As you will know the Ofsted SEF is no longer available to submit online and we have spent much time here at MBK 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 whatever format you have used in the past then you will have valuable information in there that you can evolve into your new self-evaluation. The hardest part for many has always been what to include and where to put it all and having now been release from the confines of the Ofsted SEF Online this broadens out exactly how you might achieve this in your own setting. Of course you will be graded in your Ofsted Inspection using the Education Inspection Framework and therefore it makes sense to use that as a template for evaluating your practice.
However, we are also aware that some people have struggled with the ‘what do we do next’ having evaluated their settings. So here at MBK Group 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 Education Inspection Framework. We have gone further though and to continue from this we have included a full focus improvement plan and action sheet, both also including a written example, something that gives you the full 360 degree process.
These products are available in our Shop. Search Self-evaluation and Focus Improvement Plan.