Problem solver and innovator. Ben oversees new website projects and is always looking for new features to improve the Schudio School Website CMS.
We're well into the new school year, the first half term is just around the corner, but how is your school website compliance? Have you checked through your school website requirements yet this year? Just because a requirement was ticked off last year, does not make it automatically compliant this year. Information changes, and to ensure school website compliance 2018/19 your policies must be up to date, including those that require a review. Ensure the data and analysis in reports is the most up to date available.
But it's not just updating the existing requirements. The end of the last academic year saw some new requirements introduced.
The last update to the requirements was in May 2018. However we were aware of some of the changes in advance of the publication date. Some of these requirement changes were even published in advance of when they would take effect.
The SENCO contact details requirement saw a minor wording update. This change didn't impact what should be published, just the words in the requirement itself.
The requirement for organisations providing education at KS5 to provide details of their results was removed. There is still a requirement to publish a link to the performance tables website. However most KS5 providers will want to share their results and academic performance as a key element of the attraction of new students.
Additional specificity around what information should be provided. Religious Education is now given a specific nod. But also can apply for other subjects that may not be taught on their own, but through other subjects.
A requirement added to the PE and Sports Premium for Primary Schools. It may not seem that new if you've been reading our information for a while as we added it on 27th Nov 2017. This requirement has been included in other documentation and guidance prior to this update.
Previously academies and free schools had different requirement wording to maintained schools. As a result of the updated wording, the requirements are the same for all schools.
Again if you've been reading our requirements for a while we had this one listed since 30th January 2018. The requirements around careers include some that when published back in May were not in effect. Now the new academic year has started all of the careers requirements are now active.
This is now a recommendation, downgraded from a requirement. Be that as it may, we include the exclusion requirement in our information, but with a note. Because we think you should include recommended content too. It certainly puts you in a stronger position for when recommended information becomes required information.
Unfortunately we don't know what is coming. We can't tell you for sure what the Department for Education and Ofsted are going to do next. But through our reading, analysis and experience we can ensure we're looking out for potential requirement changes for the future.
A report was released last week (11th October 2018), talking about the mental health and wellbeing provision in schools. This new report referencing the original report 'Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision: a green paper', which the government consultation and response has been seen. With plans for new funding and training as a result of the concerns highlighted.
The report was an initial investigation into mental health provision in schools. Assessment was not made by direct contact with the school, instead provision was gauged by the information provided on the school website.
The documentation was a mixture of policies and information. About half of the information was statutory, and included in existing requirements. School website regulations do not currently governed any of the other information.
Generally statutory requirements were readily available on school websites. Around 85%-100% of schools published the documents required for school website compliance 2018/19. On the other hand for non statutory information those numbers drop. Non statutory information was published by just 50%-70% of school websites in the survey.
Now the report is titled 'Mental Health and Wellbeing provision in schools'. So how well published was information around mental health policies? Just 3% of schools in the survey published qualifying information.
Quite possibly some legislation requiring schools to publish information online about their mental health and wellbeing provision. However, there might be more than that to come. The data in the report suggests most schools are publishing the statutory information. But they are not publishing other non statutory, but useful information. (Although the sample size was admittedly quite small). In the future we expect to see a longer list of policies and information to ensure your school website compliance.
The 3 stages of school website compliance, similar to how I used to learn spellings at school. Read, Write, Repeat
The current requirements determine your school website compliance is determined. Previous iterations may get you some of the way. But they could be missing key aspects.
We publish a school website requirements page (https://www.schudio.com/school-website-requirements/). We keep it up to date with all the latest changes, and you're welcome to use this to work towards compliance. It's available for all, and you can even download a copy if you prefer to read or print a document.
Determine the current level of compliance through the read step. Take the required action. Update policies, add missing content
Time to check the requirements again and see if your changes now make you compliant. And check that the requirements haven't changed.
We have created the most comprehensive and robust school website compliance software to help with checking your website. Backed up by our reliable statutory website guidance. It also includes access to our easy and effective document and policy management software for your website.
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