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SIAMS inspection focuses on the impact of the Church school's Christian vision on pupils and adults. This involves looking at the school’s Christian vision, the provision the school makes because of this vision and how effective this provision is in enabling all pupils to flourish. Church schools will employ a variety of strategies and styles appropriate to, and reflective of, their particular context in order to be distinctively and effectively Christian in their character and ethos. SIAMS inspectors therefore do not look for a set template of what a Church school should be like, but rather take the particular context of the school into account and base their evaluation on the outcomes rather than the process.
The Evaluation Schedule has 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 is explored through seven strands:
- Vision and Leadership
- Wisdom, Knowledge and Skills
- Character Development: Hope, Aspiration and Courageous Advocacy
- Community and Living Well Together
- Dignity and Respect
- The impact of collective worship
- The effectiveness of religious education
One overall grade is awarded reflecting the contribution of these strands to the flourishing of pupils and adults in a Church school. In addition a standalone grade is awarded in all schools for collective worship and in voluntary aided (VA) schools and former VA schools for religious education (RE). This grade is based on teaching and learning alone.
The role of the Diocese in SIAMS inspection
The Diocesan Board manages the inspection of its schools in collaboration with the Church of England Education Office. 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.