The inspection of a school under Section 48 (S48) of the 2005 Education Act, provides an independent external evaluation of its effectiveness as a provider of Catholic education and a diagnosis of what it should do to improve, based upon a range of evidence. S48 Inspection, therefore, complements Ofsted Inspections, but should be seen as dealing with matters fundamental to the Catholic school which are not inspected by Ofsted.
The Portsmouth Diocesan Framework for the S48 is a Self-Review and Evaluation of Catholic Education. This framework is designed to assist schools in the process of reviewing the Catholic education which they provide, evaluating its content and planning its future development. It enables schools to systematically assess the nature of their Catholic identity and how effectively their pupils benefit from the curriculum and Catholic character of the school. The Catholic school offers an education which is religious in both its context and content. There is no area of its life or curriculum which is not relevant to its Catholic character. However, because many aspects of school life are subject to review processes by such bodies as Ofsted and ISIS, the Self-Review and Evaluation of Catholic Education focuses on the following key aspects:
- The school as a Catholic community
- Curriculum religious education
- Pupils’ spiritual and moral development