Contact details are one of the more straightforward sections in the list of school website requirements. However it is a section we often find incomplete as we are auditing website content. So what is important when it comes to your school website contact details?
Did you know there are Ofsted requirements for your school website contact details? It is vital to include this information on your school website. Otherwise your site will not be compliant. The details of all school website requirements can be found in our Ofsted guide.
Now would be a great time to flick to your school website and check the contact details. Have you included and answer to every requirement listed? If not then take some time to update your contact page. The information requested for this section is really straightforward however we often find that school websites fall short on this section. We see some common errors with school website contact details that I would love to highlight:
Name of the member of staff who deals with queries from parents and other members of the public - note you are required to publish a named contact. This means the "school administration team" or "the school office" would not satisfy this requirement. Make sure you name an individual.
Name and address of the chair of the governing body (if you have one) - this is a requirement we often find missing from school websites and we understand why! It may be the case that your chair of governors does not want their home address publishing on the site. We recommend advising that written correspondence for the chair of governors can be sent to the school address.
Easy to find
We all know what it is like when you want to contact a company and you cant find the details that you need! Don't bury your school website contact details deep on your website. Your site should allow you to publish your school address and contact telephone number in the footer of your site. If anyone needs to make urgent contact with the school then they won't have to search the whole site and become frustrated before they get through to you.
It is likely that most queries should not be phone calls. You will want to receive a message through your school website contact form. I would suggest ensuring there is a link to your contact form accessible from every page of the site. Schudio website users can use either your top menu, bottom menu or navigation menu to achieve this. If you are not sure about any of these menus then contact the support team for further advice.
By making your contact detail form accessible, the majority of people will use the appropriate channels to contact you. If you receive a lot of phone calls at school, concerning matters that would be best dealt with by email, make your contact form a more obvious feature of your school website.
Above and beyond
Try and take a look at your school website contact details as someone who has never made contact with your school before. Is there any helpful information that you can give your users? We always suggest embedding a map on your contact page so people can see where the school is. But what about parking facilities? Should visitors report to reception? How long can people expect to wait for a reply to their email? Answer the question before it is asked and save your administration team and your website visitors a lot of time.
A school who publish their contact details well are Parklands Academy in Chorley. Their contact page has some helpful information neatly presented in an accordion. So its present and accessible on the site without making the contact page look long or messy.