News Bradford Academies Jump up Church Inspection Framework

Two Bradford Church of England Academies, part of Bradford Diocesan Academies Trust (BDAT), moved up the National SIAMS framework this month having demonstrated real improvements in terms of their values, ethos and school performance.

Immanuel College, a Thackley based secondary school, made the move from “Good” in 2010 to the highest possible grade of “Outstanding” in 2016. The College was described as being “highly effective and distinctive because of the excellent leadership of the Headteacher who is challenged and supported by a knowledgeable governing body and a dedicated and talented leadership team”. (SIAMS March 2016)

The outstanding judgement comes hot on the heels of the “Achievement Award” received by the College the previous week as part of the Telegraph and Argus schools awards 2016.

Speaking of her delight Jane Tiller, the Head teacher spoke of the judgement being a resounding endorsement of the good work going on across Bradford schools. “There is a real culture and commitment to drive performance across schools in the district. Immanuel College is one of many schools in Bradford setting pupil achievement and community well-being as their highest priorities so that our pupils leave school with the foundations for a very bright future.”

The staff and pupils at Christ Church Academy were also delighted to move from a “satisfactory” judgement in 2010 to a “good” judgement in March 2016. The report commented that “Academy status and strengthened leadership has led to substantial strengthening of the Christian character of the school resulting in a much improved climate for learning”. (SIAMS March 2016).

Philippa Foster, Head teacher at Christ Church commented how pleased she was on the both the findings of the inspection and in particular the positive and supportive comments from parents who spoke of the “transformation in the attitudes and behaviour of children in the school …. the improvement in education provision and the quality of relationships that govern life in school”.

Inspectors also commented on the bespoke support for the most vulnerable learners with provision focusing “on the needs of every child with generous provision for those requiring additional support for learning or aspects of their behaviour”. (SIAMS March 2016). This commentary reflects and reinforces the judgements made by last year’s OFSTEDs inspection which credited Christ Church Academy as “an exceptionally caring school where pupils are helped to believe in themselves.” (Ofsted, March 2015).

The National Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist School (SIAMS) is a church led inspection framework which considers how church schools are using their underpinning Christian values and ethos to deliver inspiring and engaging learning experiences for students. Schools are judged on both the effectiveness of their provision and the distinctiveness of their delivery. Both Christ Church Academy and Immanuel College are Church of England Academies within the local Diocesan sponsor Bradford Diocesan Academies Trust.

Speaking on behalf of the Diocese, Richard Noake, the Diocesan Director of Education for West Yorkshire and the Dales spoke positively of the work of both schools recognised in their SIAMS inspection: “SIAMs is a statutory inspection framework for all Church schools that sits alongside Ofsted inspections. It asks very similar questions to Ofsted about how effectively the school is delivering outcomes for children and it particularly asks how well the Christian ethos and values that underpins the work of the school contribute to these outcomes. Both Immanuel and Christ Church have demonstrated that through their unique delivery of these values, the thoughtful collective worship, the effective R.E. and dynamic leadership, they have created school environments that can drive successful and inspiring learning. We applaud the staff and school leaders for their ability to promote and drive this sense of stability, community and Christian character during a time of great change across the education landscape”.

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