ASCL self evaluation tool

27 April 2018

Building on previous self-evaluation (SEF) tools created by consultant Tony Thornley, ASCL’s Inspection & Accountability Specialist, Stephen Rollett has developed an April 2018 (SEF 2018) update to ASCL's framework of SEF tools to support school leaders. SEF 2018 consists of the following:

  • Diagnostic Tool (Excel) provides detailed analysis of school data.

  • Extended Evaluation Framework provides a step-by-step approach to self-evaluation, similar to previous versions of Tony’s toolkit. 

  • Intermediate Evaluation Framework provides a more succinct approach to self-evaluation.

  • Summary Evaluation Framework provides an overview of the school’s strategic direction, including areas of strength and key priorities for improvement. 

  • A criteria document, based on the Ofsted criteria, to help consider any judgements you make about the school’s provision and performance. 

The April 2018 diagnostic tool is released as a ‘beta’ version in that it has not yet been extensively tested, although some schools have trialled it. However, owing to the number of schools which have expressed a desire to receive the update as soon as possible, it is being released in its current form. As such, any feedback is welcome. Worksheets are locked, restricting entries to specific cells to stop inadvertent mistakes when entering data. Worksheets can be unlocked by clicking on the ‘review’ tab, clicking ‘unprotect sheet’ and entering the password ‘Diagnostic’.

The three SEF frameworks have all been updated to include a section on curriculum, pertinent given the increased commentary in the media from Ofsted and others in relation to the curriculum. Please note, however, the inspection framework has not changed regarding the curriculum (although inspectors may well look more closely than in recent years). Each framework provides a useful link to an Ofsted blog on this aspect. 

This suite of tools is designed to be flexible and schools should use the tools which best suit their needs and context. Some schools will benefit from using a highly structured approach, whereas many others will want to take a sharper view and focus on the things that really matter to them. It is essential schools take note of Ofsted’s myth-busters guidance and understand that inspectors have no expectations about the format and structure of self-evaluation. Schools should do whatever works for them. It is our hope that this new framework will help them to do so.  

The diagnostic tool is secondary-focussed, although some elements also have relevance for primary schools. Other elements of the framework are not phase-specific and can be used by all schools. 

How to order SEF 2018

If you would like to order a copy of the new SEF 2018, please email and include your name, school/college and address for invoice purposes. Receipts from the sale of these booklets will go to the ASCL Education Charity

The suggested donation for the latest guidance is £50, payable to ASCL Educational Development Trust. If you have already received previous versions and donated to the charity, it is not necessary to donate again. However, if you find the materials useful, further donations are warmly received.

Please send your donation to:

‘ASCL Education Charity’
ASCL Publications
130 Regent Road