1. ITV Report

Government investigation after Hasidic Jewish sect in Stamford Hill 'bans' women from driving children to school

An investigation into the claims has been launched Photo: PA

An investigation has been launched after women in Stamford Hill were told they are not allowed to drive their children to school.

The strict ruling came from rabbis in an orthodox Jewish sect in Stamford Hill, north London which runs the school.

Mothers were told if they did drive, then their children would be barred from the classroom as punishment.

The Department of Education has confirmed that the matter is being investigated.

The school said its choice of words was "unfortunate" but it had a duty to provide an education in line with its religious traditions.

This is completely unacceptable in modern Britain.

If schools do not actively promote the principle of respect for other people they are breaching the independent school standards.

Where we are made aware of such breaches we will investigate and take any necessary action to address the situation.

– Nicky Morgan, Education Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities

In a letter published on Jewish websites, the Hasidic Belz rabbis say women drivers are 'contrary to the rules of religious modesty'.

The letter warns pupils will be barred from lessons unless there are medical reasons for their mother to behind the wheel of a car.

This is so out of line with any Jewish values. It doesn't represent our religion and it's draconian. It's a terrible, terrible thing.' Dina Brawer, Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance

The only other place you hear of things like that is Saudi Arabia, so it's completely shocking that women would be told they can't drive their children to school. It is a worrying threat.


As a repercussion for a woman who drives in a car, she cannot send her children to be educated at institutions of the Belz Chasidim.

We therefore announce that as of Rosh Chodesh Elul (Aug 14th), a student whose mother drives will not be allowed to study in our institutions.

If a mother has no other choice and has to drive for extenuating reasons (for example medical), she should submit a request to the special committee to this effect and the committee shall consider her request.