The Diocese of Leeds
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Section 48

School Inspections

School InspectionCatholic schools, as part of the mission of the Church, are challenged by the gospel to affirm their pupils' basic goodness, to promote their dignity and to develop their gifts to the full. Schools are challenged to educate people to live responsibly for the fullness of life that God wills for each of us.
The Catholic community recognises the importance of school self-evaluation as a continuous process that is complemented from time to time by external inspection. Self-evaluation makes an important contribution to inspections. It provides the school and the inspectors with a means of ensuring that inspection covers matters of potential significance to the school. The inspection should be understood in the context of self-evaluation and will include, as well as the provision and standards achieved in curriculum Religious Education, the broad Catholic life of the school.

The purpose of inspection is to assist the school in its continuing work of self-evaluation through the identification of particular strengths, of areas requiring further improvement, and of progress made since the last inspection.

The arrangements for the Section 48 Inspections (Education Act 2005) enable the Church to assess systematically the work of Catholic schools. They also provide an opportunity to support, challenge, evaluate and promote this vital work in the mission of the Church.

The Framework and Schedule set out the requirements, which will enable a full coverage of the school's Catholic life and worship and its provision, work and achievements in the field of Religious Education. This procedure will ensure that each school is treated in the same manner and that there is comparability between inspections and a common approach to reporting. It is hoped this procedure will always reflect the Church's mission.

Inspections are to be set within the Bishop's responsibilities in Canon Law which state that:

'The formation and education in the Catholic Religion provided in any school […] is subject to the authority of the Church.’ (Canon 804)

‘The diocesan Bishop has the right to watch over and inspect the Catholic schools situated in his territory'. (Canon 806)

The Diocese has also assumed, under Section 48 of the Education Act 2005, the inspection, in all its schools, of the Catholic Life of the School and Religious Education.

It is the policy of the Trustee of the Diocese of Leeds

to ensure that the process of Section 48 Inspections (Education Act 2005) is of the highest quality and is aligned to diocesan policies, guidelines, strategies and practices.

In order to achieve this

a designated body, the Diocesan Board for (Section 48) Inspections (DBI) will be appointed by the Bishop to ensure the implementation of the diocesan policy on Section 48 inspections.