The self-evaluation form (SEF): governors' role

Get to grips with the purpose of a self-evaluation form (SEF) and what you're meant to do with it. Also understand the difference between the SEF and the SIP.

Last reviewed on 27 January 2023
School types: All · School phases: All
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  1. A SEF is a snapshot of your school at a point in time
  2. What's in the SEF
  3. What you should do with it
  4. Examples from schools

A SEF is a snapshot of your school at a point in time

It identifies your school's strengths and weaknesses and (often) grades the school against the current Ofsted inspection framework or another basis for grading. In completing the self-evaluation form (SEF), your senior leadership team can determine which areas of improvement to focus on.

There's no set format that your school has to use to present the SEF. However, Ofsted will request to see 'a summary of any self-evaluation and/or improvement plan or equivalent' from your school on the first morning of an inspection (see paragraph 106 of the School Inspection Handbook). 

What's in the SEF

For example, many schools organise the SEF around the education inspection framework (EIF). If that's the case in your school, your headteacher will evaluate your school against the grade descriptors for each