Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS)
All Church of England dioceses and the Methodist Church use the National Society's framework for the Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) under Section 48 of the Education Act 2005. The framework sets out the expectations for the conduct of the Statutory Inspection of Anglican, Methodist and ecumenical Schools under Section 48 of the Education Act 2005. SIAMS provides a process for evaluating the extent to which church schools are "distinctively and recognisably Christian institutions". The Church of England Education Office Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) schedule is used in all Section 48 inspections of Church of England schools and in the denominational inspection of academies.
The principal objective of the SIAMS inspection is to evaluate the distinctiveness and effectiveness of the school as a Church school. This impact will be judged by exploring one inspection question:
How effective is the school’s distinctive Christian vision, established and promoted by leadership at all levels, in enabling pupils and adults to flourish?
This question is explored through the following seven strands:
- Vision and Leadership
- Wisdom, Knowledge and Skills
- Character Education: Hope, Aspiration and Courageous Advocacy
- Community and Living Well Together
- Dignity and Respect
- The Impact of Collective Worship
- The Effectiveness of Religious Education
Schools are asked to undertake their own self-evaluation to prepare for SIAMS. The principle of SIAMS, like most inspections, is that the inspector verifies the school’s self-evaluation. Inspectors will ask schools to send them their self-evaluation when they contact the school. The self-evaluation document is offered by the Church of England Education Office as a model which may be used, but schools are free to carry out their Church school self-evaluation however they feel is appropriate for them.
In whatever way it is approached, self-evaluation should have in mind the following three questions:
- Who are we as a school?
- Why are we here?
- How then do we live?
This will help the school to articulate its Christian vision. It will also help the school to articulate how this is reflected in the school’s provision because it is a Church school, and how this impacts pupils and enables all to flourish.
What does SIAMS mean for a Church school?
- From September 2012 all Section 48 inspections will be scheduled independently from Ofsted’s section 5 schedules, with timing determined by the last section 48 inspection for individual schools. All schools with a ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ section 48 inspection must be scheduled for their next section 48 inspection within 5 school years from the end of the school year within which they were last inspected. Any school with a section 48 inspection judgement that was less than ‘good’ may be scheduled for their next section 48 inspection within 3 to 5 years from the end of the school year within which they were last inspected. There is no change to the general requirements for Section 48 inspection. The statutory position remains the same as set out in Section 48 of the Education Act 2005 and The Education (School Inspection) (England) Regulations 2009 (SI1564). The regulations set out that all schools designated as having a religious character require a section 48 inspection.
- Schools will be notified of their inspection no more than one week prior to the date it is due to take place.
- Focus will be on the school’s self-evaluation. The inspector will ask for the school’s self-evaluation materials prior to the inspection taking place.
- Inspectors will be in school for one day in a primary school and up to two days in a secondary school
- There will be no parents’ meeting prior to inspection
- A written report will be given to the school within 2 weeks or as soon as possible after the inspection
- SIAMS Inspectors undertake national and regional training to ensure that the required skills have been developed in order to make secure judgements based on the self-evaluation materials and on securing evidence for those judgements.
- All inspectors require a high level of knowledge and understanding of RE and its implications in VC, Foundation, VA schools and academies.