Moving from School Website Compliance to Best Practice

First things first - Complete School Website Compliance

Of course, we must make sure that our school websites have reached full compliance as our main starting point. That we have met all the statutory school website requirements in 2021/22.

The very latest School Website Requirements Guide 2021/22 covers everything you need to know to get started. And, this guide is trusted by thousands of schools every year. It is your must-have resource to make your website fully compliant.

Our first job is to make sure this is covered. It has a direct impact on how an inspection will be framed. It's that important and has that much of an impact.

So, we cannot take our eye off the compliance ball.

BUT, more and more we need to be thinking beyond mere school website compliance. More and more there is an expectation that schools will have website compliance sorted.

It is no longer the case that if you have ensured that every requirement is adequately covered and everything is in place and easy to find, job done.

So, the expectation now is that schools will have everything in place but will now be using school websites for something much greater.

The focus now is one of best practice.

What does School Website Compliance Best Practice look like?

Take a moment to think about the SEND section on your school website. Your website will already be painting a picture of your approach to SEND. Here are a couple of polar pictures you may already be painting ...

Is your SEND information ...

  1. Customised to your setting?
  2. Includes comments from current/recent parents about their children's experiences of your school?
  3. Includes evidence of effective inclusion and good experiences for your students with SEND?
  4. Evidence of strong relationships between school and parents?
  5. Easy to find and in a prominent position on your website?
  6. Written in a family friendly format?

Or, is your SEND information ...

  1. Templated from your MAT or Local Authority with little or no customisation?
  2. Lacking in any specific information about the experience of your students and their families?
  3. No information or evidence about your approach to relationships between home and school?
  4. Buried, hard to find?
  5. Written in legalise and school lingo?

Which of these do you think paints the best picture of your school? Well, the truth is that both parents and inspectors will view your content as an insight into how you approach SEND.

The decision is yours as to how you want your school to be presented to your parents and, by extension, inspectors.

Best practice means something very simple - evidence the impact of what you're doing in school. It doesn't have to be complicated or laborious but culturally, it is vital that we shift our culture to regularly sharing evidence that proves, wait for it ... "you are doing what you say you're doing."

Staying on the SEND track, if you say you foster a strong relationship with parents and involve them in every decision related to their child (which is so vital to do!), prove it. Drop news articles or blog posts or photos of this relationship at work. Share a text or video based testimonial from a parent sharing this experience.

Then, apply this to everything. Curriculum, Pupil Premium spending, Covid Premium spending, Safeguarding.

Get into the culture of using your website as the primary tool to share evidence of the amazing things you are already doing day to day.

The impact of School Website Compliance Best Practice

So, what does the impact of this approach look like?

If you are regularly sharing evidence of how you are doing what you say you are doing there are two main impacts you will see.

1/ Inspectors, and the team that reviews your website and prepares a file for inspectors, will already have a picture of your school that they will simply want to check. They already have formed a view and gathered some initial evidence about your school and it is positive.

For example, you live in a community that means families need support getting students to experience anything beyond their immediate community. You have added information to your website that explains why you have spent Pupil Premium funding on minibuses and experiences for your students and then you regularly share photos, videos and stories of the impact of that spend on the lives, education, well-being and development of your students.

This is a real example of a school who is using a best practice approach to not only meet the statutory requirements but also share fantastic stories of the impact.

2/ Sticking with this example, what impact do you think this has on how the school is viewed within the local community? Especially with regards to attracting new parents.

What a powerful impact this can have! It's real, relevant, well thought out and speaks to the very specific need of the local community.

Your Next Steps to School Website Compliance Best Practice

Our job as school website experts, is to make this process as easy as possible for you. It is why features such as blogs, news, policy management and photo galleries are all incredibly easy to use.

Your job is to figure out how you can establish a best practice culture of compliance. A great starting point is to start looking at each area of compliance on your website and look for opportunities to share how you are achieving this. The great news is you're most likely already doing this! You'll be sharing photos and stories directly with your parents 1-2-1 or via a parental engagement app. Start to think about how you can add this content to your website on a regular basis.

Join Our Newsletter

Simply add your email and you'll get expert advice weekly, direct to your inbox.

Previous Post Old Entry

Share this article:


Next Post New Entry
WordPress Lightbox Plugin