School Website Accessibility – Understanding Exempt Content

The accessibility regulations that affect your school website came into force for public sector bodies on 23 September 2018. The regulations say schools must make their website more accessible by making it ‘perceivable, operable, understandable and robust’. Also, schools need to include and update a school website accessibility statement clearly and prominently on their website. While this is not a school website requirement published by DfE, it is a government published requirement for all public bodies.

The accessibility regulations build on your existing obligations to people who have a disability under the Equality Act 2010 (or the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 in Northern Ireland).

Your school website will meet the newer legal requirements if you:

Understanding the school website accessibility exemption?

At first glance, all public sector bodies have to meet the 2018 requirements. Unless they are exempt. Confused?

Here is the information published that outlines the exemption and why this is relevant to some schools:

The following organisations are partially exempt from the accessibility regulations:

  • primary and secondary schools or nurseries - except for the content people need in order to use their services, for example, a form that lets you outline school meal preferences

Partially exempt organisations would need to publish an accessibility statement on their website or mobile app.

What is the key thing to consider here as a school? Firstly, ask yourself, what content do you publish that people need to be able to access to use your service, as a school? Then, think about how you would ideally go about implementing the content that needs to be accessible. This is where schools run into an issue.

Why the exemption is irrelevant for schools

We would argue that the exemption is something you should consider as wholly irrelevant. Think about the content you publish on your school website regularly. So, here's a very quick run down ...

  • Latest news
  • What's going on in class
  • Admissions information
  • Contact information
  • Policy information
  • Evidence of your curriculum impact
  • School holidays

Do any of these school website elements sound like things that you don't want to be accessible to all?

That's why all schools must approach school website accessibility with a whole-picture approach.

The good news about school website accessibility

Your school website provider should be empowering you with the tools you need. Not only to meet the legal requirements for the sake of it. But, primarily because best practice says we should be taking an 'accessibility first' approach.

So, that's why we're built a range of features and integrations that do the heavy lifting for you.

  • Integration with UserWay's Accessibility Widget as standard on all school websites
  • Built-in Accessibility Checker in the Schudio CMS as standard
  • Industry-standard features such as easy-to-edit Alt Tags / Image Tags and lots more

Also, our team are always looking for the latest ways to ensure your website can be used by anyone. Be assured that every Schudio school website comes with everything you need to meet this vital need.


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