This Orthodox Jewish school has two weeks to agree to LGBT-inclusive education or face closure

Inclusive sex education overwhelmingly benefits children, says expert

The Department for Education has warned an Orthodox Jewish school that it has two weeks to agree to introduce LGBT-inclusive education or be shut down.

Mechinoh, a small independent boys’ school in Salford, Manchester, has repeatedly failed Ofsted inspections for its refusal to meet standards set by the Equality Act.

The school was first warned in January that it had to address the issue after an inspection found “weaknesses in the development of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding”.

The report noted that school leaders “did not promote respect” for the protected characteristics in the Equality Act, and were “resolute” in their decision not to do so.

Ofsted was also hindered by the fact that parents did not allow inspectors to speak to their children to ask about their understanding of other cultures and faiths.

The school’s headteacher Rabbi Eliyohu Rubinstein later complained to Ofsted about the poor rating, writing to the DfE that school was “not a place to discuss subjects relating to intimacy in relationships, sexual orientation and gender reassignment.”

“This must remain the domain of the parents,” he insisted, according to The Jewish Chronicle.

He claimed that the Jewish school’s educational progress had been “unjustly” undervalued and the only reason it had been given a poor rating was for its refusal to comply with equality standards.

Having refused to take on Ofsted’s advice, the DfE has now ratcheted up its threat, telling the school that it could be permanently closed unless it presents a “robust” action plan within two weeks.

“If the school is unable to provide an acceptable action plan or is not, at the time of the next inspection, meeting the standards, it is highly likely that an immediate move will be made to delete the school from the register of independent schools,” the DfE wrote.

“Once deleted, any school that continues to operate does so illegally and you, as the proprietor, would be liable for prosecution.”

Several other Orthodox Jewish schools in the Manchester area have come under fire for refusing to enact LGBT-inclusive education, which the government has ruled will be compulsory for all UK schools from September onwards.