Whether you’re a headteacher or the head of marketing strategies, the school website is an incredibly important tool that serves as a gateway of communication to help parents, pupils, and local authorities stay abreast of the latest news and developments. When utilised in an effective manner, it can become one of the greatest weapons in your arsenal.
However, it’s not all about flash designs and a strong local search presence. As a school that’s maintained by the local authority, you are obliged to satisfy the Ofsted regulations, including The School Information (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 and 2016. Otherwise, you could be set for fines and other repercussions.
Here’s all you need to know:
Contacts and Ofsted details
When publishing online details about the school, it’s imperative that all information is honest, unambiguous, and full. Users should be left with no uncertainties in any aspect.
The first task is to ensure that all contact details are accurately entered. Schools are required to publish the following information in a visible and prominent manner:
- The school’s full name;
- The school’s full postal address;
- The school’s full telephone number;
- The details of the school secretary or member of staff tasked with handling public and parent enquiries;
- The name and contact details of the school’s special educational needs (SEN) co-ordinator (SENCO).
- The details of all governors, including contact details, business interests, and individual responsibilities.
Meanwhile, Ofsted requires you to provide visitors with access to the latest Ofsted reports. To do this, you can publish either of the following items:
- A downloadable copy of the most recent Ofsted report;
- A link to the relevant URL on the Ofsted website.
Admissions, Behaviour and Curriculum
Schools are additionally required to provide website visitors with details, accurate, and clear insight into how parents can apply for placements on behalf of their kids along with relevant info about the school’s culture. To do this, just remember your ABCs.
Schools that decide admissions through their own governing body are required to publish and explain the details of their admission policies and application procedures. This should cover each of the following elements:
- Information detailing how applications are considered for each relevant age group;
- Information detailing how parents should send applications on behalf of their children;
- Information detailing how the school selects which pupils are accepted (selective schools only);
- Information detailing how you offer places when application numbers outweigh placements.
Alternatively, if the school’s admissions are handled by the local authority, the school website should inform parents about this. This should preferably contain a link to the appropriate authority’s site.
Provide information on the school’s behaviour policies detailing the full expectations at the school. Meanwhile, you must show that the school complies with Section 89 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006.
In addition to this you must also publish:
- Details of the school’s complaints procedure, which must comply with Section 29 of the Education Act 2002;
- Details on the school’s policy for pupils with SEN, which should comply with section 69 of the Children and Families Act 2014, and be updated annually;
- Details of the school’s Equality Objectives, complying with the public sector equality duty and Equality Act 2010.
- Details of the school’s values and ethos, presented in an official statement that can be viewed or downloaded in full.
- Details of how parents can request paper copies of the school’s various documents and files relating to behaviour and school culture.
The details of the curriculum should provide parents and pupils with clarity on what to expect from attending the school. Therefore, you must publish:
- Details for every subject, including those that are incorporated as subsets of other subjects;
- Details of key stage 1 reading schemes and phonics;
- Details of all courses available at key stage 4 and GCSE level;
- Details on how parents can find out more information.
The curriculum should be supported by details of pupil premiums, year 7 literacy and numeracy catch-up premiums, and PE premiums as well as the school’s careers programme.
Exam results and performance tables
All schools are required to post their most recent exam results. The details will be determined by the type of school:
Primary schools will need to publish their key stage 2 results. This should include average progress scores and average scaled scores in reading, writing and maths. It should also detail (as percentages) the number of pupils that reached their expectations as well as the number of pupils who achieved a high level of attainment.
Secondary schools will need to publish results relating to the latest set of key stage 4 exams. This should detail the progress 8 and attainment 8 scores along with the percentage of pupils who gained a high pass (grade 5 or above) in English and maths. The EBacc scores across the five pillars must be shown too.
Finally, you must provide a link that directs users to the school’s performance tables page. Schools that offer a local-authority-maintained sixth form should also publish those appropriate results.
For further information and guidance on what maintained schools must publish online visit the gov.uk website here.