Life at PaJeS remains busy and even with schools on their summer break, our work continues on full steam ahead, ready for the start of the new school year. A few highlights from PaJeS over the past few months have been:
Israel70 - This hugely successful project masterminded by Nic Abery offered a unique and innovative opportunity for approximately 6,500 school aged children from 33 primary and secondary schools in the UK, Israel, Singapore and Seattle to explore, connect and reflect upon the cultural, artistic and historical narratives of Israel via 35 chosen artistic, cultural and historical objects from nine Israeli museums. This exciting international programme has been the flagship schools’ celebration for Israel70 and culminated in two international celebrations and exhibitions at JW3 in the UK and is currently at the Babylonian Jewry Heritage Center in Israel until November. The opening evening in Israel with the British Ambassador, David Quarrey, attending, was an excellent event.
Work with Ofsted - PaJeS met with Ofsted and will be working closely with them, Chinuch UK, the Board of Deputies and selected school leaders to discuss how schools can meet the DfE’s independent school standards. This will help to ensure that leaders will be able to support schools in their forthcoming inspections. In addition, we will continue to work with Ofsted and the DfE to spread best practice and provide schools with guidance on how Jewish schools can meet the standards on fundamental British values and protected characteristics while holding true to their religious values.
Rt Hon Damien Hinds MP – PaJeS was invited to join the The Secretary of State for Education’s visit to Etz Chaim Primary School with Matthew Offord MP also in attendance. The visit was excellent and the warmth and vibrancy of the school as well as its wonderful Headteacher, left a very positive impression of the community and our schools.
JPR Research and School Places - This research was generously funded by the JLC and fed through to the secondary schools. Further to a meeting with the secondary school heads, extra capacity was created and the initial waiting lists were down by 30% as compared to last year. As a result there has been significantly less press coverage and parental worry about the situation and we anticipate that all Jewish pupils who want a place in a Jewish school will receive one. The co-operation of the schools to now work together for the good of the community is remarkable and PaJeS has achieved a significant step change by bringing them together.
Harvard Seminars - PaJeS was extremely fortunate this summer to be invited by the Maurice Wohl Charitable Foundation in conjunction with the Avichai Foundation to nominate two Headteachers to attend week-long summer seminars at Harvard University. Around 160 senior school leaders from across the world attended and it was a wonderful opportunity for our two heads to share ideas, have time and space for reflection and to earn from the distinguished Faculty of Education at Harvard. We will be talking to the Maurice Wohl Charitable Foundation about the possibility of sending more Headteachers next summer and what we can learn from this experience in general about inspiring and empowering Heads.