Pupils being slapped with the hand and inadequate teaching were among failing uncovered by an emergency inspection at an Orthodox Jewish primary school.
Ofsted carried out an unannounced visit to the Talmud Torah Chaim Meirim Wiznitz School in Lampard Road, Stamford Hill, after concerns were raised by the Department for Education (DfE) over the children’s welfare, quality of the curriculum, teaching, and pupils’ progress – particularly in English and maths.
The subsequent report, published on February 6, alleged that pupils had told inspectors of incidents where teachers had “given them a small ‘slap’ with the hand” and that others had said it had been threatened as a punishment.
Provision of subjects such as history, geography, science, technology and physical education was deemed to be “inadequate” at the boys’ school, which has 230 pupils on its roll.
In their report, inspectors said “not enough attention” was given to these areas and “pupils were unable to describe in any detail a broad range of activities that they had undertaken in these subjects, especially physical education”.
The report also said pupils were making “inadequate progress in English and mathematics” and the curriculum was “too narrow”.
In addition, boys with special educational needs and limited English were found to be struggling to understand and complete their work, with teachers “not adequately meeting their needs”.
The report said pupils had a “very limited” understanding of other cultures and faiths and only a “sketchy” understanding of public institutions and services in England. They told the inspector that they had “little involvement in their local and wider community other than their immediate religious community”.
Senior staff’s child protection training certificates were also said to be out of date.
A range of recommendations for improvement have been made by the inspectors.
Ofsted previously carried out two inspections in 2012.
Cazenove ward Cllr Abraham Jacobson said: “It’s a long-established school which is run on a shoestring budget. It does not get money from the council and is run by volunteers. It does give a good education. I think it’s one of the best schools around.
“Physical education is a problem as the school doesn’t have a playing field.
“The school will be discussing and looking into all the issues and trying to address them.”