SIAMS inspection plays an important role in the improvement of Church schools. It does this by affirming that which is effective and by highlighting key areas for improvement. By focusing on impact above all else, SIAMS explores ways in which each school’s theologically rooted Christian vision drives the work, and enables the school to live up to its foundation as a Church school.
Church schools come in all different shapes and sizes, and a one size fits all approach to inspection does not allow a school to have integrity in its Christian-vision-driven work. Therefore, the 2023 SIAMS Framework does not present schools with lists of criteria to meet. Instead, it asks a number of Inspection Questions about impact, and it allows leaders to explain the school’s context and the reasons for decisions and actions. In all things, the contextually-appropriate theologically rooted Christian vision is the driving force.
SIAMS inspectors will explore with school and trust leaders how they understand the specific context of the school, and whether they know how to respond to it theologically. Local, diocesan, and national expertise will help school and trust leaders to explore this, so that they can be confident in answering three key questions:
1. Who are we as a school?
2. What are we doing here?
3. How, then, shall we live and learn together?
Importantly, the 2023 SIAMS Framework highlights and seeks understanding of the theology that underpins a school’s Christian vision. It also provides a structure for inspectors and school and trust leaders to, collaboratively, gather evidence of how this vision enables people to flourish. Using this evidence, inspectors then make judgements, holding school and trust leaders to account. SIAMS, rightly, sets a high bar for each school to live up to its foundation as a Church school through its theologically rooted Christian vision, and it provides affirmation, aspiration, and areas for development for school leaders.
Dr Margaret James | National Director of SIAMS
Our SIAMS 2016 Inspection Report
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