I am not disagreeing with what has been written by previous posters. I know that I chose this school and others didn't so it is entirely different. I am just trying to balance what the perceived viewpoint of the Jewish religious education might be with the reality of experiencing it myself. I can only speak from my own perspective as a parent attending the school and my own beliefs.
I can't answer re the opt out re skull caps and diet. The 1944 Education Act suggests that a parent can opt out of religious instruction for their child in state funded school but how far that is taken in this faith school or other faith schools, I am no expert on. How far can pupils opt out of religious education or practices in other faith schools in the area? How far do parents on this thread want to opt out - is it the skull caps and diet that is causing the most concern or other practices too? I don't mind them so we haven't opted out, that is all I can say. You would all need to take this up with the school. I would hope that if a parent felt strongly enough, they could opt out.
But I would also hope that if you were a non-Christian forced to go to a Christian school, you would feel that you could execute this right effectively also? And what about participating in prayers at a secular school?
All I am saying is that during the religious worship of the school, some religious observance is required, as per if you were visting a place of religious worship. Of course, if you were forced to visit a mosque, church, synagogue or temple and didn't want to go, that would be a terrible thing.
I also think that focusing on just this faith school is missing the point of a much bigger debate about faith schools and how religious education is taught in our supposedly secular schools. I certainly am more concerned by the fact that councils do not provide completely secular schools where all viewpoints are taught equally and without enforced religious instruction/practice of any kind. I believe there is a proposal for a secular free school in the local area, which I hope comes to fruition - and that it really is truly secular.
How faith schools are funded be they MJPS or Our Lady Queen of Heaven and the school sites they habitate, it's all tax payers money, even if contributions do come from their religious communities! At least MJPS, has a fairer selection criteria.
And now I will depart to enjoy a sunny Bank Holiday and let others voice their opinons...