The BBC has aired concerning footage of what appears to be Rabbeim hitting children at “a suspected unregistered ultra-orthodox Jewish school in Essex, [UK].”
The videos were part of a widespread investigation into abuses at 350 suspected unregistered schools known to Ofsted, the governments education watchdog agency.
The report comes at a particularly bad time for Yeshivas in Britian, with communities already on edge about unwanted government interference in education. Just last week, YWN reported the Chief Rabbi of Gateshead, HaRav Shraga Feivel Zimmerman stated “Jews will have to leave England before long,” over the interference.
Schools in England are required to register with the government if they teach five or more children for 18 hours a week or more.
The Synagogue in Westcliff-on-Sea housing the ultra-orthodox Jewish school at which the alleged abuse was filmed denied there was an unregistered school operating on the site. It also said “home schooling” was provided within the 18 hours limit. However, the BBC claims to have observed it operating for longer hours.
The footage of a teacher appearing to strike a boy and manhandle a distressed child showed “huge safeguarding issues”, said Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England.
“When the adult turns round, the child steps back and the adult clearly strikes the child”, she said, observing the footage.
The synagogue, on whose grounds the school is based, said it was not aware of any incidents, but asked for more information.
The BBC report did not specify the number of the reported 350 unregistered schools in England that are religious. However, half of the religious schools are reportedly Muslim.
The report says only 38 of the unregistered schools had ceased to operate since 2016. This despite more than 50 safeguarding alerts – concerns of abuse or neglect – were raised at unregistered schools since 2014.
In a statement, the Department for Education said: “The secretary of state has to consent to a prosecution, but this happens at the end of the process, after the director of public prosecution has made a decision to charge.
“So far no case has reached that stage,” it said.
“No child should be placed at risk and where a school is operating illegally action must be taken.”
(Nat Golden – YWN)