logo-education
0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

ethnicity vs. religion - JFS loses admissions battle

17 December 2009

The Supreme Court has found that the Jewish Free School racially discriminated against an applicant when it refused a place to a pupil who it did not consider to be ethnically Jewish. The school refused the boy admission even though he regularly attended a synagogue because the boy's mother had become Jewish by conversion with a Progressive synagogue. The Office of the Chief Rabbi (OCR) rules stipulate that only conversions with an Orthodox synagogue are recognised.

The court found that the school's admissions policy in this way amounted to direct race discrimination under the 1976 Race Relations Act and that the OCR rules implied a reference to ethnic origin prohibited under the Act.

This ruling clearly spells the end for admissions policies based on OCR criteria. However, it also has the potential to impact on aspects of admissions policies in other faith schools. What remains to be seen is whether this judgment will have any application outside of faiths where there is close interrelationship between faith and ethnicity such as is found in Judaism.

related opinions

Lateral flow testing in schools

Lateral flow testing is underway in schools across England to provide rapid Covid-19 testing of staff and students in secondary schools and colleges.

View blog

School opening FAQ – 4 January 2021

Our FAQ has been put together to assist you in decision-making on school opening.

View blog

Return of university students for the spring term

The government has issued guidance on how University students will return and resume blended learning after the Christmas break - what does this mean for HE providers?

View blog

Covid-19 student testing and the Christmas travel window

The government has issued its guidance on how University students will be able to travel home safely at Christmas.

View blog

Mark Blois

Mark Blois

Partner and Head of Education

View profile

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up