The UK’s largest Jewish school has been given a clean bill of health from the national schools’ inspectorate just weeks after a student’s father said he thought she was bullied before she took her own life last year.
JFS, which teaches more than 2,000 students in Harrow, north London, was rated ‘Good’ across the board by Ofsted in April, as revealed in the inspection report, which was published last week. It had previously been rated ‘Inadequate’.
The result will be a huge relief to the school’s leadership team, including the new headteacher David Moody, and chair of governors Andrew Moss, as they grapple with the fallout from 14-year-old Mia Janin’s suicide.
A mixed secondary school that was last inspected in 2021, JFS was praised by Ofsted for its “recent revisions to the school’s behaviour policy that are understood and respected by all”.
In the report, inspectors say: “New leaders have worked successfully to ensure that safeguarding is effective. They have increased the school’s caring culture so that pupils are safe.”
It stands in stark contrast to the judgement of inspectors in April 2021, who said: “Leaders do not ensure that all pupils are safe from harm… many feel that leaders have not protected them from the behaviour of their peers.”
Earlier this month, a coroner’s court heard how JFS pupils were told to delete their Snapchat accounts just five days after Mia took her own life. The evening before she killed herself, she reportedly asked her parents if she could move schools.
Recognising JFS’s efforts to rectify the problems, Ofsted said: “Leaders have raised the importance of mental health and looking after the emotional well-being of the whole school community.”
They added: “Pupils know to whom and where they can turn if they have any worries. Pupils felt confident to report any concerns because staff help them. Staff are vigilant to any incidents of bullying and act swiftly to resolve any bullying issues.”
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.