“Undercover BBC footage has shown a teacher apparently hitting a child in a suspected unregistered Charedi school in Southend.
As the boy walks away, the man appears to clip him around the ear from behind in film shot through a window, which was broadcast on news bulletins yesterday evening.
Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England, told the BBC that footage of this and of the man also appearing to manhandle a distressed child showed “huge safeguarding issues”.
“Any parent watching that would be very, very worried about what was going on,” she said.
Earlier this week, the Sunday Times reported the government was finally planning to take action against unauthorised schools.
According to the law, institutions which teach children more than 18 hours a week must be registered with the educational authorities.
The synagogue in Southend where the classes are held said it was unaware of any incidents taking place.
Although it said the classes were within the 18-hour limit, the BBC reported they were operating for longer period.
A Department for Education said yesterday before the BBC broadcast: “No child should be placed at risk and where a school is operating illegally action must be taken. We fund a joint team with Ofsted to target these organisations and as a result of that, 192 inspections have taken place and 50 warning notices have been issued. Thirty-eight unregistered schools have subsequently ceased to operate as schools and investigations are ongoing into the remainder.”
It said “evidence of criminal activity should be passed to the police who will investigate and allegations of children being placed at risk should be passed to the relevant local authority who have clear powers to take action.””