Pikuach praised at inspectors’ graduation
PIKUACH, THE Board of Deputies’ inspection service, celebrated its 20th anniversary last Thursday with a graduation ceremony for its new stream of qualified inspectors.
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis addressed attendees, describing Pikuach as “an absolute blessing for our schools” and praising its director Jeffrey Leader as “an incredible source of inspiration for our community at so many different levels”.
Mr Leader then told the 50 guests, who included Board president Jonathan Arkush and Ofsted’s director of education Sean Harford, that, since the inspection service was launched 20 years ago, it has carried out almost 200 inspections, ensuring that the 50 voluntary-aided Jewish schools in the country are held to account.
In recent years, it has also trained members of the Sikh community to carry out the same inspections inside their own faith schools.
Pikuach now boasts 30 inspectors, most of whom have been or continue to be in senior leadership roles at Jewish schools.
Mr Leader said the service’s next aim was to find a way to assess the impact of Jewish education on a child’s life. He explained: “The children we speak to might be able to answer the knowledge-based questions, but a knowledgeable Jew isn’t necessarily a committed Jew.”
Graduation certificates were presented by Mr Harford, who called it “an honour and a privilege”.
Mr Harford said he was particularly impressed by Pikuach’s work with Sikh inspectors, calling the joint training scheme “something to celebrate”.
Pikuach chair Joan Jacobs, Jonathan Arkush, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Sean Harford and newly-qualified Sikh school inspectors