Academies and free schools are advised to publish details of their policy for excluding pupils. Although it is no longer a mandatory requirement, it is included in the school website requirements guide. Publishing this information is considered best practice. Let's unpack your school website exclusion arrangements and apply some best practice tips to make sure you are going above and beyond what is statutory.
Should you post your school website exclusion arrangements?
This information was previously a statutory requirement, however, it was reclassified as a recommendation. So do we suggest publishing this content? Absolutely! We suggest taking the recommendations seriously. 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. Therefore we may see this recommendation upgraded to a requirement in future. So we would suggest referencing this in your content.
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 an opportunity to prepare. As soon as the content is available, publish it to your school website.
How to publish your school website exclusion arrangements
No guidance is given about exactly 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.
Make sure your school website exclusion arrangements are published in a readily accessible format. The DfE defines readily accessible 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 can 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? Would I be able to find this information if I looked for it? Or would I need to make a call to the 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? Count the mouse clicks needed to locate this. An Ofsted inspector will expect to find information on your site in less than 10 minutes. However, it will take a much shorter length of time for parents/carers who will get frustrated 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 that do not fall into this category should take note also. Requirements for academies and free schools are often trickle down to other school types too. If you have not already, consider publishing this content on your school website. Regardless of the school type.
Want to know more about the latest requirements for school websites? Take a look at the SchudioTv School Website Compliance Course 2020/21 version to find out more.