Ofsted announce in Nursery World magazine (9.2.2018):
As of 1 April 2018, the optional early years self-evaluation form (SEF), which providers can use to prepare for inspection, will cease to exist.
The decision to remove the form follows a review by Ofsted into its effectiveness and whether or not it is needed.
The inspectorate consulted with early years leaders and managers and its National Consultative Forum and the general consensus was that the form is not necessary.
While managers and staff of childcare settings need to be able to evaluate the care and activities their setting provides, and how well they are meeting the learning needs of children to an Ofsted inspector, they do not need to fill in the SEF. This is clarified in the inspectorate’s myth-busting campaign.
Ofsted says that it hopes the removal of the form will help to reduce burden on early years providers.
So… what next then? We will still need to self-evaluate and plan for the future – that’s an expectation in the Early Years Inspection handbook – leadership and management judgement.
Why wouldn’t we? We all do amazing things every day with our children and we want to share them with Ofsted. We evaluate how well activities went – we speak to parents about our service and ways of working and ask for their input – we are constantly updating our professional development by reading blogs and accessing training.
Childminders complained that the SEF took up too much of their time and was unnecessarily complicated … well now you will need to come up with your own ways of record keeping – or, of course, you can answer your inspector’s comments verbally during a busy inspection with 3 children underfoot who are demanding your time because there is a visitor in the house!
Group providers had similar complaints about the Ofsted SEF and will also need to work out how they are going to self-evaluate and plan for the future, taking into consideration the views of children, staff and families.
I think it’s very important that we do not over-complicate things –
- What am I doing well? Make sure you share all the amazing things you do with your inspector. Some providers use a photo album or a diary or a notebook – it’s up to you.
- What is the impact of what I do on outcomes for children? How do you make little lives exciting and special and wonderful every day?
- What do I want to do next? What is your action plan? Where are you heading in the future?
- What am I doing well? I have updated the outside area and offer experiences across all 7 areas of learning including a new mark making area and role play resources.
- What is the impact? The children are making daily use of the outside area and we have observed…
- What next? I want to review mark making outside, especially for the current cohort of boys who do not access mark making regularly.
We will share further advice and information on the Independent Childminders Facebook group for childminders … the Nursery Chat Facebook group for group providers … Childcare.co.uk for everyone!
If you have information in your online SEF don't forget to log into the Govt Gateway and retrieve it before it disappears in April!