Monday, 14 October 2013

YESODEY HATORAH SENIOR GIRLS SCHOOL - ADMISSIONS

Yesodey Hatorah Admissions Information Pack

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

on admissions to

Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls School

“In drawing up their admission arrangements, admission authorities must ensure that the practices and the criteria used to decide the allocation of school places are fair, clear and objective. Parents should be able to look at a set of arrangements and understand easily how places for that school will be allocated” (Introduction to the School Admission Code, February 2012)

1. Q. I would like to apply for my daughter to join Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls School (the School) but she does not attend Yesodey Hatorah Primary School. Can the School refuse my daughter a place because of the primary school she currently or has previously attended?

A. No. It is against the law for the School to favour applicants who attended an independent fee-paying primary school. Yesodey Hatorah Primary School is an independent fee-paying school and girls from that school may not be given any advantage in the admissions process.

2. Q. How old must my daughter be when I apply to the School?

A. For admission in September 2014 your child must have been born between 01/09/2002-31/08/2003.

3. Q. What are the main advantages of my daughter attending the School?

A. The School has a heimishe yiddishe atmosphere with a very strong frum ethos. The School was rated Outstanding by Ofsted in its most recent report; the School consistently achieves some of the highest grades in Hackney and in the country as a whole; there are no compulsory school fees payable and the School does not currently seek a voluntary contribution for kodesh studies.

4. Q. How can I obtain more information about the School?

A. Information about the School is contained at the School’s webpages here and in the Hackney Learning Trust secondary school admissions brochure (the admissions brochure). For up-to-date admission arrangements rely only on the admissions brochure.

5. Q. How can I find out about the grades achieved by the School in recent years?

A. The exam results of the School and lots of other information can be found on the School’s page on the Department for Education website.

6. Q. Has the School been inspected by Ofsted and where can I see its reports?

A. The School last had a full inspection in 2006 and an interim inspection in 2010. The full reports can be found on the Ofsted website here.

7. Q. Does the School hold an open day?

A. No.

8. Q. Am I able to visit the School prior to making an application?

A. Yes. The School’s page in the admissions brochure* states that to arrange a visit you should contact the School. The School’s telephone no. is 020 8826 5500.

9. Q. Must the parents or our daughter meet the Head Teacher, the Principal or anyone else from the School before or during any stage of the application process?

A. No. It is against the law for the School to require an interview with either prospective pupils or their parents in the course of the admissions process.

10. Q. May the School refuse my daughter a place because she did not achieve good grades in primary school?

A. No. The School does not select according to ability.

11. Q. My daughter is disabled/has special needs. Is that a valid reason for refusing her a place?

A. No. It is against the law for the School to discriminate on grounds of disability or special needs. There is a separate process for children with a Statement of Special Educational Needs. This is set out at page 14 of the admissions brochure.

12. Q. What are the criteria for being accepted to the School?

A. The School stipulates that all pupils must abide “by the principles and ethics of the Charedi community.” The School’s definition of “Charedi” and its general admissions policy can be found here.

13. Q. I am of chasidish / litvish / sefardi / yekish origin. Is this a reason for the School to refuse my daughter a place?

A. It is against the law for the school to discriminate on grounds of race, religion or belief (subject to the school’s religious ethos). Decisions on admissions must also be fair and objective.

14. Q. How do I apply to the School?

A. Parents can complete the application form online at www.eadmissions.org. See below for a Step by Step Guide to Making an Application for further details on how and where to make an application and for important deadlines. You should also consult the admissions brochure on page 15.

15. Q. I do not have internet access. Can I make an application on a paper form?

A. Yes. Hackney residents can download a paper form here. Residents of other boroughs should contact their home local authority for a form. See contact details below. (If applying online it is the same procedure wherever you live.)

16. Q. Must I provide any proof of identity?

A. Yes. You must include with your application a council tax bill of this year or a housing benefit letter and a gas, water, electricity or telephone land line bill not more than 2 months old. You must submit original documents.

17. Q. What is the deadline for applying to the School?

A. Friday 25 October 2013 is the date when Hackney Learning Trust prefers all application to have been submitted either online or by a paper application. (The on-line admissions website will accept applications until 31 October 2013.) See page 9 of the admissions brochure for all important dates.

18. Q. The admissions brochure mentions a Supplementary Information Form that must be submitted as part of my application. What is this?

A. The Supplementary Information Form contains the ‘Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations (UOHC) Chareidi Ethos and Rules’. This is an important form to satisfy the religious requirements for admission to the School. The form also contains a ‘Confirmation of Chareidi Status’ which must be signed by a member of the UOHC Rabbinate.

19. Q. Where can I obtain the Supplementary Information Form?

A. A Supplementary Information Form can be downloaded here.

20. Q. How do I arrange for a member of the UOHC Rabbinate to sign the Supplementary Information Form?

A. You should contact the offices of the UOHC on 020 8802 6226 (020 8458 2326 for NW London) for advice on how to obtain a signature of confirmation.

21. Q. I have read the form and I do not conform to some points on the School’s ethos. However, I think this is unfair because there are people I know who have daughters at the school and who also do not fully conform. What can I do about it?

A. Faith based criteria (which is what the Supplementary Information Form seeks to apply) must be fair, easy to understand and fairly applied. If your daughter is refused a place and you feel you have been unfairly treated you can appeal.

22. Q. I have recently moved to London and no one really knows me here / my family does not live in the Stamford Hill area and I do not know members of the Rabbinate. Can I still apply?

A. The law requires admission procedures to be fair. You should contact a rov or dayan who knows your family and ask them to write a letter for you or to contact a member of the Rabbinate to provide a reference on your behalf.

23. Q. Where do I send the completed Supplementary Information Form?

A. The completed Supplementary Information Form should be sent to the School, details below NOTE: ONLY THE SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION FORM IS SENT TO THE SCHOOL. IF THE PAPER APPLICATION FORM IS USED IT MUST BE SENT TO YOUR HOME LOCAL AUTHORITY’S SCHOOL ADMISSION TEAM. (For Hackney residents this is Hackney Learning Trust.)

24. Q. What is the deadline for returning the Supplementary Information Form to the School?

A. 31 October 2013. It is very important that you contact the UOHC about the Supplementary Information Form as soon as possible.

25. Q. I do not live in Hackney. Does that put me at a disadvantage?

A. The School may not discriminate because you live in another borough. You must apply through your home local authority who will forward your application to Hackney Learning Trust. See the contact sheet for details of some neighbouring local authorities.

26. Q. Is the distance that I live from the School relevant to the admissions process?

A. Generally no. However, if the School is oversubscribed (see below) and after having prioritised applicants under the oversubscription criteria there still remain insufficient places then priority will be given to the applicant living closest to the School.

27. Q. I applied just before the deadline. Will parents who applied before me have priority?

A. No. A child may not be given priority because their application was later than others so long that the application was submitted before the deadline.

28. Q. Once I have made an application by when can I expect a reply?

A. On or shortly after 3 March 2014 you will receive a letter or email from Hackney Learning Trust. If you do not receive a reply by that time you should contact your home local authority.

29. Q. My daughter has been offered a place at the School. Must I do anything further to accept the place?

A. The acceptance letter will have a reply form attached. You must complete and return the reply form by 17 March 2014 to confirm that you are accepting the offer. You can also accept the offer online at www.eadmissions.org.uk. If you don’t do this, the offer of a place at the School may be withdrawn.

30. Q. My daughter has been refused a place. Must the School give me a reason?

A. A refusal to offer you a place must state the reasons why admission has been refused. The refusal letter must also give you information about the right to appeal, the deadline for lodging an appeal and the contact details for making an appeal.

31. Q. The School has told me that they had more applications than places available, (oversubscribed), and they have no place for my daughter. Is this a legitimate reason for refusal?

A. It may be in some circumstances. The school publishes oversubscription criteria as part of the admissions information which can be found here. The oversubscription criteria themselves must be fair and objective and must also be fairly and objectively applied. Parents must be able to understand easily how the religious requirements in the oversubscription criteria can be reasonably satisfied.

32. Q. Do pupils of Yesodey Hatorah Primary School have priority if the School is oversubscribed?

A. No. See the reply to Q.1 above.

33. Q. Is the School generally oversubscribed?

A. Last year there were 59 applications for 80 available places at the School. All applicants were successful.

34. Q. My daughter has been refused a place and I’m not sure what else I can do about it. Can I appeal?

A. Yes. You have a right to appeal to an independent school admissions appeal panel which the school must set up to hear your appeal. It is beyond the scope of this FAQ to cover appeals and a separate appeals FAQ may be published should the need arise. For useful information on appeals see this link here.

35. Q. What is the deadline to appeal?

A. 24 March 2014. This is a very important deadline and you must lodge your appeal before this date. If an appeal is lodged after this date relating to a late application the School will still have to make arrangements for your appeal to be heard.

36. Q. My daughter has been refused a place and I would like to know who made the decision. How can I find out?

A. You should ask the School which should provide you with that information. It is against the law for a single person to decide on admissions.

37. Q. I am concerned that the reasons given to me for a refusal may not be the true reasons and I would like to know what information the School or the UOHC hold on me. How can I obtain this information?

A. Under the Data Protection Act you may make a subject access request to the School and/or the UOHC to provide you with all the personal information they hold on you. Further information how to make such a request can be found here.

38. Q. My daughter is already at a secondary school and we would like to transfer her to the School for the coming school year or during the current year (In-year Admissions). Are we able to do this?

A. Yes, provided there are vacancies in the class. According to the most recent information provided by the School there are vacancies in Year 7 and in Year 11. You can apply even where there are no vacancies and you will be placed on a waiting list.

39. Q. What is the procedure for In-year Admissions and is there a deadline?

A. An application form can be requested from Hackney Learning Trust. This form should be returned directly to Hackney Learning Trust irrespective of the borough in which you live. You will also have to complete a Supplementary Information Form which should be returned to the School. There is no deadline and you can apply at any time.

40. Q. Where can I find further information?

A. Please refer to the admissions brochure for all further information or call Hackney Learning Trust on 020 8820 7501

If you have additional questions please leave them in the comments or write to yhsforum@gmail.com

The YHS Forum is independent from Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls School and is not associated with the School.

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Step-by-step guide to YHS application and Contact details

1. Set up online account at www.eadmissions.org.uk. This applies to all applicants.

If you are applying on a paper form then Hackney residents only should use the application form which can be download here. Residents of other boroughs must contact their home local authorities for an alternative paper form.

2. Complete the Supplementary Information form  and contact the UOHC for it to be signed by a member of the Rabbinate.

3. Complete the application form online or submit your paper application form to your local authority preferably by 25 October 2013 but by no means any later than 31 October 2013. A late application will put you at a severe disadvantage.

4. Submit the completed and signed Supplementary Information form to the School by no later than 31 October 2013.

5. Sit back and hope for the best.

GOOD LUCK!


CONTACT SHEET


Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls School

Egerton Road, London N16 6UB

Tel: 020 8826 5500

admin@yesodeyhatorah.org

School pages on NAJOS website

School pages on Learning Trust website

School’s Admission Policy

Supplementary Information Form

Hackney Learning Trust

Reading Lane, London E1,

Secondary School Admissions page

Tel: 020 8820 7501

School Application Form

Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations

140 Stamford Hill, London N16 6QT

Tel: 020 8802 6226

213 Golders Green Road,

London NW11 9BY

Tel: 020 8458 2326

London Borough of Haringey

Secondary School Admissions page

Tel: 020 8489 1000
Email: schooladmissions@haringey.gov.uk

London Borough of Barnet

Tel: 020 8359 7651

Secondary School Admissions page

London Borough of Redbridge (Ilford)

Secondary Schools Admissions page

020 8708 3129 / 3996

admissionsandAwards@redbridge.gov.uk

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Sunday, 13 October 2013

Keep Calm and Carry On…

Eiruv blueprint

Following the ruling of the new Carry On star Rabbi Mordechai Eisner on the Brookside eiruv some of our local finer minds have applied his halachic string-pulling closer to home and the map you see above is the result. Apparently, similar principles apply to both eiruvin and so an eiruv for the gander ought to be an eiruv for the *not tznius to mention*.

Of course it being Golders Green they have an eiruv within an eiruv. Like the living rooms within their homes they have a mega super eiruv which they don’t use and is there only for show (and for carrying in hidden pockets) and then a smaller dingier eiruv where they can be themselves in their full glory. But surely if they can have two we poor cousins should deserve at least one. And if we’re going to start somewhere it might as well be south Tottenham where people will actually use it. Stick the eiruv in Fairholt Road and it will become a competition of not using it most.

To be honest, Eiruvin has never been one of my strong points. I find it difficult to get my mind round the concept of strings, planks, door frames, river banks and park railings all ganging up to create a device that enables the movement of keys from round one’s ample waist to the depth of the pocket. For once, you can’t accuse the rabbis of not being creative.

I do however foresee one minor problem or, looking at the bright side, it could in fact become a nice little earner. On Egerton Road you will notice that due to the presence of Tatton Crescent (the private road running at the side of Asda) they’ve had to move the ‘door frame’ back. Rather than position it on the junction with Stamford Hill as they have on the other turnings they’ve set  the notional door frame back to the junction with Tatton Crescent.

Now, the land on the corner of Egerton Road and Tatton Crescent is of course Yesodey Hatorah school where people get married these days at the School hall but for which the UOHC supposedly acts as agent on a commission of something like 250%. Yes, you read that correctly. Quite normal you might think and as Yesodey Hatorah has very reasonably said, what others charge for school property is none of the school’s business. True, Satmar couldn’t hire it for Shabbos for love or money but that’s because we expect the local non-Jewish schools to host our rebbes while the state aided Jewish school in our midst will not stoop to accommodate a Friday-night tish.

But returning to the eiruv, while at first blush those in control at the school may be inclined to say nyet to something as heretical, innovative and anti-chareidi as an eiruv on their land, the prospect of a licence fee, an agency and yet more urgently needed funds, for the UOHC of course, might just persuade them to pull a few strings after all.

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Thursday, 10 October 2013

Brooking Dissent

eisner eiruv

So Golders Green can have sit-down restaurants and cafes, schools run by a board of governors rather than a single nepotistic strongman, mixed Tashlich sessions, decent mikvo’os and now even an eiruv and all with a Kedassia hechsher. But as for Stamford Hill it has been decreed that we are to remain forever under the servitude of a cabal of kleptomaniacs who can carry nothing but their own wallets.

It’s not as if we in Stamford Hill are incompetent because in many respects we are far more capable than others. Reb Aaron of Satmar will this week lay the foundation stone and attend the opening of a shul, yeshiva and school, the other Satmar recently opened its own mega girl school, Belz has commenced a huge building project, Vizhnitz has in the last few years opened shuls and schools, ditto for Bobov and Ger.

Yet in all this time the wretched UOHC has barely managed to refurbish a single mikve after many years as a building site and another mikve remains in a decrepit state after almost a decade. It can barely sweep its own front yard and they only put their cemetery in order after protests and notices in shuls. Oh, and they also facilitate the grand theft at the Yesodey Hatorah wedding hall through an agency, a leaseback, money changers, offshore companies and anything else they can think of to rip us off.

The time has come to realise that they are simply not fit for purpose and let them disband. Their boards and committees are not elected, they do not meet our needs and yet we pay for their upkeep through their kashrus racket. No taxation without representation goes the saying but I’d forgive them even that if they provided some kind of service. But they don’t and so let them disappear and we’ll manage far better without them.

Mirvis’s Baptism of Fire

Anti limmud_edit

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Eiruv is comin’ to town

GG eiruv

… and it’s kosher too though I hadn’t realised that Brookside had quite as many rabbis.

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