schools has expanded in relation to demand, so that there are many more school places available than some years ago. Not all areas are equally oversubscribed.

Additionally, due to aliyah or relocation, schools may have spare places in particular years. It is always worth checking with the school if this is the case and, in any event, making sure your name stays on their waiting lists.

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If I want to go to a Jewish secondary school, do I have to go to a Jewish primary school first?
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Not necessarily, but see the secondary school section of our website for details of Jewish secondary schools.

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Do I have to pay anything extra to go to a Jewish primary school?
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No. The voluntary-aided Jewish schools do however request a voluntary contribution towards the additional costs of the broad Jewish Studies curriculum and the level of security which parents expect. You will need to contact the independent Jewish schools to find out details of their fees.

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How religious do I need to be to go to a Jewish primary school?
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There is a broad range of Jewish primary schools reflecting the diversity of the Jewish community. Jewish schools accept a wide variety of Jews with different levels of belief and practice. Faith schools are allowed to ask about religious practice but the emphasis on this will vary.

The rapid growth in Jewish schools is largely because families from all parts of the Jewish community send their children to Jewish schools, all of which share a common aim in strengthening children’s Jewish identity and knowledge in a variety of ways.

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Do I need to be a member of a synagogue to go to a Jewish primary school?
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Jewish primary schools have different admission priorities and synagogue membership may be one of the criteria. Generally, synagogue membership by itself is not a prerequisite for sending your child to a Jewish primary school. Once you have identified which school you are interested in, check if this is one of their criteria.

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Do Jewish primary schools make provision for gifted and talented and special needs pupils?
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By law all schools must have clear policies for children with special or additional needs. This includes gifted and talented pupils who will certainly flourish with the wide curriculum available at Jewish schools.

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Does my child have to attend a school's Nursery in order to gain a place in its Reception class?
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No, a school cannot make attendance at its nursery a pre-condition for admission into its Reception class. It is unlawful to give Reception priority to the children who have been in their own nursery class.   Parents may have felt that children were not yet ready for nursery, or they may have just moved into the area. You should check each school’s admissions policy, as they will vary.

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What is a CRP?
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CRP is shorthand for a Certificate of Religious Practice.  For most Jewish schools, when applying for a Nursery or Reception place you will need to have completed one.

 

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Why do we need a CRP?
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The 2010 School Admissions Code allows the religious authority of schools with a religious character (sometimes called faith schools) to 'provide guidance for the admission authorities of schools of their faith that sets out what objective processes and criteria may be used to establish whether a child is a member of, or whether they practise, the faith' (para 2.52). The Chief Rabbi recommended that schools under his religious authority (sometimes called OCR schools) should develop tests of Jewish religious practice, which can be used for this purpose.  It is by no means satisfactory, but is the best option in order to remain compliant with the School Admissions Code.

Some schools aside from OCR schools also use a CRP and/or their own supplementary information form to be completed by the parent or a Rabbi.

 

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What do we need to do with a CRP?
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A copy must be sent direct to the school together with relevant supporting documents and the school’s Supplementary Information Form (SIF), which you should be able to download from its website. You should keep a copy of the CRP and its relevant supporting documents for future use. Not all schools have adopted identical CRP forms and some have varied their CRP requirements and chosen different criteria.  Individual websites should be consulted to see what the differences are and how evidence is to be gathered.

A CRP may have sections such as:  Synagogue Shabbat service attendance; Jewish educational activities; voluntary Jewish communal, charitable or welfare activities.  Points will be awarded for the level and quantity of activity in each area. You can aggregate the points from a range of activities.

If you wish to gain CRP points by Shabbat morning service attendance, you must first register at the synagogue you and/or the child will be attending. Check with the synagogue for registration details.

The main difference is that at secondary level, only the participation of the child is to be recorded, whereas at Nursery and Reception, it is the child and/or its parent/guardian.

NB: Private schools can select pupils on other criteria and we recommend that you contact them individually. They may include parent or child interviews, which VA schools and ‘free schools’ are precluded from administering by law.

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When does the CRP have to be handed in?
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The CRP form should be handed in at the same time as the application national closing date in January. There is a timeframe for completing the CRP and it will vary slightly each year.  For children starting schools in September 2016, the process starts on 2 May 2015 and will end by 9 January 2016 for primary schools. Additionally, applications made outside the usual admissions round also have to complete a CRP. Indpendent schools will vary and you should consult their individual websites for more information

All dates above are for United Synagogue schools. Other schools might vary their CRP deadlines and some don't operate CRP.  Deadlines should also be printed on the CRP for each school. Parents are urged to check with each school to which they are applying.

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When do primary schools announce their Reception places?
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Local authorities for all voluntary-aided schools, free schools and academies will make their offers of Reception places on or around 16 April in the year when the child will be admitted (known as National Offer Day).

The dates for independent schools will vary and you should consult their individual websites for more information. 

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Academic performance

How well do Jewish primary schools perform academically?
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Jewish primary schools are generally high performing. They regularly appear at the top of the UK league tables. They are ambitious for their pupils but they understand children learn best when they’re in a warm and caring environment.

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General information

Will my child be fully equipped to enter a selective secondary school if they have been to a Jewish primary school?
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Yes. Every year there are a large number of children from Jewish primary schools who go on to selective secondary schools. However there is also an increasing trend for parents to choose Jewish secondary schools because of the positive experiences and high standards their children have gained at a Jewish primary school. See our Jewish secondary school section for more details.

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Do all Jewish primary schools have uniform?
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Yes. Dress codes may vary according to the particular school.
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Do parents get the opportunity to become involved in Jewish primary schools?
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Most Jewish primary schools have strong Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs), and encourage parent helpers to come in during the school day. Parents are fully represented on governing bodies and in voluntary-aided schools there will always be elected parent governors.

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Faith and inter-faith activity

How much time is spent on Jewish Studies and what does this cover?
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Time spent on Jewish Studies varies between primary schools. More information about the curriculum can be found from contacting the individual schools.  Many schools will teach pupils some Ivrit (modern Hebrew).

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Do pupils learn about other religions and cultures?
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All schools take their commitment to community cohesion seriously and want to ensure their pupils grow up as contributing citizens who appreciate the breadth of cultures that make modern day Britain so special. Schools will approach these themes in different ways such as  projects that link the school with a school from a different faith eg shared links with neighbouring Muslim or Christian faith schools.

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