Home Information A Tribunal Concludes That A Jewish School “Put Child Safety At Risk.”

A Tribunal Concludes That A Jewish School “Put Child Safety At Risk.”

by Jasbinder Singh
A Tribunal Concludes That A Jewish School "Put Child Safety At Risk."

A tribunal found that a Jewish school in Sydney’s east violated fundamental child protection laws, employed an unqualified teacher, and was led by a man who is currently deemed unfit to lead a school. Following an NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal decision this week, it appears that Yeshiva College Bondi’s registration will be formally revoked within the next four weeks, forcing about 56 students from kindergarten through year nine to consider attending another school.

Since 2019 after the NSW Education and Standards Authority found numerous compliance issues, the college has been under scrutiny. Its historical practices were criticized in 2016 during the institutional child abuse royal commission.

Jewish School

Despite NESA’s increased scrutiny, the school consistently failed to meet even the most fundamental requirements, like ensuring that staff members had current clearances for working with children. One teacher taught Jewish studies courses without having received NESA accreditation or a WWC clearance, and another teacher’s WWC clearance wasn’t verified until their fourth week of employment. The tribunal found that these shortcomings showed that the Jewish school had been “putting the safety of children at risk” up until July 2021, and it upheld NESA’s decision to revoke Yeshiva’s registration.

The annual training for child protection, meanwhile, occasionally referred to out-of-date laws, and in 2021, only about half of the 25 staff members who worked with children attended. There was no mention of children actually suffering harm in the decision. Following the NCAT ruling, Education Minister Sarah Mitchell will examine the NESA’s recommendation and take action to formally deregister the school within the next four weeks. The division will aid students in switching schools.

All private schools must adhere to the Education Act’s registration requirements, according to a statement from NESA. Since 1956, the yeshiva has provided a Torah-centered education to Sydney’s Jewish Chassidic Orthodox community in various configurations. The school named a building after property billionaire Harry Triguboff after he intervened in 2012 due to financial difficulties to pay off millions of dollars in debt.

The school is discussing future plans for teachers and students “as we consider our options,” Rabbi Dovid Slavin said in a statement to the AAP on Wednesday. The school is “very much so” disappointed by the NCAT decision.

The rabbi refused to comment when asked if the school acknowledged that its violations of child protection put children’s safety in danger.

In her six years working for NESA and the Board of Studies, one inspector testified to NCAT that she had never seen a school fail so consistently to address compliance issues brought up by NESA.

The tribunal noted that while the school’s procedures had improved by late 2021, they still fell short of the necessary standards.

It was determined that Rabbi Slavin lacked an understanding of the registration requirements and was unable to provide sound financial management, so it was accepted that he was not a fit and proper person to be a responsible person for the school.

In addition, the tribunal found that he did nothing when his business manager revealed in December 2021 that he had recently declared bankruptcy.

These results, according to Rabbi Slavin, are disappointing.

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