There is now a new SIAMS framework implemented from September 2023.
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 rooted Christian vision, and it provides affirmation, aspiration, and areas for development for school leaders.
What is SIAMS?
The Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) is the Church of England and Methodist Church’s outworking of the requirements of section 48 of the Education Act 2005. It is a key element of the life of all Church of England and Methodist schools in England.
SIAMS explores ways in which each school’s theologically rooted Christian vision drives its work and enables the school to live up to its foundation as a Church school. It does so by seeking to answer six or (in the case of Voluntary Aided schools) seven Inspection Questions (IQs).
IQ1: How does the school’s theologically rooted Christian vision enable pupils and adults to flourish?
IQ2: How does the curriculum reflect the school’s theologically rooted Christian vision?
IQ3: How is collective worship enabling pupils and adults to flourish spiritually?
IQ4: How does the school’s theologically rooted Christian vision create a culture in which pupils and adults are treated well?
IQ5: How does the school’s theologically rooted Christian vision create an active culture of justice and responsibility?
IQ6: Is the religious education curriculum effective (with reference to the expectations set out in the Church of England’s Statement of Entitlement for Religious Education)?
IQ7: What is the quality of religious education in voluntary aided and former voluntary aided schools, and in former voluntary controlled schools in which denominational religious education is taught?
SIAMS inspection focuses on the impact of the Church school's Christian vision on pupils and adults. This involves looking at the school’s Christian vision, the provision the school makes because of this vision and how effective this provision is in enabling all pupils to flourish. Church schools will employ a variety of strategies and styles appropriate to, and reflective of, their particular context in order to be distinctively and effectively Christian in their character and ethos. SIAMS inspectors therefore do not look for a set template of what a Church school should be like, but rather take the particular context of the school into account and base their evaluation on the outcomes rather than the process.
Inspectors make one of two judgements:
The inspection findings indicate that the school is living up to its foundation as a Church school, and is enabling pupils and adults to flourish.
The inspection findings indicate that the school has strengths, but that there are also issues that leaders need to address as a matter of priority.
Contact details for the National SIAMS Team:
Dr Margaret James, National Director of SIAMS
Phone: 020 7898 1187
Mobile: 07909 212568
David Tait, Deputy Director of SIAMS
Phone: 020 7898 1008
Mobile: 07951 214853
Jan Chandler, SIAMS Management and Training Officer
For enquiries relating to:
Inspections (scheduling and notifications)
SIAMS Documents and Resources
Gemma Grim, Administration Officer
Phone: 020 7898 1557
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or SIAMS@churchofengland.org
For enquiries relating to:
Kiri Thompson, SIAMS Systems and Data Officer
Phone: 0207 898 1407
For enquiries relating to:
List of schools likely to be inspected:
Find a SIAMS report:
SIAMS Documents and Resources:
A Fresh Look at Church School Inspection: Examining the 2023 SIAMS Framework by Margaret James, National director of SIAMS. To purchase this book please click here.
Listen to the recent interview with Margaret James, National Director of SIAMS: Called, Connected, Committed: Flourishing for All: SIAMS - Understanding the changes for September 2023. To listen to their most recent podcast, please click here.
Watch the national update on the 2023 new SIAMS Framework
SIAMS 2023 Webinar - 3 November 2022
SIAMS support and training for schools is available from the JET.
Jo Warner, Assistant Director of Education email@example.com
Caz Weir, RE Advisor firstname.lastname@example.org