Pikuach director Jeffrey Leader

Pikuach director Jeffrey Leader

The UK’s only Jewish education inspection service has been heralded as “an absolute blessing for our schools” by the Chief Rabbi. 

Ephraim Mirvis praised Pikuach, and its director Jeffrey Leader, who has been “an incredible source of inspiration for our community at so many different levels”.

Having been set up in 1996 through a Board of Deputies initiative, Jeffrey Leader paid tribute to Laurie Rosenberg, who put together a Pikuach Development Team.

Leader said Pikuach needs “to move closer to the kind of faith-based model favoured by our Church of England and Catholic colleagues. 

We need to try to find out, through inspection, the impact that Jewish education makes on a child’s life. 

The children we speak to might be able to answer the knowledge based-questions but a knowledgeable Jew isn’t necessarily a committed Jew.”

Jonathan Arkush, President of the Board, said he “is very proud to have it on behalf of the community”. 

Pikuach’s team of 30 inspectors, all of whom have held positions as senior educators, with 75 percent as head teachers or deputy head teachers at Jewish schools, have carried out almost 200 inspections.

Ofsted’s Director of Education Sean Harford said it was “an honour and a privilege to present graduation certificates to newly qualified Pikuach inspectors”. 

Harford praised Pikuach’s training for Sikh and Jewish inspectors as “something to celebrate”.

The evening was chaired by Pikuach Chair Joan Jacobs and a vote of thanks was given by Board Vice President Sheila Gewolb.