Against a background of a shortage of general primary places Simon Goulden offers this think piece:
It is only a very few years ago that the pages of the Jewish press were filled with letters from anguished parents, claiming that they were unable to get their children into the Reception class of a school near to them, both geographically and philosophically. In response, PaJeS, or at least its predecessor, started to collect data on school places and demand. However, within a very short space of time, the Free School movement had begun and the Jewish community has not been backward in coming forward with proposals, most of which have been accepted. By September 2013, there will be five Jewish primary ‘free schools’ in the London area and one secondary in Leeds. Not only that, but some existing schools have added capacity by doubling their places, either as ‘bulge classes’ or on a more permanent basis and there have been some new entrants to the market. In broad terms, the centrist orthodox and pluralist communities have added about 200 new places to the existing stock, not counting the burgeoning strictly orthodox sector, where demand almost always outstrips supply.