Documents on Hackney educational establishments

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Dear The Learning Trust,

Please provide any documents, information, minutes and other records relating to the following two unregistered educational institutions operating in Hackney, or any other unregulated/unregistered establishment at those locations:

1) Tashbar (or Talmud Torah Tashbar) - operating in Rookwood Road or Egerton Road N16.

2) Satmar Yeshiva (or Yetev Lev School) in Lynmouth Road N16.

Both of these establishments have been operating for well over 30 years. I understand that the Learning Trust has only been operating since 2003, so can you please direct this to the relevant contact at Hackney to research the FOI request for earlier years?

I appreciate that reviewing of all these documents may be time consuming, it is therefore not necessary to provide all the original documents themselves - but rather just the nature of the document/reference, the context of why the establishment is mentioned and the date.

Thank you,
Mrs Weiss

The Learning Trust

[1]London Borough of Hackney logo

Dear Mrs Weiss,

FOI Ref: FOI15-1008-13494

Thank you for submitting a Freedom of Information request. Your reference
number is FOI15-1008-13494.

Your request will be responded to within 20 working days.

Yours sincerely,

Information Management Team - FOI

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Sean O'Regan, The Learning Trust

1 Attachment

Freedom of Information request - Documents on Hackney educational
establishments

 

Dear The Learning Trust, Please provide any documents, information,
minutes and other records relating to the following two unregistered
educational institutions operating in Hackney, or any other
unregulated/unregistered establishment at those locations:

 

1)      Tashbar (or Talmud Torah Tashbar) - operating in Rookwood Road or
Egerton Road N16. 2)

2)      Satmar Yeshiva (or Yetev Lev School) in Lynmouth Road N16.

 

Both of these establishments have been operating for well over 30 years. I
understand that the Learning Trust has only been operating since 2003, so
can you please direct this to the relevant contact at Hackney to research
the FOI request for earlier years?

 

I appreciate that reviewing of all these documents may be time consuming,
it is therefore not necessary to provide all the original documents
themselves - but rather just the nature of the document/reference, the
context of why the establishment is mentioned and the date.  

 

Your request has been considered and the answers to your questions are
listed below;

 

It should be noted at this stage that Hackney Learning Trust, as the local
authority for The London Borough of Hackney, has no statutory or
enforceable powers with regard to unregistered educational establishments.
If evidence of an unregistered educational establishment operating in the
borough is reported to Council officers, efforts are made to establish the
address of such establishments before the matter is referred to relevant
external agencies, such as the Department for Education and Ofsted, which
have the appropriate statutory powers to enter such establishments and
undertake further investigations where such action is deemed to be
necessary. Therefore, the information held by The Council is limited in
its scope and content. 

The nature and context of any documents or references to these two
educational institutions held in Council records are listed below in
chronological order;

 

1)      Tashbar (or Talmud Torah Tashbar) - operating in Rookwood Road or
Egerton Road N16. 

 

Summary of individual records held by Hackney Learning Trust:

 

1.      08/03/11 – Email from a member of the public raising concerns
about an unregistered school operating at a premises on Rockwood Road.
This school was brought to the attention of Hackney Learning Trust and the
Council, for the first time, in March 2011 by an email from a
whistleblower. The Council holds no records pertaining to this school
prior to receipt of this referral.

2.      24/03/11 – Meeting held and attended by various agencies in
response to the aforementioned referral. The purpose of the meeting was to
establish what course of action was required in relation to the referral
regarding an illegal primary school known as Tashbar School. Agreed
actions were as follows;

·         Invitation extended to the provider of the referral to discuss
the concerns raised and gather further information.

·         Coordination of site visit from the DfE.

·         To undertake research on the Charity Commission website.

·         To circulate minutes to Department for Education, Ofsted and
NSPCC.

·         To investigate as to whether there was a dedicated Jewish Police
Officer working in the local community.

3.      29/03/11 – email correspondence between the Local Authority
Designated Officer (LADO) and the provider of the referral. LADO invited
the referrer to attend a meeting, the referrer declined.

4.      08/06/11 – Minutes of a meeting titled ‘Illegal Schools in
Hackney’ held at the offices of The Learning Trust attended by various
Council officers, the Local Authority Designated Officer and a
representative from the Department for Education. References to Tashbar
are as follows;

·         This was a meeting about unregistered schools generally, but
also discussed Tashbar school

·         In relation to Tashbar school the minutes refer to an
unregistered school being a criminal offence; Ofsted’s powers in relation
to the school; the police powers in relation to the school; and the
position of parents.

·         The meeting agreed follow up actions for the DfE, the Council
and the City & Hackney Safeguarding Children Board in relation to Tashbar
school and unregistered schools generally

·         Ofsted to be informed of meeting.

5.      16/06/11 - Email sent to various Council officers from a member of
staff at the Department of Education updating as per actions agreed at
meeting on 24/03/11 (item no.2) as follows;

·         Confirming contact had been made with the Charity Commission and
Ofsted, seeking confirmation of date of next meeting.

·         Confirmation of Charity Commission looking into the matter and
their agreement to provide support as needed.

·         Confirmation that Ofsted were ready to supply inspectors as
needed to conduct visits to schools.

6.      30/07/11 and 06/07/11 – internal correspondence pertaining to the
production of a letter to be hand delivered to the Tashbar School. The
letter notified the school that the Council had received a complaint about
the school and invited school to make contact to arrange a meeting.

7.      19/07/11 - Internal email correspondence detailing a meeting
between the Hackney Learning Trust Children Missing Education Officer and
a representative of the school where issues relating to the aforementioned
referral and the process of registering the school were discussed.

8.      02 – 14/09/11 - Email correspondence between Council officers and
Department of Education, referring to contact with the aforementioned
school representative with regard to registering Tashbar School with DoE
and Ofsted.

9.      02/09/11 - Document produced internally at The Learning Trust
listing all known unregistered schools and dates on which they were
visited and when referrals were made to the Department for Education. This
document refers to Tashbar as being visited by Learning Trust staff to
confirm school activity and being subsequently referred to the Department
for Education.

10.  15/09/11 – Minutes of meeting attended by representatives of the
Department for Education, Charity Commission, Ofsted (by phone) and The
Learning Trust to discuss unregistered schools within Hackney’s Orthodox
Jewish Community. This meeting also coverd references to progress on the
concerns regarding Tashbar, for example:

·         Children Missing Education Officer at The Learning Trust
reported feedback on the positive meeting held on 18/07/11 with
representatives of the school. The allegation of abuse had now been
resolved and Children’s Social Care had now closed the safeguarding
element of the case.

·         The ongoing issue of registration will be overseen by The
Learning Trust on behalf of The Council.

·         Concerns re: curriculum, the teaching of English, the quality of
the premises and how the school would work with the local authority and
local SACRE were raised.

·         Noted that the school would need quick access to safeguarding
training, and that training programmes were already in place via the
Safeguarding Board to account for community needs.

11.  22 - 24/10/13 – email correspondence pertaining to a complaint
submitted to Hackney Learning Trust about unregistered schools operating
in Hackney. The complainant identified Talmud Torah Tashbar as an
unregistered school, however, none of the resulting correspondence or
documentation refers to Tashbar specifically.

12.  15/07/14 - Internal document briefing the Education Director on
previous work with the Department for Education to identify unregistered
schools and work toward their being registered. This document summarised
the points listed above with regard to Tashbar. Please see attached
document titled ‘Timeline’, which complements the summary provided in this
response.

13.  02/09/14 - Extract from a master list of unregistered educational
establishments in Hackney compiled by Hackney Learning Trust referring to
Talmud Torah Tashbar. This reference has been extracted from an internal
report to the Senior Leadership Team of Hackney Learning Trust on wider
issues around unregistered schools. This extract constitutes the only
reference to Tashbar within this document. Please note, the comments in
the final two columns are not those of Hackney Learning Trust officers.
Hackney Learning Trust does not have the required legal powers to
instigate legal proceedings against unregistered schools;

 

Appendix 2 – list of known unregistered schools  - compiled by DfE and HLT

 

Pre-reg: still has Await outcome of next
curriculum inspection and 21/8
failings and is on letter
action plan
 
Talmud Torah 1A Rookwood Road  
26 Tashbar E5 9LB HLT to confirm status
Written to 21/8/14 with DfE – visit site
with warning that if necessary to
if not registered discuss registration
by 5 January process and engagement
prosecution will with Ofsted
be considered

 

 

 

2)      Satmar Yeshiva (or Yetev Lev School) in Lynmouth Road N16.

 

Yetev Lev School is a registered independent school for boys aged 2-12 and
was last graded by Ofsted in 2011. Hackney Learning Trust has not received
any reports or allegations about the school acting outside of its
registration criteria, therefore, no investigation has been carried out to
identify unregistered pupils at the school.

Following a thorough search of our paper and electronic records I am
unable to locate any minutes of meetings where the Talmud Torah Yetev Lev
school is mentioned or discussed specifically.

 

Please note the information is still covered by copyright legislation. You
are not authorised to re-use this information for commercial or research
purposes as defined by the Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations
2005. If you do wish to re-use this information please contact the
Information Governance Team, 6-15 Florfield Road, Hackney, E8 1DT.

 

If you are dissatisfied with this response and wish to appeal, please
write to the Information Governance Team, Appeals, 6-15 Florfield Road,
Hackney, E8 1DT and your complaint will be dealt with through our Internal
Review procedure.

If you are still not satisfied following the Internal Review, you have a
right to appeal to the Information Commissioner. He can be contacted at:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF 
Telephone: 01625 545 700

[1]www.ico.gov.uk

Yours sincerely,

.......................................................

Sean O’Regan

Freedom of Information

and Data Protection Officer

Strategy, Policy and Governance Team

Hackney Learning Trust

London Borough of Hackney

1 Reading Lane, London, E8 1GQ

(020 8820 7382

* [2]sean.o'[email address]

.......................................................

 

 

 

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