Friday, March 25, 2011

JC Article

The SWLJPS project appeared in this week's Jewish Chronicle. Here's a link to the article:

Shabbat shalom

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Here's a short article about the South West London Jewish Primary School (SWLJPS) Project.  Please have a read and let us know what you think.

The South West London Jewish Primary School (SWLJPS) Project
Frequently Asked Questions

As you may know, a committee is currently investigating the possibility of establishing a Jewish Primary School in South West London (possibly to be called SWLJPS). As we approach Pesach, a festival associated with four questions, the SWLJPS committee wants to increase awareness of what this project is all about by asking, and then answering, eight of our own questions.

Why a Jewish Primary School in South West London?
For many years there has been some interest in creating a Jewish Primary School in South West London. We want to establish how big that interest is today. We are aware of some of the reasons why there might be demand. There are pragmatic reasons, such as a shortage of school places in the area. Of course, there are also Jewish reasons. A Jewish school does not yet exist in South West London. Such a place could play a key role in educating the youngest generation of Jews in their religion, culture and history. It could become a special part of the region’s Jewish community. We are currently in the initial information-gathering stage. We’d love to hear from you to tell us whether or not you would like a Jewish Primary School in the area, why you feel that way and if your answer is ‘yes’ what you would like it to be like.

Is there a demand?
We know that there is a demand; we don’t know how big that demand is. This is why we’re currently conducting a short survey. If you haven’t already done so please complete this survey. You can request a survey by emailing us using the contact details below. So far we’ve had over 50 responses, the majority of which have been positive. Whether this will be enough to warrant a school, we’re not yet sure.

When will it open?
This depends on a range of factors, including how many children are in the relevant year groups. We hope that if it is going to go ahead it will be open by September 2013 at the latest and perhaps by September 2012.

Where will it be based?
We will take our lead from you. We want it to be based in the area that best suits the needs of those who will be accessing the school. The members of the SWLJPS committee come from across South West London and Surrey, indicating that it could be anywhere from Raynes Park to Richmond or Wimbledon to Esher. To express your preference please complete the survey.

What age will the intake be?
At the moment we are planning to open with a Reception class. We have no plans to open a linked nursery. Whilst not directly linked the project is supported by the highly successful and long-established Jewish nursery ‘Apples and Honey’ in Wimbledon.

What kind of school will it be?
SWLJPS will have a strong Jewish ethos. On the committee are Jews of all kinds. Some are members of synagogues and some are not. Some are more traditional than others. We intend for the school to include a wide range of people who share the identity ‘Jewish’. Determining the school’s ethos and curriculum is likely to be a rewarding process conducted in a positive and respectful way. The school is likely to be a Free School, a new type of state-funded school being developed by the current government.

How can I get involved?
We would love to enlist your help in moving the project forward. There are several jobs to be done and these will increase if SWLJPS becomes a reality. You could help with phone calls and mailouts, with ideas and suggestions, with money and contacts and with much more as well. We want to include as many people as possible so please don’t be shy.

How can I find out more?
For more information please us an email to or call us on 07786 607 534 (Carra Kane) / 07752 200 983 (Ben Baginsky).