Jews in Golders Greeen face threat
A Jewish family in Golders Green, north west LondonReuters

The Hasidic sect which banned mothers from driving children to its schools has performed a U-turn and dropped the controversial policy.

Belz Hasidim caused outrage earlier in June 2015 when it decreed that children driven to its Stamford Hill, north London schools by their mothers would be turned back at the gates.

Ahron Klein, the chief executive of the Talmud Torah Machzikei Hadass boys' school and Beis Malka girls' school, told the local Hackney Gazette newspaper: "The headteacher sent out the letter on behalf of the spiritual heads of the community who had not taken into account the implications of such a policy.

"Neshei Belz, which is our women's organisation, also issued a statement saying that our values may be compromised in driving a vehicle, although they added that they respect individual choices made in this matter.

"However, the message that children will be excluded has not come from the school's board of Governors who did not approve the letter in advance.

"The school believes that women have a choice about whether they want to drive or not, and our policy is to accept all children who are members of our community, which we have been doing for the last 40 years."

He added: "Our main focus is the success of our children and this will always remain the case."

Belz's original decision had sparked anger in and outside the British Jewish community.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan ordered an inquiry into the move, warning that it could breach independent school rules.

The Equalities and Human Rights Commission also took up the issue, stating: "This sort of discrimination has no place in our society" and it was "unlawful to ban children from school attendance because their mothers, rather than their fathers, drive them there".

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis also dissociated himself from a view of women "which is both objectionable and at odds with Jewish values".