A new SIAMS schedule came into force from September 2018 and over 95% of our schools have participated in SIAMS training since the start of the 2018-19 academic year.
SIAMS stands for the “Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools” and is the National Church equivalent of Ofsted. Each Excellent or Good Church school / Academy in England and Wales is inspected on a five year cycle under SIAMS. A Church school which has academised will be inspected as if it were still VA or VC.
For all questions relating to SIAMS, including pre- and post-inspection support, contact Judith Skelton.
The SIAMS inspection process is based on the school’s own self-evaluation and the evidence supporting it across a wide range of school activities and taking into consideration the opinions of all stakeholders.
The overarching question behind SIAMS is,
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 examined across seven strands:
Strand 1: Vision and Leadership
Strand 2 : Wisdom, Knowledge and Skills
Strand 3: Character Development: Hope, Aspiration and Courageous Advocacy
Strand 4: Community and Living Well Together
Strand 5: Dignity and Respect
Strand 6: The impact of collective worship
Strand 7: The effectiveness of religious education
Inspections are carried out by inspectors who are registered with the National Society and have been trained by them. The three Dioceses of Ely, Norwich and St Edmundsbury and Ipswich (collectively known as ‘Church Schools East’) work together to administer SIAMS across East Anglia. The whole process is regulated by Section 48 of the Education Act 2005 and Inspectors are paid by the DfE via the National Society. Foundation Governors, in particular, have a collective responsibility for the smooth and efficient exercise of the SIAMS process in their own school.
SIAMS Reports are public documents and are posted on both the Diocesan website and that of the National Society. Reports are succinct (two pages only) and include clear evaluation statements, using the terms, excellent, good, requires improvement or ineffective, in response to the key question. An overall grade is awarded for the school, with a separate grade for the quality of collective worship. VA schools also receive a grade for the quality of RE.
Inspection is just one mechanism to support school improvement and Christian distinctiveness and should not be approached in isolation. Similarly, self-evaluation is not just a matter of filling in a form, but a way into thinking through from first principles and in practice what it means to be effective and distinctive as a Church School.
The national SIAMS evaluation schedule can be found here.