All Church of England dioceses and the Methodist Church use the National Society’s framework for the Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) under Section 48 of the Education Act 2005. The focus of a SIAMS inspection is on the Christian vision and resulting provision of the school as a church school. It also looks at the quality of collective worship and RE.

The principal objective of SIAMS inspection is to evaluate the distinctiveness and effectiveness of the school as a church school. The new Evaluation Schedule that the inspectors follow centres on one inspection question: How effective is the school’s distinctive Christian vision, established and promoted by leadership at all levels, in enabling pupils and adults to flourish?

It explores this through 7 strands:

  • Vision and leadership
  • Wisdom, knowledge and skills
  • Character development: hope, aspiration and courageous advocacy
  • Community and living well together
  • Dignity and respect
  • The impact of collective worship
  • The effectiveness of religious education

The last time our school was inspected under the SIAMS system, there were four possible grades.  A school might have been awarded ‘outstanding’, ‘good’, ‘satisfactory’ or very rarely ‘inadequate’. Brailes School was previously inspected on 4th December 2013 and was graded ‘good’.

Good is the New Outstanding
The SIAMS process has now been reviewed and these grades have been changed to be much more rigorous. The old ‘outstanding’ grade has now gone, and the criteria that would previously have attracted an ‘outstanding’ grade have been merged with those for a ‘good’ grade. A new grade of ‘excellent’ has been introduced with a higher threshold than the old ‘outstanding’ grade. It will be awarded only to exceptional schools.  There is no longer a ‘satisfactory’ grade but ‘requires improvement’ might be awarded instead. Very occasionally a school may be deemed ‘ineffective’ as a Church school.

On 20th November, Brailes C of E Primary School was one of the first schools in the Coventry Diocese to be inspected under the new 2018 Evaluation Schedule. I am delighted that our school was graded GOOD. The key findings from the inspection are:

  • “The Associate Headteacher, ably supported by the Executive Headteacher, is a shining example of Christian leadership in action.
  • Every child is valued and cherished as a child of God through the compassionate pastoral care generously offered by all members of the school community.
  • Partnerships between the school and families are highly valued and enable all to flourish in a spirit of mutual respect.
  • The vision and associated values have a profound impact on the wellbeing of the whole school community, ensuring that all live in the light, have a sense of self-belief and a strong sense of belonging.
  • RE is accorded a high status and the subject is instrumental in enabling both adults and pupils to live well together.”

The full report is available to read on the school website –

Mrs. Childs is indeed a shining light in Christian leadership and has led the school brilliantly towards and through the SIAMS inspection. Our governors have shown courageous advocacy in all their decisions over the past few years – joining with the Stour Federation (which are non-church schools), opening a Nursery and offering Breakfast club provision. It is very pleasing that the strong partnerships that we have built and enhanced over the years with St. George’s Church are recognised, that pupils are happy, hardworking and feel safe, and that staff are recognised as exemplary role models. It is a very strong report: Mrs. Childs, staff and governors all feel we are close to achieving the ‘Excellent’ grade and will be striving to achieve excellence in the coming years.