In the midst of church school inspection

PhD Thesis

James, M. 2018. In the midst of church school inspection. PhD Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University Faculty of Education
AuthorsJames, M.
TypePhD Thesis
Qualification nameEdD

This thesis explores the influence that the existence and practical outworking of the Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) has on the actions and decisions of four leaders of two Church of England primary schools. It also critically examines the nature of the knowledge created by SIAMS. Reviewing literature on school inspection and the sociology of education led to a focus on the role of performativity, power, authority, and expertise in the SIAMS process and the subsequent creation of intended and unintended consequences, such as fabrication and image management, through it.
The empirical research took the form of a narrative inquiry. I carried out unstructured life-story interviews with the four participants, approximately nine months before each school’s SIAMS inspection. I used the interview data to create profiles of the individuals, out of which I drew foci for non-participant observation on the day of the schools’ inspection.
The theoretical lens through which I analysed the data is “three dimensional narrative inquiry space”, a theory rooted in the narrative commitment to understanding the connections between a person’s life and their experiences. The dimensions of sociality, temporality, and place gave insight into and “thick description” of the way in which the church school leaders acted as a result of past and present experiences, relationships with others and self, and, to a lesser extent, places in response to their experience of SIAMS. Analysis revealed ways in which the school leaders were influenced both consciously and subconsciously by the power relations vested in SIAMS and dealt with dissonance created by internal conflict relating to the nature of knowledge within SIAMS.
The results of this enquiry cannot be generalised as the truth of SIAMS for all church school leaders. However, a number of “narrative threads” emerged which led to the formation of questions which might be worthy of further investigation by those responsible for SIAMS and by my own professional self.

Supplemental file
File Access Level
Publication process dates
Deposited15 Mar 2019
Output statusUnpublished
Accepted author manuscript
Permalink -

Download files

Accepted author manuscript
  • 21
    total views
  • 9
    total downloads
  • 0
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month

Export as