Don’t Throw the Baby Out with the Bath Water

Ofsted Preparation: Your SEF and more

As you will know the Ofsted SEF is no longer available to submit online and we have spent much time here at Foundation Focus debating this and the consequences for small settings and groups. Whilst self-evaluation is very much required as part of the legislation this has never had to be written down and this is still the case. However, if like myself you do not work in the setting day to

day, then it’s a hard thing to evidence through staff knowledge alone. We therefore still hugely advocate the completion of a self-evaluation in a written format that works for you. You can ask the inspector to look at this during the inspection or even email it to them the night before – remember this is the window to your setting and done well, provides the initial measure for the Inspector to grade from.

What we are saying first though is ‘don’t throw the baby out with the bath water’ because if you are using the current format and it works for you – why change? The hardest part for many has always been what to include and where to put it all and having done this huge exercise once then you can recognize the value of keeping the sections aligned to the 4 main judgements within the Common Inspection Framework, and as a format Ofsted are used to, it’s a win-win.  With this in mind, we have kept one of our original SEF examples and simply taken out the Ofsted text and reduced it to just 12 pages.  We have called our systems our Self Evaluation Formula!

However, we are also aware that some people have struggled with the ‘what do we do next’ having completed their SEF and so we have looked at a more cyclic way of self-evaluating and have chosen to follow this path. Essentially we have introduced a self-evaluation audit tool, complete with a written example, that settings can use to identify what they do well and consider what might need improving. This tool does also keep to the four main areas of judgement to support the links to the Common Inspection Framework. We have gone further though and to continue from this we have included a full focus

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improvement plan and action sheet, something that was only referred to in the previous product – and again examples are provided here as well. This therefore demonstrates a full 360 degree process.

You can get our new and improved SEF by clicking here. Enter code SEF30 to get £30 off (valid until Sunday 17th June).

If you’ve already purchased our SEF please check your emails as you should have received an email with details of our subscription and an offer to re-print. If this is not the case, please get in touch with the office who will be able to offer assistance.

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