The Ofsted SEF or self-evaluation form, as produced by Ofsted are longer a requirement for Early Years Providers.
This is great news, although many providers have been producing their own evaluations linked to their planning and outcomes for some time. The SEF was undoubtedly a good management tool for creating information about the setting and giving practitioners a place to be reflective about their practise.
We are often involved with early year’s providers in action planning, assessments, outcomes for children and management and governance. For many, this will come as welcome news and in the long run I am sure that this is the case. Settings who have become reliant on all the information needed for the Ofsted inspector being available in the SEF will now need to use other tools in their toolkits.
One of the best methods we suggest is to integrate the Action Plans across the setting and the curriculum into a document that can be translated into overall planning. Using a RAG system can easily identify and provide a timeline for actions needed and indicate systems and procedures which are working well.
You can always be bold, and use gold or silver to show that expectations are exceeded!!
In Nursery World, 9.2.18, it states that from 1st April 2008, the online SEF will cease to exist and quote,
“While managers and staff of childcare settings need to be able to evaluate the care and activities their setting provides, and how well they are meeting the learning needs of children to an Ofsted inspector, they do not need to fill in the SEF. This is clarified in the inspectorate’s myth-busting campaign.
Ofsted says that it hopes the removal of the form will help to reduce burden on early year’s providers.”
The Pre School Learning Alliance also mentions that the need for the SEF is part of the myth busting campaign from Ofsted Early Years teams and that by no longer needing to complete the SEF this will enable managers and practitioners to reduce some of the administration burden and be more focussed on the delivery of the Early Years Foundation Stage.
I wonder how many settings will stow away their SEF into the bottom of the cupboard and how many will already have developed their own systems and happily send the SEF to the famous filing cabinets!
Sue Martin Early Years Consultant