An investigation by The Independent has found that thousands of children in London have been moved to illegal Jewish faith schools where they may be at risk of abuse, and the evidence destroyed.
The schools are ultra-Orthodox Jewish faith schools at which boys are placed from the age of 13, and where they receive no education beyond studying religious texts.
A number of pupils leave school with little or no ability to speak English, and few – if any – qualifications or skills which equip them to work, or live independently.
Former pupils, campaigners and whistleblowers say that the schools have been operating in plain sight without government action for more than 40 years, despite the fact that running a non-registered school is a criminal offence, and physical violence and sexual abuse of children is alleged to have taken place inside the schools.
Redacted minutes of a meeting between the Department for Education and Hackney Learning Trust reveal that both bodies have been aware of the issue for at least six years - but the Trust's own minutes of the meeting in May 2010 record authorities admitting that they destroyed evidence of the abuse at the request of Jewish schools.