Your school website is a window into your school that anyone can look through. Which means that having an aesthetically pleasing website is important, but with so much statutory information to publish, it's how you navigate through your website content that becomes invaluable.
Statutory information (in this context) refers to all the information required by the department of education to be on a primary school website. It's ever changing nature means that your website must be easy for you to update, and content should be easy for site visitors to find and read.
Being DfE compliant is a major concern of schools that approach us for a new website, so I thought it would be a good idea to use this blog to discuss what schools need to publish. Requirements differ depending on the type of school, I've pointed out some of the differences below, but if you are unsure that you are are meeting your requirements please contact us and we'll take a look at your website for you!
A good school website design will have some of the statutory information built into it: your school name, address, phone number and email address, a map showing visitors how to find the school, the names of staff members who deal with parent queries and your SENCO’s name must all be on your site. Academies and Free Schools must also publish the address and phone number of their sponsor. It is a communication tool after all, and it’s job is to make it easy for parents and potential parents to communicate with you.
It’s essential to have your school values and an ethos statement on your website. Not just because it’s a statutory requirement, but because it allows parents and potential parents to get a feel for your school environment.
Your school needs to publish the content of your school curriculum in each academic year, for every subject, as well as details on how to find out more about the curriculum your school is following. You also need to list any phonics or reading schemes that are used in Key Stage One. A successful school will have an engaged and interested parent community, your school website is integral to developing that, publishing your curriculum allows parents to see what their children are learning and get involved.
It’s a good idea for schools to publish their term dates for the academic year. It’s also good practise to inform your parents at the end of each term the date when they are expected to return.
You need to include either your latest Ofsted report, or a link to it on the Ofsted website, on your school website.
Maintained schools must publish their most recent key stage two results, including:
Academies and Free Schools must publish:
You need to include a link to the school and college performance tables service.
Local authority maintained schools are covered by the public sector equality duty in the Equality Act 2010, as are academies and free schools, which means they have to publish: details of how your school is complying with the public sector equality duty (updated yearly), and your school’s equality objectives (updated at least every four years).
Schools need to publish details of the structure and responsibilities of their governing body and its committees, alongside information about each governor’s business and financial interests and their governance roles in other schools if they have them. It’s also a good idea to promote engagement by publishing when the governing body meet and details about how you can become a governor. Academies and free schools can find more information on their additional requirements in the Academies Financial Handbook (page 20).
Academies and free schools should publish the following financial information about your school:
It’s important to note that you must provide paper copies of your website and policies to parents who ask, without charge.
Schools are required to publish information on several policy areas on their website, however many schools opt to publish more than is required from them, recognising that effective policy is the easiest way to demonstrate organisational methodology. For Ofsted, parents and staff alike, it’s important that these policies are easy to find and navigate. Clear and practical policies, kept under review, demonstrate good information governance.
Here are the policy areas that schools are required to publish:
For more detailed information on what you need to include in each of these areas, or if you’d like us to give your website a compliance check, please contact us.