In response to the announcement of the new Independent School Standards, Board of Deputies Vice President Edwin Shuker said:
“The new Independent School Standards are the marker by which independent Jewish schools will be inspected, the vast majority of which are in the strictly Orthodox sector.
“The government has taken on board the perspectives put forward by the Board of Deputies and other community groups in ensuring all of the protected characteristics outlined in the Equality Act are mentioned, including religious belief. It is welcome that there is flexibility given to individual schools to educate according to their ethos in teaching about different protected characteristics at ages considered appropriate by each school. Additionally, it is encouraging that the guidance states that there will not normally be enforcement action and school closures for ‘one or two unmet requirements’ of the standards.
“As ever, the outcomes for schools will depend on the interpretation of the standards during inspections by Ofsted and the ISI.”