They are designed to find out how the school is 'selling' the CofE message. In particular, they pushed an approach to collective worship that was alien to the school, where we had always followed more of a community school approach.
John, from Nottingham
After each SIAMS, a shift was happening. A lengthy end of the day prayer was added. I even saw some teachers berating children for not joining in. Children were drafted in to help lead assemblies. Posters openly promoting God were on display along with more visual Christian symbols.
SIAMS visits require large amounts of repeated work and gives near identical feedback to several schools including the number of crucifixes and age-appropriate understanding of the Trinity. SIAMS requires documentary evidence in the shape of a lengthy self-evaluation form and specific evidence of worship and Christian ethos and values. Ofsted recognised the administrative burden this level of documentation places on schools and removed these requirements a number of years ago.
These inspections should not be taking place in 21st century schools. Our children's' education should be without the influence of religious bodies, especially when the majority of society does not practice any religion.
Elizabeth, from MANCHESTER
Thank you so much for all the work you do compiling these reports and fronting these campaigns. I have used your letter to write to my MP again. Please keep up the amazing work!
Tommy, from COVENTRY
We need independent reviews of schools, not some biased whitewashing by the school's own board. It is a waste of resources and can cause harm. Transparency and accountability should be the order of the day.