The Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) is the Church of England and Methodist Church’s outworking of the requirements of section 48 of the Education Act 2005. It is a key element of the life of all Church of England and Methodist schools in England. Approximately every five years, schools are subject to a SIAMS inspection. This process is managed nationally by the national SIAMS team.
SIAMS inspection plays an important role in the improvement of Church schools. It does this by affirming that which is effective and by highlighting key areas for improvement. By focusing on impact above all else, SIAMS explores ways in which each school’s theologically rooted Christian vision drives the school and enables it to live up to its foundation. Over time, it encourages leaders, governors and the wider school community to consider:
- Who are we as a school?
- What are we doing here?
- How, then, shall we live and learn together?
The 2023 SIAMS Inspection Framework recognises that Church schools come in all different shapes and sizes and therefore has no lists of criteria to meet. Rather, it asks 6 or 7 Inspection Questions (IQ’s) about impact. This allows leaders to explain the school’s context and the reasons for their decisions and actions. The focus on Spiritual Development remains very much part of the 2023 Framework and we strongly recommend that schools access Diocesan training if they have not already done so.
In all things, the contextually appropriate theologically rooted Christian vision is the driving force. Alongside the Diocesan Education Team, your adviser and training courses, your local parish can support you in exploring and articulating your vision theologically.
The inspection questions are:
IQ1 How does the school’s theologically rooted Christian vision enable pupils and adults to flourish?
IQ2 How does the curriculum reflect the theologically rooted Christian vision?
IQ3 How is collective worship enabling pupils and adults to flourish spiritually?
IQ4 How does the theologically rooted Christian vision create a culture in which pupils and adults are treated well?
IQ5 How does the theologically rooted Christian vision create an active culture of justice and responsibility?
IQ6 Is the religious education curriculum effective?
IQ7 What is the quality of religious education? (Schools with VA articles only)
These questions provide a structure for inspectors and leaders to collaboratively gather evidence of how the school’s Christian vision enables everyone to flourish. Using this evidence, inspectors will come to a judgement, holding school (and trust) leaders to account. SIAMS, rightly, sets a high bar for each school to live up to its foundation as a Church school through its theologically rooted Christian vision. In doing so it celebrates and affirms the ways in which the school and its community are flourishing, alongside areas for development for school leaders.
Contacts and documentation
Your named diocesan adviser is there to support you with all aspects of your SIAMS development journey, through your Enhanced Service Plan (ESP) time. Don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Training can be booked through ESP Online, or speak to your adviser.
Copies of the SIAMS inspection framework and documentation, schools likely to be inspected this academic year and the latest version of the national guidance can always be found on the national SIAMS team website here.
For any other enquiries, please contact our Diocesan lead for SIAMS, Simone Bennett. She can be contacted on email@example.com