THOUSANDS of people turned out for a series of open days at a new cross-community Jewish state secondary school in New Barnet last week.

Bosses believe the 2,600 parents and potential pupils who attended the events last Wednesday and Saturday is a record number for a new Jewish school.

It was the first opportunity many had to meet staff and students and look around the facilities at the Castlewood Road site since it opened to 148 students in September.

A further 180 places for 11-year-olds will be available from September next year, and speaking to parents, headteacher Jeremy Stowe-Lindner said: “JCoSS is an academic school, offering a friendly and supportive atmosphere.

“We expect the best from our students and our staff and have established a framework to enable each and every individual to fulfil their potential.”

Before the open days, the high interest lead senior staff to urge those not considering the school for entry in the next two years to stay away.

The strong demand for places follows the completion of the school, which was nine years in the planning and building. It is only the second parent-promoted school in the country to open, and is the first non-academy to be awarded specialist status, in science, before opening.

Chair of governors, Mike Grabiner, said: “For the best part of ten years we have been planning for this moment: finding a site, raising money, recruiting the very best staff, building and equipping a state-of-the-art facility, garnering support from across the community.

“Now, overnight, we have gone from nowhere to, without any siblings, the second most popular Jewish school in the country, with students from every section of our community.”