JFS (school)

  (Redirected from Jews Free School)

JFS (formerly known as the Jews' Free School[2] and later Jewish Free School[3]) is a Jewish mixed comprehensive school in Kenton, north London, England. At one time it was the largest Jewish school in the world, with more than 4,000 pupils.[4]

JFS[1] is located in London Borough of Brent
JFS[1] is located in Greater London
JFS[1] is located in England
JFS[1] is located in the United Kingdom
The Mall

, ,

Coordinates51°34′52″N 0°16′53″W / 51.58118°N 0.28135°W / 51.58118; -0.28135Coordinates: 51°34′52″N 0°16′53″W / 51.58118°N 0.28135°W / 51.58118; -0.28135
TypeVoluntary aided comprehensive
Religious affiliation(s)Modern Orthodox Judaism
Established1732; 288 years ago (1732)
Local authorityBrent
Department for Education URN133724 Tables
PresidentLord Michael Levy
ChairMs Geraldine Fainer
Head teacherRachel Fink
Age11 to 18
HousesAngel     , Brodetsky     , Weizmann      & Zangwill     


Head teachersEdit

2018- Rachel Fink
2018 Simon Appleman (Acting Headteacher)
2016–2017 Debby Lipkin (Executive Headteacher)

Simon Appleman (Acting Headteacher)

2008–2016 Jonathan Miller
1993–2007 Ruth Robins, DBE[5]
1985–1993 Josephine Wagerman, OBE[6]
1973–1984 Leslie Gatoff
1958–1972 [7] Dr Edward Conway

Other staffEdit

  • Poet Daljit Nagra taught English at the school, as well as other support staff roles including Learning Resource Centre Staff Member
  • Moses Angel was headmaster from 1842 to 1897
  • Michael Adler taught Hebrew at the school in the late 19th-century

Houses and other traditionsEdit

JFS operates the house system and has four houses for organisational purposes. Students must wear a tie with stripes in their house colour, e.g. blue for Brodetsky students.

Name of House Named after Colour
Angel Moses Angel Red     
Brodetsky Selig Brodetsky Blue     
Weizmann Chaim Weizmann Green     
Zangwill Israel Zangwill Yellow     

Both Brodetsky and Zangwill were former students, Angel was the first headmaster and Weizmann, who has several links to the school, was the first President of the State of Israel.

Students are split into their respective houses for most classes in Years 7, 8 and 9 as well as inter-house competitions, such as football and basketball.

A tradition called "muck-up day" involves Year 11 students celebrating the last day of formal schooling before their GCSE examinations with various pranks. In May 2015 this descended into "a near-riot", with more than 300 pupils barred from the campus after a small minority spread foam, eggs, flour and dead chickens around the school. The police were called after some students broke through a security fence and let off fireworks, but no arrests were made.[8][9]

Transport and locationEdit

Route 628, one of the school buses that serve JFS students

The school moved from Camden Town to a new site in Kenton in 2002 to represent the demand of the Jewish population of London moving further out towards the suburbs of the city. The school is within the jurisdiction of the London Borough of Brent, while its post town is Harrow.

There are special bus routes, provided by Transport for London (TfL), between the school and several areas with a large Jewish population, such as Edgware, Mill Hill, Southgate, Barnet, Hendon, Muswell Hill, Radlett, Bushey and Elstree.[10] The nearest train station is Kingsbury (Jubilee line), which is a few minutes' walk away. Preston Road (Metropolitan line) is also nearby.[11]

Academic resultsEdit

In 2007, with 53% of the school's attempted GCSE exams receiving grades of A* or A.[12] In 2012 JFS was at the top of the School League Tables for GCSE in Brent and A-Level results were the best of all the mainstream Jewish schools.[13]

JFS has been named as the top mixed comprehensive school in the official DFES league tables.[citation needed] In an independent analysis of the 2007 A Level results of almost 1000 secondary schools in England and Wales, JFS was placed in the top 1% of schools for value-added achievement.[citation needed]

Controversy over admissions criteriaEdit

In October 2006, a Jewish father made enquiries with the United Synagogue as to whether his son, born to a mother who had been converted to Judaism under the auspices of the Masorti (Conservative)[14] denomination, could convert under Orthodox auspices for entry to JFS in September 2007. He was advised the process could take several years and that such applications to JFS are very rarely successful given that the school is highly oversubscribed. He applied for his son but did not declare to the school's admissions board the mother's conversion history.

By April 2007, he had not supplied JFS with the requested information, whereupon the school advised him that, being oversubscribed that year, it was unlikely his son could be offered a place. He thereupon unsuccessfully appealed for reconsideration of his application.[15]

In July 2008, the father sought to prosecute JFS on the grounds of racial discrimination, but High Court judge, Mr Justice Munby, ruled contrariwise, holding JFS' selection criteria were not intrinsically different from Christian or Islamic faith schools and their being declared illegal could adversely affect "the admission arrangements in a very large number of faith schools of many different faiths and denominations".[16]

The Court of Appeal, however, in June 2009 declared that JFS, under the Race Relations Act 1976, had illegally discriminated against the child on grounds of race. They ruled that the mother's religious status, and thus her child's religious status, had been determined using a racial criterion rather than a religious criterion.[17][18] The school subsequently issued revised admissions criteria based on religious practice including synagogue attendance, formal Jewish education and volunteering.[19][20] JFS and the United Synagogue appealed to the Supreme Court, with the support of chief rabbi Jonathan Sacks.[21] On 16 December 2009, the UK Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeal's ruling.[22][23][24]

Notable former pupilsEdit


  1. ^ Nicola Woolcock (27 October 2009). "Jewish school JFS in Supreme Court to deny it broke law by turning boy away". London: TimesOnline.co.uk. Retrieved 9 November 2009. JFS, formerly the Jewish Free School, which is heavily oversubscribed,...
  2. ^ "Jews' Free School journal – The Jewish Museum". Jewishmuseum.org. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
  3. ^ "Jewish Free School, Camden Road, Camden LB". Discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk. January 1973. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
  4. ^ Miller, Helena; Grant, Lisa D.; Pomson, Alex (2 April 2011). International Handbook of Jewish Education. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 9789400703544.
  5. ^ TotallyJewish.com website Archived 2012-02-18 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Later elected first female president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews. Rachel Sylvester (17 July 2000). "First woman elected to lead Jewish board". The Telegraph. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
  7. ^ I, Jonathan Goldsmith, left in 1975 and Gatoff had been there 2 years by then
  8. ^ Freeman, Simon; Moore-Bridger, Benedict (8 May 2015). "300 pupils are sent home after exam day 'riot'". London Evening Standard. p. 21.
  9. ^ Name withheld (14 May 2015). "School mayhem was exaggerated". London Evening Standard (Letter to the editor). p. 59. ... it was no more than five or so students out of three hundred ...
  10. ^ "Protected Page – Enter password – JFS". Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  11. ^ https://jfs.brent.sch.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Transport-Final-Bus-Times-2018-.pdf
  12. ^ "JFS Home". Retrieved 6 September 2007.
  13. ^ "Secondary school league tables in Brent". BBC News. 21 March 2012.
  14. ^ Jonathan Romain (27 October 2009). "JFS puts faith schools in the dock". London: guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  15. ^ Graham Tibbets, "Boy refused admission to leading Jewish school was 'not victim of racial discrimination'", The Telegraph, 3 July 2008
  16. ^ R(E) v Governing Body of JFS [{{{year}}}] EWHC 1535 (Admin) (3 July 2008)
  17. ^ "Jewish school admissions unlawful", BBC, 25 June 2009
  18. ^ R(E) v Governing Body of JFS [{{{year}}}] EWCA Civ 626 (25 June 2009)
  19. ^ JFS (28 August 2009). "JFS – Admissions". Archived from the original on 3 February 2009. Retrieved 16 November 2009.
  20. ^ "Admissions Year 7 | JFS". www.jfs.brent.sch.uk. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  21. ^ Simon Rocker, "JFS: What's Next?", Jewish Chronicle, 3 July 2009
  22. ^ "Jewish school loses places fight". BBC News. 16 December 2009. Retrieved 6 May 2010.
  23. ^ R(E) v Governing Body of JFS [2009] UKSC 15
  24. ^ For a detailed summary of the decision see http://humanrightsinireland.wordpress.com/2009/12/16/the-uk-supreme-court-dismisses-the-jewish-free-school-appeal/
  25. ^ Simon Rocker (11 February 2010). "Bibi and the boy wonder". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 25 February 2010.
  26. ^ Ingham, Tim (14 December 2017). "David Joseph: 'We creatively empower our artists globally. I'm proud of that.'". Music Business Worldwide. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  27. ^ "From the archive: The Drapers Interview with River Island founder Bernard Lewis". Retrieved 23 September 2016.

External linksEdit