Section 48

Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools

Church of England voluntary aided or voluntary controlled schools (or their equivalent) have their denominational inspection under Section 48 of the Schools’ Inspection Act. They are conducted independently of OfSTED by denominational inspectors trained through the Church of England Education Office and on the Diocesan List of Inspectors. Denominational inspections are mainly on a five-year cycle but can (and do) take place earlier depending on circumstances.

All Church of England dioceses 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. This framework sets out the expectations for the conduct of these inspections. From September 2018, the revised SIAMS schedule will be used.

The Lincoln Diocesan Board of Education values the Section 48 Inspection process as a means of helping schools to develop both their Church school distinctiveness, effectiveness and sustainability set within their unique Christian Vision. The inspection process is based on the Church of England Education Office's Evaluation Schedule 2018 which can be found in the box on the right.

The Schedule provides a process for evaluating the overall inspection question for all Church schools: "How effective is the school’s Christian vision, established and promoted by leadership at all levels, in enabling pupils and adults to flourish".

Section 48 reports are published on the Church of England website

Inspection focus

Section 48 inspection focuses on the impact the Christian vision of the Church school/academy has on the children and young people who attend it, and, the adults who work within it. The Church of England ‘Vision for Education’ states as its vision for SIAMS:

‘It is a matter of affirming what is of worth in the past and the present, rejecting courageously things that we judge unwise, and working to transform those that are valuable but need improvement.’

In shaping their vision, schools will have shown regard for the Church of England’s vision for education, “Deeply Christian, Serving The Common Good”, and the Lincoln Diocese vision,  “Church Schools serving their communities through excellence, exploration and encouragement within the love of God.” Church schools will employ a variety of strategies and styles, which reflect their particular local context or church tradition in order realise their own, unique vision. Inspectors will, therefore, not be looking to apply a preconceived template of what a Church school should be like.

The principal objective therefore of the Section 48 inspection is to evaluate the school’s distinctiveness, effectiveness and sustainability set within its unique Christian Vision as a Church school.

Section 48 Inspections are carried out by accredited Church of England Education Office inspectors. Inspection usually involves an inspector spending one day in the school as well as considering external evidence, for example, academic outcomes, the school’s website and key policies.

The overall judgement is made through the inspection of Vision and Leadership (strand 1) plus six further strands in order to answer the one inspection question: "How effective is the school’s Christian vision, established and promoted by leadership at all levels, in enabling pupils and adults to flourish"

1.       Strand 1: Vision and Leadership

2.       Strand 2: Wisdom, Knowledge and Skills

3.       Strand 3: Character Development (Hope, Aspiration and Courageous Advocacy)

4.       Strand 4: Community and Living Well Together

5.       Strand 5: Dignity and Respect

6.       Strand 6: The Impact of Collective Worship

7.       Strand 7: The Effectiveness of Religious Education

Further information can be found at: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/education-and-schools/church-schools-and-academies/siams-school-inspections

and paul.thompson@lincoln.anglican.org - Paul is the SIAMS manager for the Diocese

or yvonne.shaw@lincoln.anglican.org - Yvonne is a registered SIAMS inspector and is leading on training for inspection within the Lincoln Diocese.

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