Arranging Your SIAMS
A new Framework and a new Evaluation Schedule were published in November 2012 and both revised in September 2013. The following downloads will be helpful to you.
The new Schedule and Framework have been used for all SIAMS inspections of VA and VC schools since 1 April 2013. Support is now available on a demand basis - please contact the Deputy Director or School Effectiveness Officer.
The Deputy Director or School Effectiveness Officer are happy to run training for Governing Bodies who may wish to access a Whole Governing Body Training session on SIAMS through SCC Governor Support.
- Why a "second" inspection?-+
Although OfSTED inspects all maintained schools in England, under Section 48 of the Education Act 2005, the responsibility for inspecting schools with a religious character rests jointly with OfSTED and the National Society (now known as the Church of England Education Office [COEEO]). So Church of England schools get two inspections as part of a regular cycle.
COEEO has produced guidelines and a framework for the Statutory Inspection of Anglican & Methodist Schools – called SIAMS. It also trains and monitors inspectors throughout England, although training is also organised locally – in our case jointly with Ely and Norwich Dioceses.
- Preparing for a SIAMS inspection-+
All schools are expected to maintain a Self-Evaluation file related to the SIAMS Framework.
Voluntary Controlled schools are required to complete only questions 1, 2 and 4, whereas Voluntary Aided schools must complete all four questions.
Academies are normally inspected "as if" they retained their maintained status as VC or VA. However, sponsored academies are sometimes different - it depends on the wording of their Articles of Association. Please check with the the MAT's Head of School Improvement, Heather Hann.
- When will my school have a SIAMS inspection? -+
- OfSTED and SIAMS inspections work to separate schedules. This means that a SIAMS no longer automatically follows-on from an OfSTED inspection – SIAMS has established its own, separate schedule - check your date using the grid below.
- Schools judged Outstanding or Good in their last SIAMS will be re-inspected no sooner than the academic year that starts five years after the end of the academic year in which the last inspection took place.
- Those judged Satisfactory or Inadequate will be re-inspected no sooner than the academic year that starts three years after the end of the academic year in which the last inspection took place.
- The schedule will be constructed locally and approved by the Church of England Education Office.
- Schools will receive seven days notice of a SIAMS inspection – ie a phone call and email confirmation from the DBE office in “week 1” indicating the preferred inspection day which will be no later than Friday of “week 2”.
Dates between which your school has its last SIAMS If graded Good or Outstanding your next SIAMS will be in the academic year If graded Satisfactory your next SIAMS will be in the academic year September 2012 to July 2013 2017 - 2018 September 2013 to July 2014 2018 - 2019 September 2014 to July 2015 2019 - 2020 2017 - 2018 September 2015 to July 2016 2020 - 2021 2018 - 2019 September 2016 to July 2017 2021 - 2022 2019 - 2020
- And after the phone call?-+
- Schools are required to forward to the inspector a copy of their Self-Evaluation Form (SEF) - usually within 24 hours of receiving the notification email. It is helpful if schools also give the inspector an idea of the availability of the various people/groups that are normally seen - Incumbent; Co-ordinators; School Council; Headteacher; Governors, etc.
- The inspector will respond within 48 hours with a Pre-Inspection Plan (PIP) which will summarise their interpretation of the SEF and inform the school of specific areas/topics that will be a focus during the inspection. It is likely that a confirmed timetable for the inspection will also accompany the PIP – or follow within a further 24 hours.
- And on the day of the inspection?-+
- On the day itself the inspector will probably interview the Incumbent together with any other members of the local Church community who have specific contact with the school – certainly to include one or more Foundation Governors. They will also expect to interview groups of children, as well as the Headteacher, Chair of Governors and appropriate co-ordinators (CW and RE).
- In an Aided school they will expect to see RE lessons in all the Key Stages the school serves.
- At the end of the inspection day you can expect verbal feedback from the inspector and should arrange a meeting for this purpose – membership is by agreement with the inspector but could include the Chair, Incumbent, Senior Leadership Team and Foundation Governors.
- After the inspection-+
- Within 10 working days you will receive a draft report from the inspector (this will have been subject to Quality Assurance checks) and your responsibility is to check it for factual errors – usually within 24 hours. Once returned to the inspector the final report is published very shortly afterwards.
- Schools are required to circulate the report to their parents – it is seldom more than two pages in length (three for an Aided school) – and to publish it on the school’s website if possible (this within five days of receipt of the final report). The Diocesan Board of Education publishes reports on its website and they are available on the Church of England Education Office website as well.
- As a follow-up it is good practice to produce a SIAMS Action Plan which can either be incorporated into or sit alongside a school’s OfSTED Action Plan and/or School Development Plan. This is also the time to reflect on the SEF and set in train a schedule of revisions, therefore making it a working document and always up-to-date.
- The responsibility of paying for the inspection rests with the Diocesan Office and, unless a school has contracted additional work from the inspector (very rare), no fees are payable by the school.