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Rebecca

Ofsted online SEF ends April 2018

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Ofsted have announced that the SEF document, generally completed online, will cease to be used from 1st April 2018. The SEF, in the current format, was never a statutory requirement, now it won't be available at all. The requirement for all settings to self-evaluate, reflect and review practice to improve outcomes for children remains in place. 

At inspection, providers will continue to need to demonstrate how they are self-evaluating. This extract from the early years inspection handbook is very clear:

From p14, 59-61

"Using the setting’s self-evaluation during the inspection

59.        Leaders and managers of settings should have an accurate view of the quality of their provision and know what to improve. This view should be summarised in their self-evaluation. Inspectors will use the self-evaluation to evaluate how well a setting knows its own strengths and weaknesses and how it can improve or maintain its high standards.

60.        The inspector must meet the provider or their representative to discuss the self-evaluation if they have one. Normally, the discussion should be at a point in the inspection that gives the inspector sufficient time to follow up any matters discussed. To test the accuracy of self-evaluation, the inspector will observe children learning, staff caring and teaching, and the safety and suitability of the premises. The inspector will discuss how the provider evaluates the quality of the provision, checking whether the setting takes account of the views of parents and the progress made by the children, to determine what it needs to improve. Providers do not need to produce a written self-evaluation, but must be prepared to discuss the quality of the environment and activities they provide, and how well they meet the learning needs of the children, with the inspector.

61.        During the inspection, inspectors will use the information provided through self-evaluation to test whether the provider’s view of the quality of the setting is realistic and to gauge what needs to improve."

 

If you have completed your SEF online, I would download it and save it as a document on your PC. If you have never found it particularly useful to work with, then now is your chance to try a different method!

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Thanks for that Rebecca - I knew this was coming - don't know how though - almost certainly this forum as that's where I get the best info:)

I have my SEF on laptop and a hard copy in my all singing, all dancing SEF folder!

I will update annually just as I have since the inception of the blessed thing!:ph34r::D

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Just now, sunnyday said:

Thanks for that Rebecca - I knew this was coming - don't know how though - almost certainly this forum as that's where I get the best info:)

I have my SEF on laptop and a hard copy in my all singing, all dancing SEF folder!

I will update annually just as I have since the inception of the blessed thing!:ph34r::D

Is your avatar dancing a little more happily this afternoon?!

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6 minutes ago, Rebecca said:

Is your avatar dancing a little more happily this afternoon?!

Oh yes, thank you!:)

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I was going to update the SEF over this half term break, so am relieved that I don't have to - and to not have to see it on the To Do List!
However, I liked to have some control over an inspection by knowing that the inspector had read beforehand about what we do and why, and what we have done and intend to do to improve.

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I had a discussion about this with Ofsted last Monday , she asked what system I would use.

She didn't seem to like me using our LA audits, as she said these can have their own agenda as what the LA wants to promote!

I said we currently use ABC Does's Environmental Plan, which all staff add to throughout the term/year. We note how we've changed set up ....etc. She seemed to like this method - as long as we could add parent views too.

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The SEF is like writing a dissertation every time! I was going to rely on my audits, ACE plans and progress data. Together with Parent/Carer feedback I would hope that would be enough. What does anyone else think ?

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Hi Hyacinth and welcome to the forum, It sounds fine, I use the descriptors in the back of the inspection handbook to make sure we are meeting those for ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ and just use a sheet that records what we plan to improve,reason(could be from not feeling we meet a descriptor, parent feedback/questionnaires,  staff suggestions, monitoring provision/how chn use or access resources/environment, training, other professionals)intended outcome, who & when by, evaluate. 

I (very) occasionally fed some of it into the SEF, but to be fair I did always feel sorry for inspectors having to read them, especially when you hear how many pages some run into....this is probably why it’s being dropped rather than saving us work :P

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15F1CCA7-77C1-4049-9B3E-6C9946179865.thumb.png.d0c7a7af3a358e10891b66c033a2d404.png

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Thank you for this nomski100 - I have merged your new thread into this one where people are already discussing this change :)

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On 12/02/2018 at 19:23, Wildflowers said:

However, I liked to have some control over an inspection by knowing that the inspector had read beforehand about what we do and why, and what we have done and intend to do to improve.

I agree. I wonder how much the inspector will know about the setting now before they arrive for the inspection. We are all quite different and I do feel that the first part of the SEF with all the setting informarion "set the scene", so to speak.

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Plus I often found it quoted in the inspection report! 

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1 hour ago, playgroup1 said:

I agree. I wonder how much the inspector will know about the setting now before they arrive for the inspection. We are all quite different and I do feel that the first part of the SEF with all the setting informarion "set the scene", so to speak.

xDxD   They will 'google' you!   (and possibly your staff too)

Just put everything on your website/facebook page if you have one- and keep it up to date. 

xx

 

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The inspector will still read any self-evaluation document that you present on the day. They will get a 'sense' of the setting as Loobyloo says, this is part of the expected preparation that inspectors do. This is from the inspection handbook

Inspection handbook p7.pngInspection handbook p8.png

When you take the inspector on the 'tour' at the beginning of the inspection make sure you point out things that you are really proud of and also things you are working on - make sure you show and demonstrate things you have talked about in your self-evaluation. It is a sign of good/outstanding management that areas for development can be identified, prioritised, acted upon and reviewed. You can ask the inspector if they have seen your website, Facebook, Twitter pages - make sure you put everything you have done in front of them - if you want them to see it, show it ... don't just hope they will find it for themselves. 

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worrying though that information on the internet...of which you have no control can be used as 'evidence'. We have one 'bad' review on a directory that  skews the ratings...it came from a parent who had an argument about a bill and chose to use her 'influence' online. I realise that most inspectors would see beyond this but still a bit of a worry.

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1 hour ago, finleysmaid said:

worrying though that information on the internet...of which you have no control can be used as 'evidence'. We have one 'bad' review on a directory that  skews the ratings...it came from a parent who had an argument about a bill and chose to use her 'influence' online. I realise that most inspectors would see beyond this but still a bit of a worry.

I think inspectors are well aware of malicious parents and biased reviews - they would be more interested in what parents said on the day and how any complaints were handled.

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There you go, if you leave something on your to do list for long enough - it takes care of itself.  Glad I didn't get round to updating.  I have been putting it off since September!

How are people showing / getting parent voice and child voice?  Also taking on board about website is anyone sharing their development plan or similar online?

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I was just thinking about the dreaded SEF and I was wondering what to do and how to present my information and I found this on line - so funny!!!!! I'm not a childminder, but how could someone write about the details of your setting?!!!! ... and then I realised you could also 'buy' a TA qualification, I'm astonished!5aa7f17f5ad06_SEFchildminder.thumb.png.30f68dd09298932be35cab78f87f2f71.png

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amazing!

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You beat me to it Panders! I'm sitting here outraged :o

I was going to put together some sort of self-evaluation / development plan / reflective document for people to use if they wanted to - do you think that would be helpful? I feel mean now because it hadn't occurred to me that I should also fill it in for people! Although, clearly a 'nice little earner' (Not really in the spirit of FSF though!) :D

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10 minutes ago, Panders said:

amazing!

Wow! 

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3 minutes ago, Rebecca said:

You beat me to it Panders! I'm sitting here outraged :o

I was going to put together some sort of self-evaluation / development plan / reflective document for people to use if they wanted to - do you think that would be helpful? I feel mean now because it hadn't occurred to me that I should also fill it in for people! Although, clearly a 'nice little earner' (Not really in the spirit of FSF though!) :D

Yes please Rebecca - but I don't expect you to complete it! xD:bananas:

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Yes Rebecca - I do, because so  many organizations out there are trying to make a quick buck out of us!    Things which our LA's once offered us for free, just because they could and they wanted us to be as good as we could be, they are now charging us for.   I know money is tight - but crikey.  How about beginning to  develop something, which we can all give a little input to

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Righto I will give it some thought ....

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That would be really useful Rebecca.......will it fit on one page :P

 

 

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I've started to gather some ideas together - please feel free to stick your oar in! 

Yes, Mouseketeer, it'll fit on one page - assuming that the page is the size of a small car :)

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Ok so not one page then, I was thinking more an A4 sheet and only one side of that ....I’m going to check out my existing SEF later on whilst I can still see it as I can’t remember what the headings are or what’s in it, I might get some inspiration, I tend to just use a development plan now.

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The latest Ofsted mythbusting document mentions the SEF:

4. Myth

Ofsted is removing the self-evaluation form (SEF) from 1 April 2018 but will still expect leaders to make a written record of their self-evaluation.

Fact

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.

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As much as it was a hassle to do, I'm gutted it has gone as it gave you the opportunity to explain the extent of what you personally do/ provide, so then the inspector has an idea of how you operate generally not just on the one off day of inspection and you can often forget to talk about all the things you cover on the inspection day. It also allowed people like myself who are not as confident to sell myself in person to do so in written format and not kick myself for forgetting things on the day.

I will continue to do one for Professional development  but its a shame as it puts that much more pressure on the one inspection day! 

It would be nice if they could leave it there optional and therefore inspectors could still read through those who do one?

 

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Posted (edited)

Hi FrancescaM and welcome.

I haven’t checked yet as I thought I still had 2 days left (and why do today what can be put off till tomorrow) but I’ve seen people posting that the option to view your SEF (and save it if you wanted to) has gone already .... 😔 

edit ....oh it has gone, I should have done it 2 weeks ago when I said I was going to, did they tell us a date it would vanish? I was working on the 1st April as no longer available...on well, that was hours of my life I’ll never see back 

Edited by Mouseketeer

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