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Early Years Service
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Early years self evaluation form (SEF)

The early years self-evaluation form (SEF) will help you to reflect on your practice and review your provision against the early years foundation stage (EYFS) framework. It should only be used by providers who are registered on the early years register. The form does not need to be completed by any maintained or independent school that has registered early years provision or those providers that are only registered on the childcare register.

The self-evaluation form will help you to think about how to maintain and improve your setting, so that it meets the highest standard and offers the best experience for children. The form provides some key questions for you to ask as you evaluate and improve your provision in relation to the requirements and good practice guidance of the EYFS.

An up-to-date, accurately completed self-evaluation form gives inspectors an idea of which aspects of your provision you consider work well and which you are seeking to improve. This may mean that the inspector will not want to check everything you do.

The self evaluation form (SEF) is now available for you to complete online and Ofsted encourage you to use this service.

In order to complete your SEF online, you will need a unique password from Ofsted called an Ofsted Security Token (OST) and the guidelines on how to complete the online form. If you have not already received this OST, please contact them on 0300 123 3153, ensuring you have your URN to hand. Alternatively, you can complete the SEF by hand.

Guidance and the self evaluation form can be found in the documents table below.


To view these documents you might need to download some software. Visit our downloads page for more information.

PDF icon Early years self evaluation form - form.
File format Adobe Acrobat (pdf) - 125KB
PDF icon Early years self evaluation form guidance - guidance to help fill in the self evaluation form.
File format Adobe Acrobat (pdf) - 116KB
PDF icon Online self evaluation form amendments - details changes to the online form from October 2009.
File format Adobe Acrobat (pdf) - 204KB

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