When and how does self-evaluation begin? In response to the announcement of external inspection? With a management decision to audit quality and standards? Or with the entry into a project such as Evaluating Quality in School Education? The answer is in fact ‘none of these’, since self-evaluation can never be something entirely new. It should never be viewed as an imposition, as onerous or timeconsuming, but as an essential and integral element of good teaching, meaningful learning, effective leadership and evidence-based management.