CofE Primary School SIAMS and OFSTED Reports show depth and breadth of education

Published on: 8th June 2024

Pupils and teacher at Burley Gate CE Primary school walking across field

Two more Church of England primary schools in our diocese receive glowing reports – one from SIAMS and the other from OFSTED

It might seem daunting that Church of England primary schools face two inspection regimes, SIAMS and OFSTED. But, two recent inspections show that these two frameworks complement each other and make for a richer, deeper and broader education. They provide a rich framework for delivering education in the many and varied settings of our schools.

St Leonard’s CE Primary School in Bridgnorth, received a SIAMS inspection report which highlighted the rich Christian ethos, which is woven into every aspect of this much-loved local primary school.  Pupils, teachers and supporters enjoyed a lunchtime picnic to celebrate the good news. 

Archdeacon of Ludlow, The Ven Fiona Gibson, who also chairs the Hereford Diocesan Board of Education, joined the special picnic, adding: “It’s wonderful to hear how this school is encouraging pupils to grow in their faith, which is expressed in the way the fruit of the Holy Spirit is shown by the positive relationships within the school in hard times as well as better times. I was particularly heartened to read that parents gave examples of older children flourishing at secondary school because of the Christian foundations from St. Leonard’s. They are a school who is living out the vision for our diocese and the wider Church; growing disciples, proclaiming Christ and they show that it transforms lives.”

Fiona continued: “Despite the threat of rain, I was thankful that our prayers were answered, and we stayed dry for the celebration picnic.”

The SIAMS report highlighted a number of areas of strength, including teaching which provides inspiration that equips pupils to grown and flourish.  The leadership and governance of the school is highly motivated and continually monitors the school’s vision ensuring it contributes to a distinctively Christian character.

At the other end of the diocese, Burley Gate CE Primary School in Ocle Pychard, in the Frome Valley benefice near Bromyard in Herefordshire, has received another ‘Good’ rating from Ofsted in its inspection last month. The school which is part of the Diocese of Hereford Multi Academy Trust, was praised for being welcoming to everyone, for setting high expectations for all pupils – including those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) – and for creating an environment in which children enjoy life and feel safe.

Among the many positives highlighted, the school was complimented for taking ‘effective care of pupils’ physical and mental health’, for the relationships formed between staff and pupils and for its calm, purposeful feel.

SIAMS (Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools) is the national church’s framework for inspection which explores how each school’s theologically rooted Christian vision drives the work, and enables the school to live up to its foundation as a Church school. It takes into consideration each school’s context and looks for impact, rather than evaluating against a fixed set of criteria. The more familiar OFSTED regime also aims to take a holistic view, including pastoral care, and a more defined range of academic outcomes.

Speaking about the outcome of the Ofsted inspection, Canon Andrew Teale, Chief Executive Officer at DHMAT, said:

“We are delighted with this inspection report recognises the high-quality primary education offer at Burley Gate CE Primary. The staff work incredibly hard to deliver a creative curriculum, from the vibrant and nurturing early years environment to the high academic expectations of the final year at primary school. 

“Our experienced and highly capable school leaders, led by Executive Headteacher, Michele Lewis, are driving the positive development of this precious Church of England school.”



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