All Church of England dioceses and the Methodist Church use the Church of England Education Office's framework for the Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) under Section 48 of the Education Act 2005. The SIAMS Evaluation Schedule sets out the expectations for the conduct of the Statutory Inspection of Anglican, Methodist and ecumenical Schools under Section 48 of the Education Act 2005 and provides a process for evaluating the extent to which church schools are 'distinctively and recognisably Christian institutions' (Lord Dearing, The Way Ahead: Church of England Schools in the New Millenium, 2001).
Purpose and focus of SIAMS inspections
The principal objective of SIAMS inspection is to evaluate the distinctiveness and effectiveness of the school as a church school, and how well the distinctive Christian character and ethos of the school ensure the development and achievement of the whole child or young person.
This is evaluated through four core 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? (in VA schools and academies)
- How effective are the leadership and management of the school as a church school?
Church schools will employ a variety of strategies and styles appropriate to, and reflective of, their particular context in order to be distinctively and effectively Christian in their character and ethos. SIAMS inspectors therefore do not look for a set template of what a church school should be like, but rather take the particular context of the school into account and base their evaluation on the outcomes rather than the process.