Noam Primary School has broken ground on a 19-year journey to build its first premises while a council meeting this week decides its application for voluntary aid.
The top performing school, currently in Wembley, north London, has been housed in synagogue annexes for nearly two decades. But despite large challenges, the 170-pupil Orthodox school, which teaches the National Curriculum alongside its highly regarded Kodesh curriculum, has been counted among the Mayor of London’s top 100 schools and the top three performing Jewish primaries in recent SATS results. Now it has begun work on a £3.9m new building in Burnt Oak on Sunday. It will move closer to large Jewish kehillos and increase intake to 240 pupils.
The new school premises have been completely funded by parents, donors, and charitable trusts as far as the United States, who was listed at a ground-breaking ceremony on Sunday. A funding drive was also launched for funds currently secured via a loan, which includes opportunities for classrooms and other major facilities to be named after donors.
However, on Thursday (29/11/18) Barnet Council’s Children, Education, Libraries and Safeguarding Committee also decides the school’s long-awaited application for publicly funded Voluntary Aid status. The school is currently required to be fee-paying to fund the needs of the school. Voluntary aid could begin as soon as January.
300 parents, children and donors joined a ground-breaking ceremony on Sunday, attended by the mayor of Barnet, Cllr Reuben Thompstone. Trustee Dr Jeremy Rees, one of Noam’s founding parents, said the day marked the “end of a long, challenging project but the true beginning of Noam” and he thanked Barnet Council for ongoing support. “But first we must thank Hashem, who has led us in this incredible and difficult path to bring us to this time.”
Dr Rees also thanked Mr and Mrs George and Tamara Weisz, Mr Benjamin Pearl who had the vision to begin the school and Dayan Yonason Abraham, the school’s principal, who sent a message from Eretz Yisroel.
The school’s headteacher, Mrs Chaya Posen, said:
“The achievements of Noam are a culmination of a vision by parents who have never given up a dream. Like the Maccabees of Chanukah who fought for their beliefs with an ancient secret, these parents join Jewish history which is full of people undeterred by what looks like an impossible journey, and that’s the reason we here today.”
Governor’s chair Mr Michael Levene said:
“We are proud of the entire Noam family of parents, children, donors and supporters and looking forward to a new phase of our journey in our new home in Barnet. We pay tribute to the support from Barnet Council to realise the dream of hundreds of families, and call on the continued generosity of our community to believe in education as our primary future-proofing strategy.”