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Is the Sef worthwhile?


Guest Spiral
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Guest Spiral

I am currently working on updating our SEF and am questioning whether it is really worth the extra input? I'm exhausted and feel a lot of pressure to complete it.

 

Does anyone actually use their SEF to input on their setting or does it sit on a shelf once its completed gathering dust?

 

Spiral :-I

 

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I think they are important but the SEF should just contain the outcome of your self evaluation process...too many I have to read are just a description of everything the setting does and not about what has actually been focused on, improved and what needs to be done next. The SEF forms the link between the evaluation processes in the setting and the improvement plan.

Also doing Ofsted inspections without a SEF does mean you go into the setting blind and have to dig around quite a lot to get information about the things you have to check on, whereas with a SEF you have an idea of the way the setting thinks before you get there.

Cx

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Thats why I decided not to do my SEF as it seemed a repeat of the county one we use which has a action plan at the end of section and which we complete a section at a time on a rolling programme as a setting at each half termly inset day. The SEF just seemed to repeat some of those self evaluations and self judgements but was only being completed by one person, me!! This way all staff input and I have one less job. We are due OFSTED so I am looking forward to their opinion

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Hi Spiral

 

Wish I could say that our SEF is a 'working document' - but honesty prevents.........I do know and understand that it really should be but there are just so many things to think about and keep up with that I'm afraid my SEF gets an 'annual update' and then sits not on 'a shelf' but certainly in a folder :(

 

That said, I do think it's a worthwhile process and I certainly found it extremely helpful for our last inspection - I made sure that the inspector took a hard copy away with her :1b

 

I'm really interested in catma's post - 'should contain the outcome of your self-evaluation process'............when the SEF was first introduced and training offered - one of the points that stuck with me, was the trainer saying "so what" - this a reminder to say that to yourself as you write your SEF :1b

 

My current SEF is really perhaps a little too brief - my SIP commented "I think you are selling yourself short" - so I intend to re-visit in the summer hols :blink: :1b

 

Are your staff team able to contribute Spiral and take some of pressure off at all?

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...My current SEF is really perhaps a little too brief - my SIP commented "I think you are selling yourself short" - so I intend to re-visit in the summer hols :blink: :1b

Hi sunnyday

 

I would love to have a "brief" SEF as mine could be use as a door stop, any chance you might share the secret as I'm sure it must be easier to update "brief" :1b

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Hi sunnyday

 

I would love to have a "brief" SEF as mine could be use as a door stop, any chance you might share the secret as I'm sure it must be easier to update "brief" :1b

 

No 'secret' Pimms - I just cut out what was really a whole load of 'waffle' - any Inspector entering my setting - should :ph34r: be able to see for her/himself what my 'Continuous Provision'/'Enabling Environment' looks like - so there's absolutely no need (I hope/think) for me to be describing it for them :blink:

Have used 'bullet points' where (I felt) might be appropriate, have tried hard not to repeat myself too :rolleyes:

 

But, as I said, my SIP wasn't 'bowled over' by my efforts - so probably best to just ignore me! :blink: :D

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But, as I said, my SIP wasn't 'bowled over' by my efforts - so probably best to just ignore me! :blink: :D

...ha what do they know. I'm certain that less is more in the case of the SEF. Could you bring your shears round to mine to help me cut out the waffle? :rolleyes:

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I have just completed the Tribal training and we were told its very important as inspectors will look at it before inspection to have an insite into the setting and strengths and weaknesses before they arrive. Then once they have observed can question anything they are unsure of.

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My SEF does sort of sit on the shelf however this update I have cut down, used bullet points and tried to focus on the impact of what we do and how I can measure/evidence or show that impact. Rather than just describing what we do. I have also taken it for granted that anyone looking at the SEF will know what I mean by phrases and terms I am using rather than getting hooked up explaining those as well as if the reader of my SEF would know nothing!

 

I have a yearly improvement focus for the setting and this is highlighted in the SEF and has action plans etc... so I suppose the working document would be the action plan rather than the SEF. I think that makes sense :P

 

I also make action plans for improvements highlighted by children's centres etc.. which are also mentioned in the SEF - so I guess my SEF would end up being the central document this is all recorded together but the working documents would be the action plans attached drawn up for improvements.

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Way back in 2005 I did an SEF which stated what we did and where the evidence was. This is up-dated once a year and changed to suit whichever version of the EYFS etc. we happen to be following at the time. All to keep Ofsted happy! However, we have a working SEF which consists of action sheets on which I scrawl done things that we (staff, children, parents) think need to change, how to achieve this and we do our best to do so, and evidence it. So far, all our inspectors have been happy with this and I've never put it on the Ofsted site. However, I think I might actually put it on-line as it really depends on the inspector you get on the day. Our last inspection was a year ago and our inspector had looked at and liked our website. On this was our prospectus, policies, photographs of our setting and activities, which gave her a good idea of what we were like. Perhaps if she had not done this she might not have felt so well prepared with our SEF not being on-line.

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I have just completed the Tribal training and we were told its very important as inspectors will look at it before inspection to have an insite into the setting and strengths and weaknesses before they arrive. Then once they have observed can question anything they are unsure of.

Me too! But you don't always have one! I've not had access to a sef yet!

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I have just completed the Tribal training and we were told its very important as inspectors will look at it before inspection to have an insite into the setting and strengths and weaknesses before they arrive. Then once they have observed can question anything they are unsure of.

 

Me too! But you don't always have one! I've not had access to a sef yet!

 

Bit of a post hijacking but I am doing Tribal training in July (Poacher turned Gamekeeper xD ) - what's it like

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What do you mean by "access to a SEF"? If you mean someone else's, then you can look at another thread on the forum.

 

I just finished rewriting ours a couple of days ago, after realising that I got it wrong!

If it is submitted to ofsted then it is made available to the inspector as part of their preparation process. Edited by catma
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At my last inspecton the sef had clearly been read very carefully, Inspector came in with intelligent questions/comments and requests regarding her needs on the day..... made all the effort sorting it worthwhile! :D

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As if!

 

But credit should be given where due?? ;) (And, to be fair, I've never had a problem with an Inspector)

 

Ah no - wrong Sue - I was talking about Sue J - she is off to do the 'Tribal training'! :rolleyes:

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Sunnyday stop fretting - I'm doing enough of it as it is - my LA offered training with Tribal and at the moment I am taking the view that if Ofsted become the sole arbiter of quality I consider it a wise business move to "know thy enemy" - having said that there's always the chance to earn some pocket money to keep my head above water during the holidays - I have the Darth Vader outfit ready for just the occasion xDxDxD

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Ah no - wrong Sue - I was talking about Sue J - she is off to do the 'Tribal training'! :rolleyes:

OOPS!

 

Who's got a big head, then? :rolleyes: (I mean me, thinking you are talking about me all the time ;) xx.)

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Ours had been updated/submitted months before our inspection yet the inspector hadn't seen it prior to arrival.

It may not get uploaded in the inspection documents inspectors are given access to before they get to you, not the inspectors fault I'm afraid!

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When we were inspected the inspector made it quite clear that she had read the SEF thoroughly and given us a judgement prior to arrival - her inspection was to prove we were doing what we said we were doing.....I think its a worthwhile process, time consuming but when done as a team you all get the chance to reflect and evaluate on your practice - its a good opportunity to come together as a team too.

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When we were inspected the inspector made it quite clear that she had read the SEF thoroughly and given us a judgement prior to arrival

To be honest, it might give a grade starting point but the inspection outcome has to be based on what is observed during the inspection. Yes, it's about does it stack up but no inspection would be just about the SEF!

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