ASCL self-evaluation tool

Stephen Rollett, ASCL Curriculum and Inspection Specialist, has updated the documents in the ASCL self-evaluation framework (SEF) toolkit to reflect changes in the Ofsted handbook from September 2019.

This resource includes a range of tools designed to support school leaders in finding an approach to self-evaluation that works for them and their school.

The SEF toolkit 2019 consists of:
  • guidance notes on how to use the ASCL SEF toolkit 2019   
  • a concise SEF template summarising key strengths and weaknesses   
  • a coverage checklist to rate aspects of school provision   
  • an intermediate SEF with a page for each key judgement   
  • an extended SEF template   
  • a Headteacher’s commentary template to support leaders wishing to prepare for the 90-minute pre-inspection phone call with inspectors. This includes a commentary for each subject and a simple rating system to highlight subject areas of strength and concern (not using Ofsted grades)   
Collaborative self-evaluation
There is also a suite of resources available to enable effective collaborative self-evaluation by prompting thinking and discussion about the schools’ strengths and areas for development:
  • Overall effectiveness  
  • Quality of education  
  • Behaviour and attitudes  
  • Personal development  
  • Leadership and management  
  • Sixth form  
  • Early years  
  • Descriptor graph A2
Further information
It is important schools take note of Ofsted’s mythbusters guidance and understand that inspectors have no expectations about the format and structure of self-evaluation. Schools should do whatever works for them, and it is our hope this new framework will help them to do so.  

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 others will want to take a sharper view and focus on the things that really matter to them, hence the inclusion of a concise SEF tool.

We are grateful to ASCL consultant Tony Thornley for his work in developing previous versions of the SEF toolkit.

For a copy of the toolkit, please email