Private Jewish school fails Ofsted inspection yet again

19 September, 2023

An independent faith school in North London has once again received an ‘inadequate’ rating from Ofsted, and was also judged to not meet the Independent School Standards. The inspection report contains significant concerns over the narrow curriculum content, which focuses overwhelmingly on religious education to the detriment of subjects such as English, maths, and science.

Humanists UK, which has long campaigned for better regulation of independent faith schools, said ‘enough was enough’ and called on the Government to shut down the school.

This latest failure means that the school has now failed nine inspections in as many years. Talmud Torah Toldos Yakov Yosef is an Orthodox Jewish school based in North London, which opened in 1986. It has only had one ‘good’ rating since 2008, but after Humanists UK raised concerns about the bias of some Charedi inspectors in 2015, and such inspectors were stood down, it has never passed an inspection. 

As a result of its poor performance, since 2014 it has been inspected on a near-annual basis, with the most recent being June of this year. The report from this inspection states that:

‘Leaders do not provide suitable opportunities for pupils to learn about different religions and beliefs. This means that pupils do not gain sufficient knowledge about the range of cultures and religions in modern Britain… the [RSE] curriculum programme is limited and does not cover all the required aspects.’

The report goes on to explain that the school has failed to address ‘almost all’ of the unmet standards from the previous inspection, and that pupils are not prepared for life in modern Britain. Alarmingly, children at reception level are not even taught in English, and when English is introduced later, the books provided are not compatible with the teaching methods. 

Humanists UK has previously reported that a shocking 40% of private faith schools fail to meet Ofsted standards. Such schools are renowned for their failure to uphold respect and understanding of the Equality Act’s protected characteristics, and teaching on the ‘British Values’ of tolerance and respect for people from different backgrounds and beliefs is often absent. Meanwhile, creationism and science denial is also common. 

Humanists UK’s Education Campaigns Manager Robert Cann said:

‘This is another example of a private faith school getting away for years with a woefully inadequate approach to children’s education. It should be now patently obvious that the school leadership has no intention of providing children with a well-rounded curriculum enabling them to be ready for life in modern Britain, but would rather indoctrinate them instead. 

‘The Government has the power to shut such schools down if they repeatedly fail to meet the required standards. Enough is enough. With clear evidence dating back 15 years that this school is failing pupils, this school must now be shut down.’


For further comment or information, media should contact Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson at or phone 020 7324 3072 or 020 3675 0959.

Read the Ofsted reports on Talmud Torah Toldos Yakov Yosef school. 

Read more about our work on private faith schools.

Read our article about 40% of independent faith schools fail to meet Ofsted standards.

Humanists UK is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people. Powered by 110,000 members and supporters, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. We provide ceremonies, pastoral care, education, and support services benefitting over a million people every year and our campaigns advance humanist thinking on ethical issues, human rights, and equal treatment for all.