Social, moral, spiritual and cultural education and development is an crucial duty for schools, especially in light of requirements to teach ‘British Values’. Headteacher Helen Frostick looks at key definitions to help you evaluate your school’s provision and offers some ideas for SMSC activities

Under Ofsted criteria, the grade descriptor for outstanding effectiveness of leadership and management of SMSC (social, moral, spiritual and cultural development) is: “Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and, within this, the promotion of fundamental British values, are at the heart of the school’s work.”

How this differs from the grade descriptor for good rests on the ability of the school to show evidence that this work is an integral part of school life and the on-going education of all of pupils, rather than a bolt-on or add-on.

As SMSC development is such an important aspect of how schools are measured in terms of their effectiveness, good practice is to include it as part of the general self-review and self-evaluation process alongside the self-evaluation and self-review of teaching and learning, behaviour and welfare, leadership and management and safeguarding. This can facilitate a strong statement of why SMSC is outstanding in the school.

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