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 2023/24 can now be found on the Church of England National SIAMS page.
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.
Core changes have been brought in to the new 2023 framework: however, the new framework is not reimagining what it is to be a church school, but rather reimagining how church schools are inspected. Therefore, from September 2023, SIAMS will still assess the impact of a school's theologically rooted Christian vision, but through 7 inspection questions rather than 7 strands. These questions, listed below, are closely linked to the Church of England Vision for Education Deeply Christian, Serving the Common Good (Autumn 2016):
- How does the school's theologically rooted Christian vision enable pupils and adults to flourish?
- How does the curriculum reflect the school's theologically rooted Christian vision?
- How is collective worship enabling pupils and adults to flourish spiritually?
- How does the school's theologically rooted Christian vision create a culture in which pupils and adults are treated well?
- How does the school's theologically rooted Christian vision create an active culture of justice and responsibility?
- Is the religious education curriculum effective (with reference to the expectations set out in the Church of England's Statement of Entitlement for Religious Education)?
- What if the quality of religious education in voluntary aided and former voluntary aided schools, and in former voluntary controlled schools in which denominational religious education is taught? (VA Schools Only)
One overall judgement is given to schools based on the impact of their vision on the flourishing of pupils and adults in the school. More information about the judgement that is made can be found in the SIAMS 2023 documentation.
Documents for the new 2023 SIAMS framework can be found at the bottom of the page. For additional information please visit: www.churchofengland.org/about/education-and-schools/church-schools-and-academies/siams-inspections
Should you have any questions about the changes to SIAMS and how this might affect your school, please contact The Revd. Duncan Hutchison by email or by telephone on 07960 977 847.
The inspection process
Under normal circumstances, 'Good' and previously 'Outstanding', or 'Excellent' 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. Schools requiring improvement and ineffective schools are inspected every three to five years.
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 questions in the schedule.
If you require clarification of any issues related to SIAMS, please contact The Revd. Duncan Hutchison by email or by telephone on 07960 977 847.
Training and support
The Diocese offers a range of training and development courses for schools on the SIAMS framework, as part of the Training and Support SLA offer. For further details, please contact the Diocesan Education Team by email or by telephone on 01905 732 825.
- SIAMS Framework, September 2023
- SIAMS Transitional Guidance for Schools, September 2023
- SIAMS Briefing 8th December 2022
- SIAMS Framework 2023 Diocesan Self Evaluation Summary Sheet
- SIAMS Complaints Policy for Schools, September 2023