London – Hebrew Excluded From List Of Approved Foreign Languages In UK Primary Schools


    London – Beginning in September 2014, the UK will require primary schools to offer and teach at least one of seven approved languages to students between the ages of seven and 11, with the exclusion of the Hebrew language. The Board of Deputies has said such a move could have a negative impact on Jewish education in the UK.

    The Jewish Chronicle reports ( that this compulsory proposal will prove difficult to comply with for many Jewish primary schools which already provide instruction in Jewish studies and the national curriculum, and presently only teach Hebrew as a foreign language. The Board says Jewish schools will be unable to offer both Hebrew and another foreign language in the daily schedule.

    But some Jewish primary schools like the Michael Sobell Sinai School in Kenton already manage to teach a second foreign language besides Hebrew, including offering instruction in French and some Spanish.

    Laura Marks, senior vice-president of the Board of Deputies, said the government’s plan would likely be “extremely detrimental to our community’s identity, as language — including modern and classical Hebrew — is a vital ingredient to understanding our faith and culture.” She said the government should “reject the idea of stipulating just a narrow range of languages.”

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