What you should be clear about is that the SEF hasn’t gone yet. The SEF will no longer be used from September 2011 but until then it remains a main feature of the inspection system.
In the longer term the decision is up to you. After spending so long coming to terms with the SEF and making it tell your school’s story then it is likely that you will want to keep at least some aspects of it. Certainly you will need to have some kind of process of self-evaluation in order to support your school improvement process.
Our manager’s briefcase provides some suggestions for how you might adapt your present SEF to better reflect your context and priorities. However, it’s now down to you how you develop your self-evaluation and school improvement process. It is likely that you will still want to keep a similar cycle of improvement:
Remember, school self-evaluation isn’t just about you, your staff and governors. It’s important that students and their parents have a say too. The current inspection framework places great emphasis on this. You might refer to the articles below for more information on how you might do this.
We now know that Ofsted is up for inspection itself. It is currently under review and changes are imminent. It is likely that these changes will include greater ‘proportionality’ with outstanding schools being inspected less and those that are perceived as struggling, more.
We also know that it is likely that inspections will focus on four principal areas:
- The quality of teaching
- The effectiveness of leadership
- Pupils’ behaviour and safety
- Pupils’ achievement
Inspectors will also consider:
- The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils at the school
- The extent to which the education provided meets the needs of the range of pupils particularly those with a disability and those with SEN
- Inspectors will look closely at provision for different groups including:
- Minority ethnic groups
- Those eligible for FSM and the Pupil Premium
- Looked after children
- Gifted and talented pupils
So when you come to decide on what you include in your self-evaluation it is important that you maintain a key focus on these areas and that you have data and information about the performance and progress of these groups.
From September 2011 there will be a new evaluation schedule of some kind. You will need to be mindful of the contents of this when deciding upon the form your self-evaluation will take.
During this period of change don’t take your eye off self-evaluation as an essential element in the campaign to help your pupils achieve the best that they can.