At least two Kingston schools have cancelled visits to synagogues due to fears of a potential Paris-style terrorist attack on Jewish places of worship.

In what a leading Jewish figure described as "a three-fold victory to perpetrators of terror and extremism", the Coombe Federation - Coombe Boys and Girls Schools, both in New Malden - withdrew from a planned visit to one of the borough's two synagogues as part of events marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

But the federation said the decision was influenced by the synagogues' announcement that security was being stepped up in the wake of the Paris atrocities.

Rabbi Samuel Landau from Kingston, Surbiton and District United Synagogue, said: "Members of the community were told they [schools] were no longer coming due to concerns over safety of the children.

"They put it down to what is happening around the world. They did not feel comfortable coming down."

In a letter to the Surrey Comet, Rabbi Landau said he believed the reason the for the cancellation was "fear of the children being in a synagogue, fear of association with Jews".

Explaining his letter, he added: "I can understand a governor or a head is responsible for looking after their children - but to take that position.

"We as a community are being marginalised.

"We never wanted it to be about bringing this into the press but when another school cancelled there was growing concern that kids are being stopped an opportunity to learn."

Rabbi Landau said another Kingston school, a primary, had also cancelled but he would not reveal which one.

Four people - all Jewish - were killed at the Hypercacher kosher supermarket in Paris last month during a hostage taking by allies of ISIS.

The attack occurred two days after 12 people were killed in a shooting at the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Surrey Comet:

Rabbi Samuel Landau said the shooting at a kosher supermarket in Paris was the reason schools cancelled visits to Kingston synagogues 

Rabbi Charley Baginsky, from Kingston Liberal Synagogue, said: "I know there has been increased concern following the attacks in Paris on Jewish buildings but there is no reason to be fearful here.

"There is absolutely no suggestion of anti-semitism, it is just a fear of being in a Jewish place of worship. But we would not put schoolchildren or any members of our own community at risk.

"This is not us trying to criticise those schools by any stretch. I think it is just hoping this is not a trend.

"If we thought there was a risk we would not hold these events. We had nearly 1,000 pupils through the doors without any issues."

Surrey Comet:

Southborough High students visited Auschwitz last year and took this photo 

A spokeswoman from Southborough High said: "Southborough is a multi-cultural boys school where students follow a wide variety of faiths.

"One of our key missions is to ensure that students learn about different faiths so that they can understand and empathise with their fellow students beliefs.

"This understandably includes the Jewish faith and of course we felt it was highly important that a number of our boys attend Kingston Synagogue last week to commemorate such an important event."

A spokeswoman from Richard Challoner said: "The testimony that our students receive from this slowly diminishing group of survivors, brings the horrors of the Holocaust very much to life.

"As a Catholic School we are privileged to have the task of developing our students as whole human beings who understand their place in society and who understand the concepts of love, service, humility, empathy and tolerance."

Tolworth Girls' School and The Holy Cross School were among the schools that attended the synagogue workshops.