In addition to Ofsted inspections, Church schools also undergo a denominational inspection - the Statutory Inspection of Anglican & Methodist Schools, SIAMS, which assesses the effectiveness of C of E and Methodist schools as Church schools.
At the heart of the SIAMS process is school self-evaluation carried out by staff and governors. This evidence is then examined by an inspector who also makes his or her own observations before producing a report based around four key questions: How well does the school, through its distinctive Christian character, meet the needs of all learners? What is the impact of collective worship on the school community? How effective is the religious education? and How effective are the leadership and management of the school, as a church school? This enables a judgment to be made against set grade criteria: outstanding; good; satisfactory; inadequate.
Should a school be judged inadequate, the procedure will be as follows:
- clear improvement targets will be set by the inspector; the school will be given 6 months to make improvement with an expectation that the school will be at least satisfactory within 12 months
- during the initial 6 months, the Diocesan Officer for RE, Spiritual Development and Christian Distinctiveness will visit the school to provide support and guidance. The school will not be charged for this support
- at the end of 12 months, the school will be re-inspected; again there will be no charge to the school
- should the school still be judged inadequate after 12 months, the Diocesan Director will
(i) meet with the headteacher, chair of governors and incumbent to discuss the situation
(ii) review the position of Diocesan appointed governors and discuss with the incumbent the position of PCC appointed governors.
National Society SIAMS Documents
SIAMS Self Evaluation Model, September 2013
SIAMS Inspection Framework, November 2012
SIAMS School Inspections