Independent £7,800 a term Jewish girls school in Southend gets go ahead

A new £7,800-a-year all girls school will be built in Westcliff after being given the green-light by the education watchdog.

Ofsted has published a pre-registration inspection report for Beis Chinuch Lebonos, an independent school in North Road, catering for 100 girls.

The watchdog said the Orthodox Jewish school “is likely to meet all the independent school standards when it opens”.

The report added the school will provide religious education in morning sessions and a broad range of subjects in the afternoon “that are closely aligned with the national curriculum and the early years foundation stage framework”.

The report adds: “Leaders have plans to expand pupils’ horizons outside of their immediate location and community. An appropriate curriculum is in place, embellished with a range of trips, visits and visitors to the school.

“In the early years, pupils will learn about their local area by visiting services such as shops and the post office. Leaders plan to invite police and fire officers to tell children about their jobs and how these services can help children in a range of situations.

“Older pupils will learn about democracy and how the views of the people can influence change. Leaders are planning to teach pupils about the main political parties and understand their duty to present this information in an impartial manner.”

Plans for age-appropriate understanding of health and relationships will prioritise “the key issues that girls will face, such as unsolicited contact online and in public, as well as teaching about puberty and women’s health,” Ofsted said.

Leaders also planned to “expand pupils’ horizons outside of their immediate location and community” and to work with other schools to help pupils understand the beliefs and views of others.

The school will have 12 teachers who will “prepare pupils with a strong knowledge of their faith as well as an understanding of the wider world and the challenges they may face”.

The site has been fully refurbished in recent months. Ofsted inspectors said classrooms are light and airy with good acoustics. There are six classrooms for primary-age pupils, with two dedicated rooms for early years pupils.

There are two play areas, one for the main school and another for the early years. These allow sufficient space for play and physical education.”

Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter