Christian Ethos and SIAMS
The Church of England’s Vision for Education is deeply Christian, with the promise by Jesus of ‘life in all its fullness’ at its heart. This is worked out theologically and educationally through four basic elements: wisdom; hope; community; and dignity. It underpins our work together as Church schools nationally.
All schools that have a religious character must have an ethos statement. This forms part of the Instrument of Government. From this statement the governors will have derived a mission statement or set of aims for the school. All other policies should relate to these basic statements of purpose of the school. The policies, which the governors should consider for approval, will cover all the major areas of the curriculum and important aspects of the school’s life as a community such as discipline, security, pay for staff and delegation of financial responsibility.
Guidance from the Church of England on preparing an Ethos statement is available here.
The Diocese of Chester has also produced a useful ethos booklet.
The Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS)
All Church of England schools will have a SIAMS Inspection as part of a five year cycle. From September 2012 SIAS is no longer linked to the Ofsted inspection timetable.
The overarching question behind any SIAMS is:
How distinctive and effective is this school as a Church of England School?
Four key questions are used to approach it:
- 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? (VA schools only)
- How effective are the leadership and management of the school as a Church school?
SIAMS Reports are succinct and include clear evaluation statements, using the OFSTED terms, outstanding, good, satisfactory or inadequate, in response to each of the key questions.
Inspections are carried out by inspectors registered with the Church of England, Education Department and trained by them.
The SIAMS process is regulated by Section 48 of the Education Act 2005 and Inspectors are paid by the DfE via the National Society.
SIAMS Reports are public documents and are posted on the Church of England, Education Department website.