Jewish faith school caught censoring questions on science exam papers

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A state funded Jewish faith school has been caught blacking out questions on science exam papers.

The Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Exam board (OCR) launched an investigation into exam malpractice at the Yesodey Hatorah Jewish Voluntary Aided girls' secondary school after the NSS formally asked it to follow up unconfirmed reports that teachers had redacted questions in this year's GSCE science exam.

The precise questions that were blacked out has not been revealed by OCR, but earlier this year a Jewish education consultant warned that evolution in the new GCSE science curriculum could pose problems for strictly Orthodox schools.

The investigation confirmed pupils were left disadvantaged by being unable to access 3 marks out of 75 for a unit in a higher GCSE science exam, and 1 mark out of 75 for a unit on a lower paper.

Written By: National Secular Society
continue to source article at secularism.org.uk

30 COMMENTS

  1. Apart from these religio tactics, the teachers have invalidated the exam by opening the exam package before the exam date and time in order to censor it. That invalidates the exam. Looks like another school begging for closure.

  2. It is illegal for the school to open exam papers outside of the exam room and to alter them in any way. They should therefore be in trouble with all the exam boards, Ofqual and Ofsted. And that ban should cover all exams. Schools are in a position of trust to administer them. So the students should have been disadvantaged by more than three marks the whole exam was invalidated.

    Is it a normal state faith school or one of Goves loony new free schools?

  3. And of course whilst we’re on the subject of how our education secretary is aiming to wreck education lets not forget the Al Madinal free school which was closed by Ofsted last week.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24417085

    For forcing non Islamic female staff to wear a hijab and for forcing girls to sit at the back of the class! That is what happens when you hand education to ideologically driven idiots like Michael Gove. Creationist and extreme Muslim schools have all be queueing up to get huge sums of cash to run inappropriate schools since Gove introduced the notion of free schools. Yet nobody seems to object at all!

  4. The sooner we close all faith-based schools the better off the UK will be for genuine integration of multiple cultures. Education is the key to civilized societies. Putting faith-based superstitions ahead of reality education is the key to strife.

    • In reply to #4 by FrankMill:

      The sooner we close all faith-based schools the better off the UK will be for genuine integration of multiple cultures. Education is the key to civilized societies. Putting faith-based superstitions ahead of reality education is the key to strife.

      The problem is Goves policy is the antithesis of this. Academies and the even more ridiculous free schools are given huge amounts of freedom to do what they want. Even without the religious aspect they are often run by idiots. Gove is destroying education and nobody seems to be that bothered at all. Education is the key to continued freedom from religious fundamentalism, yet Gove is the first person to actively fund huge numbers of genuine religious fundamentalists who wish to open schools. We’ve had faith schools for ages and they are relatively benign if morally dubiuos but what we are getting now.

      And schools like Al Madinah are not in addition to the state schools they are actively leaching money from it. Real schools are drowning for lack of funding.

    • In reply to #6 by Billy Joe:

      Sing along now— “There’ll always be an England…”

      err- not as we knew it, Jim!

      Christ I am glad I escaped 35 years ago…

      The United Kingdom has a long history, compared to a lot of countries, of religious tolerance. This is why the Puritans departed for the New World: too much freedom of religion in their homeland.

      According to Wikipedia, in the 2011 UK census a mere 263,346 identified themselves as Jewish. From a population of more than 62 million, this figure is pretty negligible.

      This, from the same Wiki page:

      In 2013 it has been reported that due to anti-semitic attacks in France upon Jews, this has led to an exodus of French Jews who have moved across to the UK. This has resulted in some synagogues establishing French-language Shabbat services to fulfill a growing demand.

      I’m inclined to agree with Doctor Johnson’s assertion that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, but as someone who is half-British, for reasons I can’t fully explain this mini exodus across the Channel fills me with no small amount of pride.

      Do you mind me asking where you ex-patted to?

      • The Puritans left the land because there was too much religious freedom??? This would be the freedom that saw Protestant martyrs burnt at the stake and Catholics having to hide their priests in priest-holes? Are you sure you’ve got this right?In reply to #11 by Katy Cordeth:

        In reply to #6 by Billy Joe:

        Sing along now— “There’ll always be an England…”

        err- not as we knew it, Jim!

        Christ I am glad I escaped 35 years ago…

        The United Kingdom has a long history, compared to a lot of countries, of religious tolerance. This is why the Puritans departed for the New W…

        • In reply to #16 by dulcie:

          The Puritans left the land because there was too much religious freedom??? This would be the freedom that saw Protestant martyrs burnt at the stake and Catholics having to hide their priests in priest-holes? Are you sure you’ve got this right?

          I think so. I’m no expert on this period in history, but I do know the idea that the Pilgrims were fleeing religious persecution is a myth which persists to this day in the Land of the Free.

          The clue is in the name: Puritan, as in puritanical.

          From [Puritan migration to New England (1620–1640)](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Migration_to_New_England_(1620%E2%80%931640) (Wiki)

          The Puritans created a deeply religious, socially tight-knit, and politically innovative culture that is still present within the modern United States. They hoped this new land would serve as a “redeemer nation.” They fled England and in America attempted to create a “nation of saints”: an intensely religious, thoroughly righteous, community designed to be an example for all of Europe. Roger Williams, who preached religious toleration, separation of Church and State, and a complete break with the Church of England, was banished and founded Rhode Island Colony, which became a haven for other refugees from the Puritan community, such as Anne Hutchinson.[6] Quakers were brutally expelled from Massachusetts, but they were welcomed in Rhode Island.[7]

          Four Quakers, known as the Boston martyrs, who remained in Massachusetts and refused to stop practicing their religion were executed by public hanging.

          From Boston Martyrs (Wiki)

          The Boston martyrs is the name given in Quaker tradition to the three English members of the Society of Friends, Marmaduke Stephenson, William Robinson and Mary Dyer, and to the Friend William Leddra of Barbados, who were condemned to death and executed by public hanging for their religious beliefs under the legislature of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1659, 1660 and 1661. Several other Friends lay under sentence of death at Boston in the same period, but had their punishments commuted to that of being whipped out of the colony from town to town.

          The hanging of Mary Dyer on the Boston gallows in 1660 marked the beginning of the end of the Puritan theocracy and New England independence from English rule. In 1661 King Charles II explicitly forbade Massachusetts from executing anyone for professing Quakerism. In 1684 England revoked the Massachusetts charter, sent over a royal governor to enforce English laws in 1686, and in 1689 passed a broad Toleration act.”[1][2]

          This is way off-topic though, so if you want to respond, can I ask that you do so on this thread or another appropriate one of your choice.

        • In reply to #16 by dulcie:

          The Puritans left the land because there was too much religious freedom??? This would be the freedom that saw Protestant martyrs burnt at the stake and Catholics having to hide their priests in priest-holes? Are you sure you’ve got this right?

          Yes (although it’s not my post). The Pilgrim Fathers (who were Separatists, not exactly Puritans) left because they were not allowed the freedom to persecute whom they liked. They found that freedom in New England. Puritans in England were not persecuted. There had been two main periods of religious persecution – of Protestants under Queen “Bloody” Mary, and of Catholics under Elizabeth (but only after attempts by Catholics to kill the monarch, overthrow the government, or by Catholic Spain to invade).

  5. The professionals have stated their expert opinion on Gove!

    Headteachers Union Passes Vote Of No Confidence In Michael Gove, Coalition’s Educational Reforms

    Headteachers passed a vote of no confidence in the Government’s education policies on Saturday.

    Many of education secretary Michael Gove’s reforms are “not in the best interests of children”, according to delegates at the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) conference in Birmingham.

    The other teaching unions say likewise!

    The UK’s three biggest teachers’ unions, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the NASUWT passed similar votes at their Easter conferences.

    Gove is a Tory twit “know-it-all-ignoramus”, who does not listen to expert advice! -

    Just like other members of the clown cabinet, such as the quackologist health secretary!

  6. Gove forced open the door that Blair had unlocked. We had faith based Academies before we had free schools – the big difference being Free schools do not have to follow the national curriculum. The dubious idea being sold is that freedom of choice trumps educational standards and I’ve yet to see any politician explain why abandoning the National Curriculum can be a good thing.

    Add in the fact that Free schools do not have to match any pay standards, recognise unions or even use qualified teachers in the class room and its hard not to see how a two tier system is developing. Those getting a normal education and those getting one where training and standards take a backseat to the religious zeal of the instructor to the detriment of the pupils and ultimately society.

    • In reply to #8 by mr_DNA:

      Gove forced open the door that Blair had unlocked. We had faith based Academies before we had free schools – the big difference being Free schools do not have to follow the national curriculum. The dubious idea being sold is that freedom of choice trumps educational standards

      I think it works on the “Gove principle” that any faith-head or Tory twit can run a school!

      http://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/oct/09/free-school-head-no-teaching-qualifications-leaves-job

      London free school headteacher with no teaching qualifications quits

      Michael Gove has called for more people without teaching qualifications to take over schools.

      A 27-year-old headteacher controversially appointed to take over a free school despite having no teaching qualifications has left her job, the Guardian can disclose.

      Annaliese Briggs was appointed principal of Pimlico primary in central London in March by a charity set up by a government minister. She had no teaching qualifications and little experience in running a school. The new free school is sponsored by the Future Academies charity set up by Lord Nash, a junior schools minister and one of Michael Gove’s closest allies.

      Sources close to the academy say she was finding it difficult to cope with the workload. One local teacher, who did not want to be named, said he was surprised that such an inexperienced candidate had been selected.

      “She was not happy because she could not cope with the job, full stop. It was too much to learn, too quickly.”

      Briggs, an English literature graduate from Queen Mary, University of London, had worked as a junior member of staff at the rightwing thinktank Civitas. She had no qualifications when appointed but was reportedly trained in Wandsworth in preparation for the beginning of the school year. She said that she would ignore the national curriculum and teach lessons “inspired by the tried and tested methods of ED Hirsch Jr”, the controversial American academic behind what he calls “content-rich” learning.

      Gove has called for more people without teaching qualifications to take over schools. In 2010, the education secretary announced that free schools – which are outside the control of local authorities but funded by the state – would be allowed greater leeway over appointments.

      Last summer he extended such freedoms to the country’s 1,500 academies, claiming that removal of the requirement for staff to have qualified teacher status (QTS) would replicate the “dynamism” that he believes is found in private schools.

      So there you have it! Any Tom, Dick or Harry with and absence of teaching skills, meets the level of relevant job skills on a par with those required of cabinet members. It’s the old school Tory formula of arrogance and ignorance!

      As with Gove’s appointment, they are selecting people who just cannot do the job, but who lack the vision to recognise their own limitations. Very Dunning-Kruger!

      • In reply to #9 by Alan4discussion:

        In reply to #8 by mr_DNA:

        As with Gove’s appointment, they are selecting people who just cannot do the job, but who lack the vision to recognise their own limitations.

        I’d get used to him. Little Michael may be moving up in the world. He could well become the country’s next Prime Minister, with the idiot Farrige as deputy PM:

        Farage: I’ll do deal with Tories if Gove becomes leader

        So there you have it! Any Tom, Dick or Harry with and absence of teaching skills, meets the level of relevant job skills on a par with those required of cabinet members.

        Welcome to the Big Society.

  7. These “teachers” should be struck off and prevented from teaching in any UK school ever again.

    No excuses.

    This is a state school in Stanford Hill (a very Jewish part of London), founded as an independent school in 1942, and which converted (unusually) to the state sector in 2005. As such it is liable to external inspection by Ofsted. Ofsted currently give the school their highest rating, “outstanding”.

    I would hope somebody is seriously reappraising that verdict now, and arranging an emergency inspection.

  8. The precise questions that were blacked out has not been revealed by OCR, but earlier this year a Jewish education consultant warned that evolution in the new GCSE science curriculum could pose problems for strictly Orthodox schools.

    I think what they meant to say was that strict Orthodox schools could pose problems for a proper education

  9. It’s surely impossible that the teachers at the Jewish school “redacted” parts of exam papers ? After all, aren’t they driven by an “objective morality” ?

    Moses must be rolling over in his basket.

  10. I feel I must be missing something with this whole faith school business.

    If I were a member of a religious organisation, and we decided that we wanted to run a school, the only possible motive for doing so would be to apply our religious beliefs within the school. For that is why we exist.

    So, unless the government is entirely happy for a religious organisation to apply its religious beliefs within a school, I do not begin to understand why they would even consider it appropriate or worthwhile allowing a religious organisation to run a school.

    Can anyone explain?

  11. Simon Tuffen @18 – Can anyone explain?

    Tory “Old-boy-network” policies, are about creating opportunities for opportunists (Known as cowboy-outfits in the US).
    After a period of denial, they then pretend to look gob-smacked when the totally predictable abuses come to light as media headlines later!
    (Who would have thought that faith-heads would indoctrinate children or mess-up if they were left in charge, with advisory and supervisory machinery removed????)
    This would be classified as, “foresight”, or “listening to warnings from professionals”! – Not the sort of thing Cameron’s ministers would become involved in! They may know none of the questions a critical evaluation would require of new ideas, but they “KNOW” ALL of the answers!
    Let their party hacks and supporters play with the education system at public expense, and it will miraculously become wonderful! (SEE @9) – No experience, educational expertise, or administrative skills required!

    • In reply to #20 by Alan4discussion:

      Simon Tuffen @18 – Can anyone explain?

      Tory “Old-boy-network” policies…

      But didn’t Labour state the whole “free school” business? At least, as far as I’m aware, none of the major parties are against the idea of “free schools” or “faith schools”. I don’t think it’s purely a Tory policy.

      • In reply to #21 by Simon Tuffen:

        But didn’t Labour state the whole “free school” business? At least, as far as I’m aware, none of the major parties are against the idea of “free schools” or “faith schools”. I don’t think it’s purely a Tory policy.

        That is about right, but basically because Tony Blair (the closet Catholic) modelled himself on Margaret Thatcher, stole the Tories clothes, and ingratiated himself with the muppet media and the likes of Bush!
        The Tories have greatly extended this since.

        However, the concept of deregulating everything while every rogue and profiteer is given free reign, is very much Tory ideology!
        (You will note, that at a time of austerity, Cameron is busy instigating legal action against the European regulators, who want to restrict the bonuses of those poor deprived bankers, to only twice their annual salaries!)

  12. A religion hostile to science? I’m shocked! I thought that science and religion coexisted peacefully. After all, we have had so many people, religious and atheist alike, assure us that these two epistemologies live in peaceful, mutual masturbation nirvana.

    And if religious people can’t teach children in accordance with the law, then they should get the hell out of the education game. After all, no is forcing them to run indoctrination centers for the intellectually defenseless.

  13. From the article,

    The time has come to draw a line under this faith schools experiment and separate the realms of religion and state education. Our schools should be about teaching young people how to think, rather than what to think.

    More or less sums it up.

  14. Girls attending Yesodey Hatorah are strongly discouraged from going to university. According to Rabbi Pinter: “Our experience, is that the better educated girls turn out to be the most successful mothers. For us, that’s the most important role a woman plays.”

    Not only is this contradictory, but it is also the most misogynistic crap I’ve heard in weeks. Half of the human population’s populace is just to be a parent.

  15. Alan4Discussion
    The other teaching unions say likewise!

    The UK’s three biggest teachers’ unions, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the NASUWT passed similar votes at their Easter conferences.

    Alan that is the polite version of teachers take on Gove, a vote of no confidence. Come into any school staff room to hear exactly what we think. Can’t print it here obviously I’d be banned for obscenity, but moron with various expletives either side sums up the teaching professions take on Gove.

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