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Communal anxieties about the possibility of an inadequate supply of secondary school places in Jewish schools in London have, on occasion, run high, and have occurred against a context of demographic changes and an increase in preference for Jewish schooling. These seemingly unpredictable dynamics have made planning very difficult and this new study helps to bring some empiricism to the table.
This statistical study, authored by JPR Senior Research Fellow, Dr Daniel Staetsky, and supported by Partnerships for Jewish Schools (PaJeS), uses an empirical approach to predict future levels of demand for mainstream Jewish secondary schools in and around London. Using Local Authority data to examine applications and admissions from 2011 to 2018, it projects forward to the academic year 2022/23 in order to support future planning.
It is a follow-up to previous work in this area, and it draws on observations from the field that allow us to assess the accuracy of that work and to extend our projections further into the future.
The study concludes that current levels of provision will be sufficient if the demand in the next four years remains at today’s levels. Whilst this is a possibility, two of three possible scenarios presented in the report suggest an increase in demand, at a level in which about fifty additional places will be required across the entire Jewish secondary school system in London. Given this projected scale of increase, the report recommends that schools should develop some flexibility in capacity to satisfy the increasing demand. That might mean preparedness to open an extra class, as and when required, rather than to open an entirely new school.