School Excellence Framework – using the SEF in developing the external validation submission

How is external validation linked to the School Excellence Framework?

The School Excellence Framework (SEF) supports all NSW public schools in their pursuit of excellence by providing a clear description of the key elements of high quality practice across the three domains of learning, teaching and leading.

Through their self-assessment processes, schools draw on a range of evidence to determine their impact, progress and achievements. The SEF defines the core business of excellent schools, enabling them to reflect on quality practice and ensures consistency across the state.

Do schools include the School Excellence Framework Self-assessment Survey (SEF S-aS) in their submission?

Yes. Immediately prior to external validation, school leaders complete their External Validation SEF S-aS in School Planning and Reporting Online (SPaRO) for inclusion in their submission.

When completing the SEF S-aS, school leaders make on-balance judgements for each element of the SEF regarding the progress and impact made at the time the survey is completed.

Do we have to include evidence for each element of the School Excellence Framework?

Schools are required to select evidence and provide annotations to support their judgements across all elements of the SEF. Well-selected, significant pieces of evidence will demonstrate multiple elements.

What should schools consider when making on-balance judgements for each element of the School Excellence Framework?

Schools should consider:

  • the statements of excellence for each element
  • the descriptors of practice at each stage.

The on-balance judgements are made on the typical practice across the school for each element.

It is not necessary for a school to have achieved every descriptor across all themes within the stage to make an on-balance judgement at that stage.

Additionally it is not necessary to have achieved all descriptors within the preceding stage/s to make an on-balance judgement for Sustaining and Growing and/or Excelling.

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