19th February 2018 Leadership & Management All Posts

Ofsted scrapping the SEF, one less job to do?

Ofsted are scrapping their Early Years Self Evaluation Form (SEF)

It’s always been optional, but now the form itself will no longer exist.

Jacqueline Midgley; Childcare Consultant and ex Ofsted Inspector has previously spoken here at Connect HQ about the importance of a thorough SEF.

Now they’ve been scrapped, we asked Jacqui for her thoughts and what she suggested Childcare Providers should do now.

Here’s what she said:

Ofsted Scrapping The SEF…..

One Less Job To Do…..


The written SEF has never been a legal requirement, however, there has always been, and continues to be a legal requirement to evaluate practice. Therefore, all Childcare Providers MUST engage in a process of self-evaluation.

So how do you do this, and how do you evidence that you evaluate your practice at the highest level and use this evaluation to further drive up the quality of practice, and children’s experiences unless you write it down.

There are many key benefits to writing things down.

  • It allows for tasks to be accounted for in one place, leaving room in the brain to concentrate on more creative thinking
  • It ensures that the memory and all its leaks are managed
  • It gives you clarity and confidence that what you are doing is correct, and identifies where the gaps are
  • It’s a record of your business
  • It’s impossible to write down one idea whilst focussing on another, so as you write, you give your full attention

Thorough self-evaluation not only creates focus and a real understanding of how to improve further but it also clearly defines your expectations at your next inspection.

As an ex Early Years Inspector for Ofsted, when I was due to inspect a provision, I would dedicate time prior to a visit on thoroughly reading evidence of how they evaluate practice, where there was one available. Some settings may have done this via the online SEF, whilst others used their own systems and emailed those to Ofsted. A clearly written self-evaluation and improvement plan document allows an Inspector to understand your expectations and defines your business focus and goals, particularly where written in ‘Ofsted language’.

But what is ‘Ofsted language’ and how do you write a clearly defined Self Evaluation and Improvement Plan Document?

Well, I have created a Self-Evaluation toolkit which provides prompts to support you to present clear evidence to support the Ofsted judgement you want. You also get the support of the mastermind group, which helps you in a number of ways:

  1. You are held accountable through the group community.
  2. You will reflect, probe and identify well thought out areas for improvement.
  3. You are shown what to include to ensure you are absolutely focused on the impact and outcome of your practice.
  4. You are supported through the process by me, utilising my knowledge as an ex-Inspector.
  5. You are a member of the Self Evaluation Mastermind for life…..you can add to, update and review your document at any time.

What’s more, all this is a FREE BONUS when you register with Boxed Off Success, Early Years &  Childcare Consultancy and Training Platform.

So, to reiterate, you get….

  1. Access to your very own Early Years Consultant
  2. The peace of mind of knowing you are kept absolutely up to date
  3. WEEKLY short training emailed directly to every team member
  4. 24/7 access to an online library of documents, legislation, training and best practice guidance.
  5. The support you need to harness your whole team, to create consistently high-quality practice
  6. The toolkit and support to evaluate your practice and drive improvement.

……and all for a low monthly cost

So if you are not yet a member of Boxed Off Success yet, click on this link to take a look at the incredibly low cost and huge benefits.

Boxed off success childcare consultancy

Or send Jacqui a message directly to make sure you are getting the support you need to be fully prepared for your next Ofsted inspection.

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About the Author

Connect Childcare have been developing purpose built nursery management software for the past 15 years. Their missions is: To develop management software that improves the lives of children, globally.