Plans to build the first ever inclusive Jewish secondary school in Barnet took a leap forward this week, when the committee running the project submitted a £46m funding bid to the Department for Education and Skills (Dfes).

The Jewish Community Secondary School (JCoSS) committee announced it had made the bid on May 27 for a new school on the current site of East Barnet Upper School in Westbrook Crescent, New Barnet.

The plan is for the East Barnet School to be redeveloped at the same time with a completely new building on a single campus on its other site in Chestnut Grove, New Barnet.

JCoSS is supported by its partners, Norwood, Anglo Jewry's leading charity for children and family service, and ORT, the world's leading educational specialists.

It also published independent research this week illustrating the demand for an inclusive Jewish secondary school.

The research, carried out by Carrick James Market Research, found that parents from every section of the Jewish community by a majority of 64 per cent would prefer to send their children to a Jewish rather than a non-Jewish secondary school. Of those questioned, 20 per cent expressed no preference.

Jonathan Fingerhut, joint chairman of JCoSS, said: "Whether it is parents seeking to instil into their children a moral and ethical framework, or merely wanting to escape the yob culture, there can be no doubt that demand for JCoSS is far deeper and broader across the whole Jewish community, than we had ever dared to believe.

"What these figures show is that an inclusive Jewish secondary school will thrive and be capable of attracting large numbers of pupils, whose parents would never consider sending their children to any existing exclusively Orthodox options."

It will be four years before any building begins, if the funding is approved, but more than 200 parents have already registered their children as prospective pupils on the web site,