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School Website Requirements 2020/21 – Two Key Areas of Focus

ED - As we head into the 2020/21 academic year, things are so different at the moment. Routine inspections are, at the time of writing (and that could change by the afternoon!), paused until the January 2021. BUT ... it is noted that inspections are carried out where there is an area of concern AND all other processes around inspections are continuing. The information contained in this post is vitally important in ensuring you are ahead of the curve when it comes to the school website requirements 2020/21.

There are two main areas to focus your attention on with your school website requirements 2020/21. This was the case before COVID. But, it has brought the first one to the fore and added greater complexity to what is required of you on both issues.

Before we chat through the two main issues, make sure you have downloaded the latest School Website Requirements Guide 2020/21. This is brand new and updated, containing all the very latest information and all-new advice.

KEY School Website Requirements 2020/21 ISSUE #1
Safeguarding and Well-being

Safeguarding and well-being is Ofsted's number one priority. And your school website must demonstrate that it is yours.

Ofsted research teams, who compile reports on your websites before inspectors view them, are looking for this as a primary insight into your school. That can't be overstated. They will be looking at your website to check if you have the relevant, accurate, and up to date information about your school's approach to safeguarding and well-being and that it is easy to find.

Here are a few things that they will expect that are not on any checklist:

  • Safeguarding FRONT AND CENTRE - consider adding a top-level link to your safeguarding information
  • Make your safeguarding content SETTING SPECIFIC - template and lifted policies won't cut it, make your policies reflect your school needs.
  • Ensure your policy content easy to find, easy to read and easy to download.

You should also include information about how you are supporting the well-being of children within your school. Currently, there is a particular focus on well-being with regard to the return to school during the coronavirus pandemic. This will continue to be a big focus over the coming year. Ofsted WILL be exploring how you are supporting the well-being of students.

One thing to mention as an aside. PLEASE make sure that you have read all the guidelines and include specific information in your policies about vulnerable groups. Best practice is to include information about and for vulnerable groups near the beginning of any document. As an example, SEND families are used to information pertaining to them being very far down the list. So, if you consider yourselves an inclusive school, don't add the information for them as the last thing in your documents.

Safeguarding & Well-being Resources for School Staff

Find below are a handful of additional reading resources and training opportunities for your school.

🎓 Safeguarding Schools Checklist

🎓 FREE COURSE: Coronavirus - Safeguarding in Schools after Lockdown - Your 5 Most Critical Questions Answered

🎓 ONLINE COURSE: Whole School Safeguarding Training

KEY School Website Requirements 2020/21 ISSUE #1
Evidence, evidence, evidence

This is something we have already spoken about in previous posts. But, do expect us to keep banging the drum!

In our previous post about mistakes made when it comes to curriculum information, we discussed things to avoid. In particular, the need to ensure that your curriculum information is backed up by good, strong evidence on your website.

For everything you say you do, add content to your school website that demonstrates it.

But, the issue of evidence isn't confined to the curriculum.

Start to develop a culture within your approach to your school website of evidence across all content.

  • Do you say you are actively engaged with the school community, how? Tell us about it. That might mean adding information about the charities you support.
  • Do you say you promote outdoor learning? Prove it. Share content on your website that proves to your website visitors that is what you do.
  • Would you call your school a truly inclusive school? Again, prove it! Is your SEND information buried and templated? Change it so it is specific to your setting and easy to find.

So, if you take one action from this section about the use of evidence it should be this.

Always point to examples of what you said you're going to do. Be that curriculum, safeguarding or your clubs and engagement. ALWAYS use your website to prove you do what you say you do.

Your next steps?

Take two key actions to ensure you are prepared for inspections whenever they come.

1/ Download The School Website Requirements Guide - trusted by 1000s of schools to help them meet the latest school website requirements.

2/ Enrol on The School Website Compliance Course - where we dive deep into every area of compliance and walk you through, step-by-step meeting each requirement in full and going beyond the checklist.

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