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.