In March 2020, for the first time since the inception of the Section 48 (S48) inspection and as a direct consequence of COVID-19, the Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) was suspended. SIAMS inspections have now resumed. As the strategy to catch-up with delayed inspections is implemented, schools are likely to experience a 1-2 year delay on the expected date of their next inspection; however, this is not guaranteed as other factors may influence the timing of inspection. A list of schools due to be inspected 2021/2022 can be found on the Church of England national SIAMS website.
An overview of SIAMS
SIAMS is the Church of England and Methodist Church's outworking of the requirements of Section 48 (S48) of the Education Act 2005. It is a key element of the life of all Church of England and Methodist schools in England. They are overseen by the National Society and are arranged by the national SIAMS team at the Church of England Education Office (CEEO). The purpose of SIAMS is to evaluate the distinctiveness and effectiveness of a school as a church school. The key question posed by SIAMS is:
How effective is the school's distinctive Christian vision, established and promoted by leadership at all levels, in enabling all pupils and adults to flourish?
In order to evaluate this, all schools are inspected on the following seven strands, which are closely linked to the Church of England Vision for Education Deeply Christian, Serving the Common Good (Autumn 2016):
- 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 stand-alone 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 inspection process
Under normal circumstances, 'Good' and previously 'Outstanding' schools are re-inspected every five years (in the fifth academic year following the end of the academic year in which they were last inspected). Schools requiring improvement and ineffective schools are inspected every three to five years.
Since September 2013, the timing of S48 inspections has not been linked to that of the school's Ofsted inspection. If you require clarification of any issues related to SIAMS, please contact Rev'd Duncan Hutchison by email on firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone on 07960 977 847.
The National Team have produced a Timeline for Schools (accessible under 'Related Attachments'), which contains information relevant to schools regarding the process of a SIAMS inspection, including a timeline of events. Schools are encouraged to use the SIAMS model self-evaluation form (accessible under 'Related Attachments') to evaluate themselves against the seven strands in the schedule.
Training and support
The Diocese offers a range of training and development courses for schools on the SIAMS schedule, as part of the Training and Support SLA offer. For further details, please contact the Diocesan Education Team by email on email@example.com, or by telephone on 01905 732 825.
- SIAMS Revised Evaluation Schedule, September 2021
- SIAMS Revised Evaluation Schedule (annotated version), September 2021
- SIAMS Information for Schools, February 2022
- SIAMS Inspection Deferral Policy, September 2021
- SIAMS Covid-19 Policy, February 2022
- SIAMS Appeals and Complaints Policy, February 2022
- SIAMS SEF Diocesan Summary Proforma