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Temporary Changes to CRP Announced

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Temporary Changes to CRP Announced 

Temporary Certificate of Religious Practice (CRP) measures for the 2021/22 intake, have been developed by the Office of the Chief Rabbi and the United Synagogue, in close consultation with Schools, in order to overcome the significant challenges posed to school admissions which has been caused by the closure of synagogues due to Covid-19.  

With synagogues closed since March, parents hoping to gain CRP points to send their children to Jewish schools have been unable to do so. This is because under normal circumstances, attending synagogue is an integral part of the CRP process and the most common way that parents can demonstrate Jewish religious practice in order to establish faith priority. Whilst synagogues are now beginning a gradual and cautious process of re-opening, the Office of the Chief Rabbi and the United Synagogue have recommended that children under 12 do not attend services until the new arrangements have been carefully tested. No suitable alternative mechanism existed until this interim CRP plan was devised, and it has attempted to keep as much of the existing CRP framework intact as is possible in the circumstances.

Since the beginning of lockdown, the Office of the Chief Rabbi, together with the United Synagogue and a number of primary and secondary Jewish schools have been in close contact with the Office of the Schools Adjudicator (OSA) and the Department for Education (DfE) to provide a workable solution that makes it possible for parents to gain CRP points without attending in-person synagogue services.

These new changes only affect the school intake for the 2021/22 academic year and it is anticipated that the original CRP system will be restored for following year, subject to a return to normal arrangements.

The key changes are:

Families who have previously established faith priority for a sibling at the school being applied to, will automatically receive all four points needed and need only to make this clear on the form.

There is now the provision for attendance at some ‘online services’, on erev Shabbat and erev Chag, rather than physically attending synagogue, to count towards CRP points, something which previously was not possible.

There is now extra time to complete some of the CRP requirements. Applicants for secondary school need to submit their applications by 31st October 2020 and applicants for primary school by 15thJanuary 2021.

The United Synagogue will be providing an optional Jewish online educational course, open to all, that will give parents an extra opportunity to collect the required number of points.

A spokesman for the Office of the Chief Rabbi said: “In these most difficult of circumstances, these temporary measures will ensure that families applying for places at Jewish schools next September can still do so in the most streamlined and straightforward way possible.”