Source: The Jewish Chronicle
The government’s planned exclusion of Hebrew from a list of officially recognized languages for UK primary schools could damage Jewish education, the Board of Deputies warned this week. UK Education Minister announced plans last month to make it compulsory, from September 2014, to teach a foreign language to children aged seven to 11. Schools would be required to offer at least one of only seven recognized languages, excluding Hebrew. Many Jewish primary schools, which have to fit in Jewish studies alongside the national curriculum, currently offer Hebrew as their only foreign language. According to the Board, they would find it impossible to continue teaching it if they were compelled to offer another foreign language as well.
Four years ago, a Jewish Leadership Council report urged all Jewish schools to teach Hebrew and said that it was “disappointing” that some had preferred French as their foreign language.