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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Lewis

“Outstanding SMSC”

When it comes to evaluating the SMSC (spiritual, moral, social, and cultural) provision within a school, Ofsted (the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services, and Skills) uses a set of criteria to determine whether the provision is “Outstanding”. The following are some of the key characteristics that Ofsted considers when making this determination.

A strong culture of respect: Ofsted evaluates whether the school has a strong culture of respect, where all members of the school community are valued and treated with dignity. This is essential for promoting the spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development of pupils.

A broad and balanced curriculum: Ofsted assesses whether the curriculum provides pupils with the opportunity to explore a range of SMSC topics, including values and ethics, spirituality, culture, and social issues. A broad and balanced curriculum ensures that pupils are exposed to a diverse range of perspectives and experiences.

Engaging experiences outside the classroom: Ofsted will also consider the opportunities pupils have to engage with the wider community and participate in activities that promote their SMSC development, such as visits to cultural institutions, charities, and community groups.

Active promotion of British values: Ofsted evaluates whether the school actively promotes the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different beliefs and faiths.

A positive school culture: Ofsted assesses the overall culture of the school and whether it promotes positive attitudes and behaviours. This includes evaluating whether there is a strong sense of community and whether pupils feel safe, respected, and supported within the school environment.

In order to achieve an “Outstanding” evaluation for SMSC provision, a school must demonstrate a commitment to promoting SMSC throughout the school community, a broad and balanced curriculum, and a positive school culture. Ofsted will also consider the impact of SMSC provision on pupil outcomes, including academic performance, personal and social development, and the development of skills for life. By working to meet these criteria, schools can ensure that their pupils receive the best possible education and are equipped with the skills and values they need to succeed in life.



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