The importance of ensuring your school website is Ofsted compliant

Ofsted requirements for school websites

The importance of ensuring your school website is Ofsted compliant

With teachers and leaders under constant scrutiny from Ofsted, it’s understandable that many schools overlook their website as an important consideration when it comes to Ofsted compliance

In September 2016, Ofsted changed the criteria laid out previously, however many schools have not been made aware of this.

What are the new statutory website requirements?

There are a multitude of documents, reports and specific elements that are essential when it comes to your website. These include things like admission arrangements, exam and assessment results and pupil premiums, from both the current and previous academic years.

Because the amount of information and documentation is so vast, ensuring that the inclusion of all these required elements does not devalue the look and feel of the website is a tricky balancing act.

This is why it is key that you select an agency which not only understands specifically what is required from an Ofsted perspective but also know how to present all this information in a clean and well laid out format.

In addition to the essential criteria, there are also preferential requirements which should also be taken into consideration, such as ensuring that your site caters to both desktop and mobile visitors and including social media feeds (Twitter) as well as school news and updates.

Schools will be penalised for poor websites

Ofsted have and will continue to mark schools down who do not tick their boxes, but will also look favourably on schools who have made the effort to go the extra mile in terms of considering what parents want and expect from a school website.

You may be thinking, would Ofsted really mark down a school which is classed as “Outstanding” in every other regard. The answer is YES – here are some extracts from some recent Ofsted inspection reports:

It is not yet an outstanding school because the school website does not meet statutory requirements and currently does not keep parents fully informed about the school’s work.”

 “The leadership and management are inadequate. The school’s website does not include all the information for parents that it should. This includes details of the school’s behaviour policy; how the school has spent additional funding from the pupil premium and the difference the use of this additional money makes to the attainment of disadvantaged pupils. There is also no published report on the school’s policy for pupils with special educational needs.

It is not yet an outstanding school because Governors do not meet statutory requirements with respect to the school website.”

Case study of an Ofsted-friendly school website

Having completed multiple projects within the education sector, Web Foundry is perfectly positioned to guide you through the minefield of redeveloping your website. 

We will not only ensure your site ticks all the required boxes for Ofsted, but will also create something that both parents and governors alike will love.

A recent project for Thorn Grove Primary School is testament to this. Having recently completed the redevelopment of this school’s website, we have also trained the staff in the use of the sites content management system, allowing them to quickly and easily change and update the website’s content, as well as sharing homework and school information with parents at a click with minimal effort.  

We also redesigned the school logo and used that to drive the creative side of the new website. In summary, both the Headteacher, her team and the school governors where extremely pleased with what we created and we look forward to hearing they have achieved “Outstanding School” status in the very near future.

To talk to one of our team about how we can help your school, please get in touch.

Author

Phil Holt on Thursday, 23 March 2017

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