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 30 January 2024
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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. See 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 'anything that sets out school improvement planning or the longer-term vision for the school, such as the school or the trust's strategy' from your school on the first morning of an inspection (see paragraph 109 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

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