Changes to school monitoring
23 Sep 2010
Schools will no longer have to fill out the Self Evaluation Form (SEF) which was brought in 5 years ago as part of monitoring and school-improvement measures.
The announcement was made today by the Schools Secretary, Michael Gove, who also said he wanted to change school inspections so they focus just on the core activities of schools, such as teaching and learning, behaviour and pupil achievement.
The government says this is part of a wider campaign to reduce bureaucracy and give schools greater freedoms. www.education.gov.uk/news/press-notices-new/end-of-form-filling
The SEF is a series of self-evaluation questions for schools to check whether they are making the right progress. Forms could run to 100 pages.
Teacher unions have given a mixed reaction. The Association of School and College Leaders welcomed the demise of the SEF but said the principle of self-evaluation should be retained as it has been a 'key driver of school improvement'.
The National Association of Head Teachers also welcomed the change saying it would be better for schools ti devise their own forms of self-evaluation.
But the classroom union, the NASUWT, described the move as 'a cosmetic exercise'. Its General secretary, Chris Keates, said there had never been a statutory duty to fill out the SEF so it was not clear what Mr Gove had actually abolished. She feared that head teachers might instead require classroom teachers to do 'excessive planning and record keeping' in preparation for inspectors' visits.