Now the SEF is gone
4 April 2018
If you see one of my previous blogs you’ll know I didn’t update my Ofsted SEF that often. The main reason for this was time. I found it a real chore! What would you put as a priority, time with the children and improving their experiences, or spending hours writing about what you’ve been doing with the children improving their experiences?
So lots of people now think they have to do their own version of the SEF. Think again! This is what Ofsted say:
“Childcare providers do not need to produce any self-evaluation documentation, but managers and staff should be able to discuss the setting with the inspector. Inspectors will ask staff about the quality of care and activities they provide, and how well the setting is meeting the learning needs of all children.
So please stop writing! The only person who read your SEF was probably the Ofsted inspector the day before they inspected you. If your worth your salt they’ll see that you do great things. They will ask how you safeguard children. They’ll see you give them healthy snacks, they will ask you and observe the learning environment. They will look at the impact you have on their lives. The keyword in the statement above is “discuss”. They’re going to talk to you about what you do.
What I think is important to record is a current improvement plan, what you’re improving and why, and most importantly what impact it’s having on the children. For example, we noticed that maths development wasn’t having great cover in our observations ant tracking, so we looked at our provision inside and out, increased opportunities to explore maths, and now children are showing great progress in tracking. Another example is acting on training (Ofsted love this!) and the impact it has. These are things you can discuss with your team, and your inspector when they come.
If you write an old fashioned SEF form, the chances are nobody now will probably read it properly but you. It’s still important to look at the judgement areas for inspection and it’s really useful to look at the descriptors of outcomes in the Ofsted inspection handbook to reflect on your practice with a view to making improvements.
The SEF is gone, my advice is always be reflective, never stand still and always improve….but please stop writing so much!