Pupils at London Jewish school told they don't need to wear logo and detentions cancelled amid hate crime fears

10 October 2023, 10:46 | Updated: 10 October 2023, 11:12

The gates of the Jewish Free School (L) and the vandalised kosher restaurant in Golders Green
The gates of the Jewish Free School (L) and the vandalised kosher restaurant in Golders Green. Picture: Google/Social media

By Asher McShane

Pupils at a North London Jewish school have been told they must not wear uniforms bearing its logo amid fears of reprisals after the Hamas attack on Israel.

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The Metropolitan Police is increasing the level of security and number of patrols outside Jewish schools in London to provide “reassurance”.

Security outside Jewish institutions in London is commonplace, with bag searches carried out and security guards regularly deployed, but some places are now taking extra steps in light of the current conflict.

Pupils from the Jewish Free School in Kenton, North London are being given extra security.

As an extra measure, after-school detentions have been cancelled this week so that all pupils can get on school buses to take them home.

The school said in an email to parents that “should students wish not to wear a blazer then I would understand that decision.”

Read more: 'My heart is broken, my baby brother is gone': Sister's tribute after British photographer killed in Israel by Hamas

Read more: We will protect you: Foreign Secretary’s message to Britain’s Jewish people as protests erupt over Israel-Hamas conflict

David Moody, headmaster said: “In conjunction with increased patrols from the Metropolitan Police, CST has deployed extra security to ensure the safe travel of our students to and from school. We are indebted for their support and our thoughts are with all those families who have been impacted by the terrorist attacks.”

A school spokesman added: ““The most important thing is to ensure the safe passage of students between home and school and to make sure that this school is set up to care for our children during the school day.

“To that end, there will be no after-school detentions this week so that we can make sure everyone is able to access the school buses should this be their normal route home. In addition, I think the badge of our school, which has been a safe haven for Jews for nearly 300 years, is important, but should students wish to not wear a blazer then I would understand that decision. As such, they will be optional for the next week.”

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “We are aware of a number of incidents, including those that have been shared on social media, in relation to the ongoing conflict in Israel and the border with Gaza. The Met has increased policing patrols across parts of London in order to provide a visible presence and reassurance to our communities.”

Pita restaurant in Golders Green had its doors smashed
Pita restaurant in Golders Green had its doors smashed. Picture: Social Media

It comes after a kosher restaurant in Golders Green was vandalised. However the police said it was not treating the incident as a hate crime ‘at this stage’.

Pita in Golders Green had its front doors shattered by a gas canister. A nearby railway bridge was daubed with a pro-Palestinian slogan.

A Met spokesman said: “Police were called at approximately 06:10 on Monday, 9 October, to reports of a burglary and damage caused to a restaurant in Golders Green Road, NW11.

“It was reported that a cash register had been stolen. Officers have attended the scene and examined CCTV at the location. There has been no arrest and enquiries into the circumstances are ongoing. At this stage, the incident is not being treated as a hate crime.”

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