Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) Procedures for conducting SIAMS inspections in the Carlisle Diocese, click here to download this page as a document.
At the start of the academic year
The Deputy Diocesan Director of Education [DDDE]
- provides all CE schools with information about the organisation of SIAMS over that year and the list of dates schools are due for inspection.
- schedules CE schools for a SIAMS inspection for each term of that year.
Schools contact the DDDE to discuss their specific needs for inspection eg. The choice of inspector, times in the year that will not be appropriate (residential weeks etc.)
The term before the inspection
DDDE schedules an inspector and a specific week for the schools to be inspected that term.
One week before the inspection
DDDE notifies the inspector of the school and sends information about the school including published school data.
The week of the inspection
The DDDE –
- contacts school and fixes a date for SIAMS later that week.
- emails written confirmation to the school and the inspector.
- sends the school a copy of the information received by the inspector the previous week.
- emails SEF(and other self-evaluation materials) to the inspector.
The SIAMS inspector
Contacts the school and makes provisional arrangements for the day. This will include opportunities to meet with or speak to:
- Head [early in the inspection]
- Chair of Governors (or a substitute)
- Incumbent and/or a foundation governor
and to observe
- collective worship
- religious education (in a voluntary aided school)
It may also include meetings with:
- Co-ordinator for collective worship
- Co-ordinator for RE
- Other members of staff
- Visits to other lessons or classes etc.
1 working day before the inspection
The SIAMS inspector emails the SIAMS Inspection Briefing (SIB) to the headteacher. The purpose of the SIB is to inform the school of the inspector’s provisional judgements based on the documents provided in advance. It also identifies the focus of the inspection. It should be shared with relevant governors and staff in order to help them to prepare for the inspection.
SIAMS Inspection Day
The inspector has the option, where there are difficulties during the inspection of contacting the DDDE [or if he is unavailable another Carlisle Diocese SIAMS inspector] for advice or support during an inspection. The inspector should always consult with the DDDE if there appears to be any likelihood of the school receiving a grade 4 in one or more categories.
If, before the inspection, the DDDE anticipates any difficulties he will have made suitable arrangements – eg through a formal diocesan briefing agreed with the school, an enhanced inspection team or a suitable shadow inspector etc. The inspector is responsible for ensuring that a secure inspection is completed and in exceptional circumstances may judge it necessary to adjourn or extend the inspection in consultation with the DDDE.
Provisional verbal feedback will take place at the end of the day. The feedback usually will be to the headteacher, the chair of governors, the parish priest and/or a foundation governor and any other appropriate people requested by the school.
(For further detail see Schools appealing a judgement in the Carlisle diocese)
The inspector should make clear that all grades are subject to quality assurance procedures and may be revised up or down during this process.
Immediately after the inspection
The inspector emails a draft report, a draft Judgement Reporting Form (JRF) and the SIB to the Quality assurance officer (QA). Who will offer advice on the draft report and may, in consultation with the DDDE, advise the inspector to amend the provisional grade. The DDDE reviews the QA process .
When a final draft has been agreed with the QA, the inspector sends this draft to the DDDE for final checking and sends the approved draft to the school head with a request for corrections of fact within 2 working days.
Inspectors are required to ensure that they have "accepted all changes" in the document to ensure that none of the edited changes can be seen by the school.
About 15 working days after the inspection (Please note: during the introduction of SIAMS this may take longer.)
- emails the final report to the school, with a copy to the DDDE (a copy of which is forwarded to the LA) and an invoice for the cost of the inspection.
The school governors
- Publish the report to parents and other appropriate bodies. The inspection is funded from public money and the publication of the report is a government requirement.
The Diocesan Director of Education
- writes to the school regarding both inspections and sends a copy of the evaluation form.
- contacts the school to discuss the inspection findings and agree any necessary report.
Sends a copy of their post inspection action plan to the DDDE.
Inspectors should be familiar with current advice from Carlisle Diocesan Board of Education on all aspects of church schools. These are available from Diocesan Education Office or as a download from the website http://www.carlislediocese.org.uk/committees/board-of-education.html
* These practices may be varied occasionally to meet the needs of the school, the inspector etc.
Appendix - Inadequate Inspection Grades in Carlisle Diocese
Schools graded “inadequate” in a SIAMS inspection
Should a school receive an inadequate grade in any aspect of a SIAMS inspection the DDDO will:
- convene a meeting with governors, the senior management team, clergy and appropriate diocesan officers.
- agree an action plan detailing remedial action, additional diocesan support and appropriate monitoring by the diocese.
Non-compliance in collective worship (CW) or religious education (RE)
In a school where collective worship is not provided in compliance with the law:
- the SIAMS inspector will be obliged to grade CW as “Inadequate as a result of non compliance with the law.”
- s/he will be expected to provide the usual judgements and evidence of the quality of the CW that does exist.
- this inadequate grade (4) for CW will be considered in deciding the overall grade for the inspection.
- the failure to provide CW will be considered in other areas of the inspection – ie. leadership and management of the school as a church school and the distinctive Christian character of the school. However, it will not automatically require an inadequate grading in these areas.
- if the Governors feel that there are strong extenuating circumstances then they may follow the procedure for appealing the grade with the diocese.
- the same principles will apply to non compliance in respect of religious education.
Leadership and Management of the school as a church school.
The inspector is required to make a judgement regarding the effectiveness of the school’s response to the areas for development identified in the previous inspection. Where the inspector judges this to be ineffective the inspector will be required to grade leadership and management of the school as a church school as inadequate (grade 4).
Recent Inspection Reports
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Useful Links & Websites
CV4 Schools Self evaluation - a new section of the website full of practical examples of how Christian Values can be used in school improvement.
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