Yeshivah Ohr Torah School in Salford has been rated as ‘inadequate’ in all areas by Ofsted
A failing school where pupils are not taught in English, leave with no recognised qualifications and are not prepared for ‘life in modern Britain’ has been slammed by the education watchdog.
Orthodox Jewish Yeshivah Ohr Torah School in Salford has been criticised by Ofsted chiefs in a damning inspection report, in which they said they couldn’t confirm whether pupils are ‘well cared for and safe’.
Parents of children at the all-boys independent school – which serves the Hasidic Jewish community of Broughton Park – were said to have withdrawn consent for inspectors to talk to their sons.
The school, previously graded ‘good’, has been deemed ‘inadequate’ in every inspection category.
Ofsted bosses said that while some youngsters speak English as their first language at home, all lessons at Yeshivah are taught in Yiddish.
Children follow a curriculum based on Jewish religious studies, with ‘infrequent’ opportunities to pursue secular studies,inspectors said.
Yeshivah Ohr Torah School
Other subjects are only taught if relevant to pupils’ religious studies, inspectors said.
“The school’s own measures of pupils’ achievements only have value within their own religious community,” the report read.
Inspectors said students are not encouraged to respect and understand people from other walks of life, including those of different sexual orientation and those who have undergone gender reassignment.
Children do not learn enough about other faiths and cultures, the report added.
The school’s anti-bullying policy was criticised for not including all forms of discrimination, including homophobia.
“Other aspects of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development are also weak,” inspectors said.
Physical education is non-existent at the school, meaning children do little – if any – exercise at school.
Ofsted chiefs said prospects for pupils are poor because they do not sit any external exams – meaning they finish year 11 with no recognised qualifications, ‘ill-prepared for their next steps’.
Ofsted bosses raised serious concerns about the school
Safeguarding was found to be ineffective and relevant checks were said not to have carried on trustees of the school.
Governors at the school, previously rated ‘good’ in 2014, say Yeshivah still provides a ‘high-quality education’.
They claim the latest rating reflects the government’s new, ‘rigid’ inspection framework.
The Ofsted report read: “Opportunities for pupils to develop their English and mathematical skills are poor. The school does not provide lessons in English.
“Pupils have limited opportunities to practise their speaking, reading and writing skills in English.
“Moreover, little time is given to the teaching of mathematics. This means that pupils are not well prepared for life in modern Britain.”
The school was rated ‘inadequate’ overall and in all four inspection categories – effectiveness of leadership and management; quality of teaching, learning and assessment; personal development, behaviour and welfare; and outcomes for pupils.
Parents told inspectors they were happy with the education provided and ‘strongly supported the school’.
Shaya Leitner, speaking on behalf of governors, said: “We would like to highlight the fact that our school continues to deliver a high quality education, and indeed on previous inspections, we have been rated as a good school.
“The current rating reflects the new inspection framework that is much more rigid which has reduced the flexibility that independent schools have previously enjoyed to structure a broad and balanced curriculum that reflects the ethos of the school community it serves.”
The school has been told it must take action to meet the requirements of the government’s Independent School Standards.