Rabbi Avrohom Sugarman MBE: There are some moments in life that remain with a person forever

There are some moments in life that remain with a person forever.

Meeting HRH Prince William Duke of Cambridge on Tuesday at Windsor Castle to receive an MBE for Services to Education and Children With Special Educational Needs, was one such moment.

I am immensely proud of what we have achieved at Haskel School, the school my wife and I established for children with special educational needs, and I am humbled to have been honoured in this way.

The award has only been achieved through the efforts of an incredible team, and I am privileged to accept the honour on their behalf.


The Northern Echo: MBE for the Rabbi who founded special school in Gateshead

A RABBI who helps run a school for children with special needs and disabilities – inspired by his own son – has been made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Rabbi Avrohom Sugarman is director of Haskel School, an independent school for children with special educational needs and disabilities serving the Jewish community in Gateshead.

It caters for the full spectrum of disabilities including Down Syndrome, ASD and other rare genetic disorders and is a lifeline for pupils and their families providing specialist education in a culturally suitable environment.

Rabbi Sugarman got involved with Haskel, originally a charity providing specialist education in mainstream schools, when he was looking for specialist provision for son, Chaim Shaul.

He went on to set up the school in September, 2013, with his wife, Sarah, who is its headteacher.

The Northern Echo:

The school has grown from three pupils to 17 from infants up to post-16 and provides specialist SEN provision to pupils with lesser special educational needs who attend mainstream schools.

Through the school’s Parachute Provision a wider range of children benefit from the school’s team of specialist teachers and therapists led by Rabbi Sugarman’s wife, Sarah, who is the school’s headteacher.

The school has been judged “outstanding” twice by Ofsted.

Beyond Haskel School, Rabbi Sugarman works to reduce child poverty in the UK, often alongside the Bishop of Durham Paul Butler and other organisations.

He said: “I am truly honoured to receive this award.

“At Haskel School, we have created something very special and I am so proud that each and every child who comes to us receives a rewarding and enriching school experience.

“What began as a dedicated, bespoke provision for my son is now a thriving and growing school serving many families across our community.

“The success of Haskel School, however, would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of our wonderful team who go above and beyond to support our pupils. It is a genuine privilege to lead Haskel School and work with such committed and talented colleagues.

“Receiving an honour such as this is very humbling.

“Whilst I know how valued and appreciated our school is within the community, it is very moving to receive external recognition for what we have achieved.

“Our partnership with Gateshead Council, in particular, has been a key factor in our success and I would like to thank them for their ongoing support.”