The Rise and Rise of Jewish Schools in the United Kingdom: Numbers, Trends and Policy Issues

Published: 
2016

Source: Institute for Jewish Policy Research

 

The number of Jewish children in Jewish schools in the UK has almost doubled since the mid-1990s, rising from 16,700 then to over 30,000 now, while the number of Jewish schools has jumped from 62 to 139 over the same period. This report is the first in a series of studies being produced by the new partnership between the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, cooperating on the collection, analysis and publication of key community statistics. The results of the study show that the majority of the 30,900 Jewish children studying in Jewish schools in 2014/15 were in haredi schools (17,500, or 57%), whilst the remainder (13,400, or 43%) were in mainstream schools. Twenty years ago, the equivalent proportions were 45% strictly Orthodox, 55% mainstream. The shifting balance provides further evidence of the changing composition of the British Jewish community.

The growth in the haredi sector is particularly striking. There are three times as many haredi schools in the UK today as there were twenty years ago, educating 10,000 more children between them.

However, the overall increase in enrolment is not exclusively due to the growth of the haredi population. A significant part of the upsurge can also be explained by developments in the non-haredi or ‘mainstream’ sector.

More than four out of ten mainstream Jewish school-age children are now studying in Jewish schools, compared with just a quarter twenty years ago. In numerical terms, that constitutes an increase of over 4,000 children. To accommodate this increase, there are 11 more Jewish schools operating in the mainstream sector than there were in the mid-1990s. Collectively, about 85% of all pupils studying in them are Jewish.

Read more at Institute for the Institute for Jewish Policy Research website.

Updated: Dec. 14, 2016
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