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  • Writer's pictureDaniel O'Brien

Creating a school SMSC checklist and audit

Schools can capture evidence of SMSC and audit gaps in provision using a tool like the GridMaker.

The new Ofsted personal development judgement has led many senior leaders to look again at how they evidence their school's spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) activity.

To help senior leaders start this self-evaluation process we've collated the following SMSC checklist, which can form the basis of an initial audit. The checklist can be divided into the following areas which relate to SMSC:

School Approach to SMSC

What is your aim/objective for SMSC provision?

Will reaching this objective enrich your school? How?

How are members of the senior leadership team (SLT) promoting this vision to teachers and parents?

Do you have an SMSC Policy, or does SMSC feature in your Curriculum Policy?

Does your self-evaluation or improvement plan feature SMSC development?

Does your school website or prospectus refer to SMSC values?

How do you keep parents, governors and other stakeholders informed of your SMSC provision?

Managing SMSC Resources

What type of teaching/learning resources are available to support staff in their delivery of SMSC values?

What strategy is in place to find new resources and distribute these to teaching staff?

Are teachers or subject leaders using SMSC resources tailored to their curriculum area?

If teaching staff create or find their own SMSC resources - how can they be shared within the school?

Assessing SMSC provision

Can each curriculum subject leader describe how SMSC is evidenced in their teaching and learning?

Does SMSC feature in a range of cross-curriculum projects and activities?

Which ‘learning outside the classroom’ opportunities contribute towards the SMSC provision?

How can you help teachers focus on specific SMSC values – and avoid omission or duplication?


Who is your school's nominated SMSC co-ordinator?

What extra training and support do they benefit from?

How does your SMSC co-ordinator share information, best practice and provide support to other staff?

Do you know which teachers have specialist knowledge or expertise in elements of SMSC development?

How do you encourage staff share SMSC best practice and collaborate with each other?

Managing SMSC provision (Plan, Do, Review)

How do senior leaders monitor SMSC provision across the entire school?

How do you review the effectiveness of your schools SMSC provision?

What evidence will you make available to Ofsted before or during an inspection?

How do you detect strengths or weaknesses in your school's SMSC provision?

What systems do you and your teachers use to capture evidence of SMSC?

How do you monitor external providers who contribute you your school's SMSC provision?

How do you assess the (positive) impact of your school’s SMSC provision on pupils?

Once you have audited SMSC provision across the school, the next step is to capture the various activities in one place so you can build up a picture of what is happening across the school and demonstrate impact.

This requires input from staff, which means making the tracking as quick and painless as possible so that it doesn’t increase their workload.

A tool like the Gridmaker will facilitate this process by making it easy for teachers to record brief details about a lesson or activity and map it to relevant SMSC criteria. School leaders can then use the information to analyse evidence and impact.



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