The Ofsted School Self-evaluation Form The SEF by byrnetown72


									       The Ofsted School Self-evaluation Form: The SEF
                 An Aide Memoire for Part A

A very useful document to guide schools in the production of the SEF is
the combined DfES and Ofsted publication - A new Relationship with
Schools: Improving Performance through School Self-Evaluation. It is
available for download or to order at

     The SEF is not the school’s self evaluation but a written record of that
     It asks schools to demonstrate clear judgements and to indicate where
      evidence to support those judgements can be found.
     If it is open and honest it provides a valuable tool for school improvement.
     It indicates how well senior staff know the school.

Composition of the SEF
3 parts:
        A. Self evaluation
        B. Factual information
        C. Compliance with statutory requirements.
        Part A is simpler than S4 and more logical in its presentation but the
         components of Every Child Matters are threaded through the
         evaluation and schools need to ensure that they develop these strands
         in their responses.
        Part A also focuses tightly on the core systems of the school in relation
          Standards and achievement
          Provision including teaching and learning
          Leadership and management; the SEF should make the link
             between the quality of leadership and management and standards
         ………… and threaded through will be an evaluation of the school’s
         contribution to the 5 outcomes of every child matters

Hints on completing the SEF
    Complete parts B and C first then you can draw on those 2 parts for
    Keep it simple and avoid jargon
    Focus on what matters most and do not include every judgement and bit
      of evidence.
    Answer questions by using clear judgements
    Justify each answer with a clear summary of evidence

         When referring to evidence and data do not repeat at length evidence
          found in Parts B and C or in documents like the PANDA but do say what
          the evidence told you, what you did and the impact of your actions.
         Evaluation of impact is key to an effective SEF. For example consider the
          impact of meeting the 5 outcomes of Every Child Matters and children’s
         Use evidence selectively and indicate where other evidence may be
          found. This may be done through using a separate box/ paragraph if it
          adds to the clarity of what is written.

     Some common mistakes
      Lists of things that a school does in each section with no evaluation on
       impact. Most schools are evaluative in section 7 but overlook the fact that
       all the other sections of the SEF also need to be evaluative. Sections 1
       and 2 benefit from evaluative conclusions recognising emerging issues
       and evaluating progress so far in managing those issues.
      Using phrase and expressions gathered from courses on SSE and SEFs
       which do not relate to the school. Every SEF will be unique. There is no
       formula that will produce a good SEF as if by magic.
      Failure to check for consistency across each section. For example if
       achievement is inadequate leadership and management cannot be good
       and the school cannot be effective. Satisfactory or inadequate progress
       will also indicate poor leadership. Leadership and management should be
       judged on the basis of the outcomes for learners.

Section 1: Characteristics of the school
   In this section the school’s key contextual factors should be set out as
      these will indicate the school’s challenges and priorities for development
      to be developed through the SEF.
   Clarify levels of attainment on entry to the school.
   Bring the key contextual factors together in a conclusion which evaluates
      the situation and progress made so far in addressing it.

Section 2: Views of learners, parents and other stakeholders
   Provides for the school to say how it gathers the views of the main
   The section will indicate how the school has reacted to concerns and
      provide an evaluation of these actions on the learning of pupils.
   If work has not been undertaken this needs to be explained with reasons

Section 3: Achievement and standards
   Clearly understand the difference between achievement and attainment.

         Set out main messages from available data. Try to use a variety of data
          to give a full picture. Include foundation subjects as well as core subjects if
          possible in all schools.
         Report on the progress of different groups of learners and evaluate the
         Refer to results in the last academic year and trends over time.
         Point out conflicts that may exist in relation to different sets of data and the
          implications of this.
         Be clear about strengths and areas for development indicated by the
         Be clear about attainment on entry to each phase of education.
         Ensure that the text demonstrates how the judgement grade is arrived at.
          The emphasis is on standards achieved, that is standards in relation to the
          ability of pupils.

Section 4: Learners’ Personal development and well-being
   In most schools the only tangible evidence for this section will be
      attendance and exclusion data.
   The focus is on the learners’ personal development and the extent to
      which the school is meeting the Every Child Matters outcomes.
   This section more than any others tends to be a long list of actions.
      Remember to apply the ‘so what?’ question to statements. If the text does
      not explain why the statement is included and what it means for learning it
      is not worth including.
   Ensure the school understands that ‘spiritual’ does not refer to religious
      but for opportunities for reflection about the natural world enabling pupils
      to develop a personal response to all aspects of life including those that
      are sad as well as those that are celebrated. Ensure a similar
      understanding for moral, social and cultural development.
   Include evidence from monitoring any of these aspects if it is available.
   Remember to include an overall conclusion which is honest and points the
      way to strengths and areas for development.
   Include an evaluation of how the school’s actions impact on learning. For
      example is the school’s drive to improve standards leading to improved

Section 5: The quality of provision
   Judgements about teaching must be linked to standards and achievement.
      This section therefore has strong links to Section 3.
   Consider how well teaching is matched to the needs of learners and
      therefore how assessment information is used.
   Keep the ‘how do you know?’ question on hand to ensure that first hand
      evidence backs up statements.
   Clearly evaluate the curriculum and be up front if statutory requirements
      are not met. Details of this will be found in Part C of the SEF
   Ensure that you provide details of the main sources of evidence.

     Section 6: Leadership and management
        Often a difficult section that benefits from an external perspective.
        It may be useful to start by looking at outcomes.
        Ensure judgements about leadership and management are compatible
           with those found elsewhere in the SEF.
        Indications of clear effective monitoring are essential in this section.
        Indicate what is done with evidence from monitoring and the impact of
           those actions. All assertions must be substantiated with evidence.
        Differentiate between the quality of leadership and management in the
           SEF but you will need to make a composite judgement.
        Make judgements about governors but support them with evidence.
        Provide an overall summary to this section making it clear that the
           school knows its strengths and weaknesses.

   Section 7: Overall effectiveness and value for money
       This section of the SEF brings together all previous evaluations.
       Jugdements and supporting evidence need to be consistent with all
          those given elsewhere.
       Be honest about the extent of improvement since the previous
       Be clear about what needs to be done to improve the school further.
          Schools in the past have included improving accommodation and
          finance here but for most schools this response has been avoiding the
          issue. Some hard edged judgements are required here.
       Value for money takes into account standards achieved, the
          effectiveness of leadership and management and the context of the
          school including unit cost per pupil. Standards achieved are the most
          significant indicators about whether a school is good value for money.
       Consider elements that could impact on the school’s capacity to
          improve; e.g. budget, staffing issues, accommodation, changing intake.

Carmen Markham. July 2005


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