Your school website exclusion policy – How to get it right

This week we are going to take a look at one of the more brief school website requirements. Little is said about publishing your school website exclusion arrangements. Lets unpack this requirement and apply some best practice tips to make sure this is another box ticked for your school website compliance.

Should you post your school website exclusion arrangements?

In a recent change, exclusion arrangements were reclassified as a recommendation rather than a requirement. So do we suggest publishing this content? Absolutely! We suggest taking the recommendations seriously just like the requirements. This shows you are aware of the advice issued regarding school websites. Also, as it is a recommendation, it is clearly on the radar of the DfE. This means that it will potentially be upgraded to a requirement again in future. So we would suggest referencing this in your content now.

If you are not in a position to publish your school website exclusion arrangements at the moment then do not panic. Take this recommendation as a head start. Get the content together ready to be published on your school website as soon as it is available.

How to publish your school website exclusion arrangements

No guidance is given about how this content should be published on your school website. However there are a couple of Schudio Top Tips that will help you to publish this content well.

Readily accessible

Make sure your school website exclusion arrangements are published in a readily accessible format. Readily accessible is defined by the DfE as follows,  "...the information should be on a webpage without the need to download or open a separate document". This is best practice for all of the content on your school website, especially the documents listed in the school website requirements guide. Schudio clients should make use of features such as document groups and tab groups. This will ensure your content can be displayed in a way that is neat and easy to interact with.

Easy to find

If this content is currently on your school website, how easy is it to find this information? If I was looking for this information would I be able to find it? Or would I need to make a call to school for help? The answers to these questions are very easy to find out. Challenge a friend or colleague to find this content on your site. How long does it take? An Ofsted inspector will expect to find information on your site in less than 10 minutes. However your parents/carers will probably get frustrated in a much shorter length of time if they cannot find the information they want.

Assess your menu structure. Are the correct pages in the correct top level menu item? Assess your page structure. Are relevant policies and documents joined together in document groups?

One step ahead of the requirements

If you are an academy or free school then we would strongly encourage you to invest some time in this recommendation. It is easy to gloss over the recommendations and view them as non urgent. However we have seen recommendations become requirements before and we suspect in this case we will see it again.

Schools who do not fall into this category should take note also. Requirements for academies and free schools are often rolled out to other school types too. Make some time to publish this information on your school website.

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