Pupils at illegal ultra-Orthodox Jewish faith school almost drowned after being taken on hiking trip in Dover

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Pupils at illegal ultra-Orthodox Jewish faith school almost drowned after being taken on hiking trip in Dover

Post by sassy on Sun Jul 03, 2016 4:11 pm

Exclusive: Documents from local authority Hackney council, seen by ‘The Independent’, show they have known about the illegal school since 2011 but have not acted to successfully shut it down

A group of ultra-Orthodox Jewish students nearly drowned after being taken on a hiking expedition by unqualified teachers working at an illegal faith school that the Government has known about for five years but failed to shut down.
The children, who were dressed in traditional Orthodox robes instead of hiking gear for the trip on 6 June and were unable to read warning signs because they can't speak any English, had to be rescued by emergency services after the tide came and nearly swept them out to sea.

The Independent understands that the teachers put the children’s lives in further danger because, once they realised they were at risk of drowning, they initially contacted community leaders in Stamford Hill, north London, instead of contacting authorities for fear of the illegal school being discovered.


The school is understood to be one of dozens which an investigation by The Independent revealed in April are operating illegally in the Stamford Hill area of Hackney. More than 1,000 children are believed to be taught at the ultra-orthodox Jewish schools which follow only a strict religious education as they belong to very devout orthodox Jewish families.

Government authorities have known about many of the schools for several years, including the school involved in the hiking expedition for five years, but failed to shut them down.

The schools teach boys from the age of 13 onwards following their Bar Mitzvah. Lessons often last from 6am to 11pm and take place in cramped and squalid buildings, with teachers who have no training or child protection checks. The schools ban ‘secular knowledge’ and teach only religious texts in Yiddish and Hebrew meaning many leave unable to speak English or with any academic qualifications.

Campaigners and former pupils have said not enough is being done to close down the schools and to protect children, despite it being a criminal offence to run an illegal school.

The 34 children and 2 adults were rescued by emergency services after becoming trapped when the tide came in. The group had walked past a number of danger signs in English warning the cliff was impassable and were wearing ultra-Orthodox Jewish traditional dress rather than appropriate hiking gear.

The adults are said to have told authorities they were from a community centre in Stamford Hill, while the boys reportedly told authorities that they were “just friends [who decided] to group together and go for a day out”.

However, concerned members of the local community have told The Independent that the boys have been recognised as being pupils of an illegal Stamford Hill school out on a school trip with untrained and unregistered teachers. This has also been reiterated by a news report in Israeli media which describes the children as belonging to an illegal ultra-Orthodox Jewish school in Stamford Hill.

It is understood that the men lacked the basic awareness of child protection and safety issues involved due to lack of training.

It is also understood that the men and children walked past the warning signs as they were unable to speak or read English and were further endangered by wearing Orthodox robes rather than safe hiking gear for religious reasons.
An Independent reporter visited the school site following the events and multiple members of the public confirmed that the illegal school was operating and was involved in the incident.

Furthermore, internal documents from local authority Hackney council seen by The Independent show that they were first warned that the school was operating illegally in 2011 yet have not taken adequate action to close the school. Campaigners and former pupils say the authorities are turning a blind eye to the schools and failing to protect children.

The Independent has chosen not to publish the school’s name or address to protect the children’s identities.
In response to the allegations, a spokesperson for the group told The Independent that they are not an illegal school but a community centre: “We take the concerns of health and safety and wellbeing of children in our care very seriously. We believe that as a result of the incident there are a lot of lessons that need to be learnt.

“We have therefore asked a foundation to carry out an independent internal investigation and make recommendations for the future. It is our [intention to] learn lessons for the future and to fully implement all recommendations. In the interim we have suspended all outside activity.”

A spokesperson for GesherEU, a charity which supports people leaving the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, said: “This is not the first time children’s lives have been put in danger by, apparently, incompetent staff. Next time we could be seeing mothers wailing at the funerals of their sons or daughters unless ministers, the Department for Education and Hackney listen to our call for these settings to be properly monitored, for them to employ properly trained staff, and to ensure that these children are given the skills and secular education they will require to have choices and contribute to society when they are older.

“Both the Department for Education and Hackney continually say that they are liaising with each other, and nothing seems to happen. We know that the legislation relating to the monitoring, safeguarding and education standards in independent schools, unregistered settings and for home-educated children, is confusing and that it is inadequate when fundamentalist religious bodies are set on following their own narrow curriculum. We urge them to go to the ministers responsible to push through urgent changes to the legislation to give them the powers to make real change."

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/pupils-at-illegal-faith-school-almost-died-after-being-taken-on-hike-up-a-cliff-in-traditional-ultra-a7116956.html


Good grief!

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Re: Pupils at illegal ultra-Orthodox Jewish faith school almost drowned after being taken on hiking trip in Dover

Post by Guest on Sun Jul 03, 2016 4:16 pm

OMG ...and the greater lesson in all of that; teaching those children and putting their lives in danger while LYING about the entire circumstances! No

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Re: Pupils at illegal ultra-Orthodox Jewish faith school almost drowned after being taken on hiking trip in Dover

Post by sassy on Sun Jul 03, 2016 4:23 pm

Absolute craziness.

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Re: Pupils at illegal ultra-Orthodox Jewish faith school almost drowned after being taken on hiking trip in Dover

Post by Guest on Sun Jul 03, 2016 6:23 pm

Didge wrote:Literal religion being the problem yet again, thinking their beliefs superscede the law of the land.

Precisely and piss-poor choices being made by adults left in teaching positions that should know better and yet they're proving to be such stupid examples for those students! Evil or Very Mad

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Re: Pupils at illegal ultra-Orthodox Jewish faith school almost drowned after being taken on hiking trip in Dover

Post by eddie on Mon Jul 04, 2016 10:44 am

Not all religious schools are biased Didge. They do have to pass OFSTED inspections and they do have to abide by an inclusion policy too.

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Re: Pupils at illegal ultra-Orthodox Jewish faith school almost drowned after being taken on hiking trip in Dover

Post by WhoseYourWolfie on Mon Jul 04, 2016 11:35 am

study

WE HAVE some conservative based schools down here in Oz...

Run by various churches, in the private school system :

The Anglican church has their "Grammar" schools;
Some Catholic schools (not all, as it depends which 'order' manages them..);
"Christian Community" schools are linked to the Baptists;
A couple of the poshist schools in Sydney are linked to the Presbyterian and Uniting churches;
Jewish and Muslim communities in Sydney amd Melbourne also have some conservative minded private schools..

AS FAR AS more liberal minded schooling goes, there are some community-based schools up on the North Coast and S.E. Qld that have alternative/hippy roots that puts them to the left of the Labor Party..

IN ALL cases, they have to follow the same curriculum as set by the Education Dept in each state, and meet the national standards for graduation.

FAIL to meet the standards and requirements, and they can be deemed to be "illegal" as well if they keep operating...
Some privately-run schools have been either closed down, or had new administration put in place, in both Sydney and Melbourne in recent years;  the most recent a Muslim school down in Sydney..


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