Developing Church of England Education

Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools


All church school will be SIAMS inspected. The inspections focus on aspects of the school which make it distinctive as a church school, and will occur within a five year period. 

The overall purpose of this SIAMS inspection (also known as Section 48) is to answer the question: 'How distinctive and effective is the school as a church school?'

The inspection and ensuing report comment on and grade four key questions:

  • How well does the school, through its distinctive Christian character, meet the needs of all learners?
  • What is the impact of collective worship on the school community?
  • How effective is religious education?
  • How effective are the leadership and management of the school, as a church school?

'A Framework for Inspection and Self-evaluation of Church of England and Methodist Schools' which sets out the organisation of SIAMS inspection nationally is available by clicking the above link, or by accessing the Church of England Education Office website where all documents relating to the inspection process can be found.

The Diocesan Board has published guidance on the SIAMS inspection which can be downloaded by visiting the Members’ Area.

The Self-Evaluation of Church schools

The starting point for every inspection is the school's own evaluation of itself as a church school. Schools record evidence and form judgements on the four key questions which form the basis of SIAMS. This is an ongoing process involving different members of the school community.

Southwark Diocesan Board of Education has produced a self-evaluation toolkit for its schools. This is available from the Members' Area.

The role of the Diocese in SIAMS inspection

The Diocesan Board manages the inspection of its schools in collaboration with the National Society. This includes:

  • Identification of schools for inspection
  • The recruitment and professional development of inspectors, most of whom are advisers, serving headteachers, or retired headteachers
  • The deployment of inspectors to schools
  • Quality Assurance of inspections through provision of a critical reader of reports and the organisation of evaluative feedback from schools
  • Submission of reports to National Society for the national data base

In addition the Board supports schools in the self-evaluation process through training and consultation with individual schools.

The Board monitors the performance of its schools through termly reports to its Schools Committee. These reports provide an analysis of the grades given to schools by inspectors for each key question.

This analysis also enables officers and advisers to respond to the needs of schools through training, advice or general support. 

For some years we have been offering schools a half-day visit focused on the outcomes measured under Section 48, the Statutory Inspection of Anglican & Methodist Schools.


Mid-Cycle SIAMS Review Visit


The Diocesan SIAMS Review Visit is a mechanism for helping all schools to enter into robust professional debate about their self-evaluation and effectiveness as a church school between inspections.

The focus will be entirely on aspects which relate to the school’s Christian distinctiveness as set out in the church school self-evaluation documents (SDBE Self-Evaluation document or National Society Toolkit).

In essence it will be a dialogue with the Headteacher and any others the headteacher wishes and is able to involve. The visit is in no way inspectoral; but provides a forum for discussion so that the SDBE obtains a clearer picture of the School’s stage of development and can focus its support more appropriately. During the visit we will ask you to make a ‘best fit’ judgement against the four key questions relating to Section 48.