Built hundreds of website and helped countless schools realise their potential online. Ian should be called upon for straight-talking advice and to make a difference to the way you present your school through every outlet.
Every year, we spend significant amounts of time researching the latest trends around school website compliance. We speak to school leaders, HMIs and multi-academy trust directors. We look for common themes in our conversations and then we collate everything we have learned to produce the School Website Requirements Guide each year. In the guide, you will find details of all the latest requirements, line-by-line, step-by-step. But, as with every year, there are key focuses for every school to ensure they understand and implement. In this post, you will find the three key areas of focus for school website requirements in 2022/23.
The biggest focus for inspectors at the moment is the quality of education in your school.
The area of inspection that was teaching, learning and assessment now all comes under 'quality of education'. It is clear that this is the biggest area of focus from the Inspection Framework. While other areas are single-line boxes, quality of education is a much larger box to complete. The weighting on this area of school life is significant.
The role of your website is to evidence and demonstrate the quality of education in your school. What you say you do, evidence that through your website.
We explore examples of this and how you can use your website in this way in our School Website Compliance Workshop, available to watch on-demand and work through at your own pace. For now, anything you say you do from a teaching or curriculum point of view should be clear on your website.
A simple formula to follow, using your curriculum as an example is ...
What we say we teach >> Feedback from Teachers, Students & Parents to confirm >> Evidence of the impact of this teaching
Furthermore, in a discussion with a senior MAT leader recently, it was clear that this principle applies to every area of the school.
"Curriculum starts at the moment the kids are dropped off at the gates," he stressed.
The experience of your school from the moment students arrive each day is under scrutiny. So, not only do you need to apply the formula above to your curriculum, but it also needs to be in evidence for the wider experience of school life. Things like student voice, school parliament, safeguarding - anything that happens in your school.
How is your attention to detail? This is a key measure for inspectors who look at your website and then visit your school.
Here's how this works; if you demonstrate through your website a strong rigour and preciseness to your compliance content, inspectors will take that as a strong indication that is how your run your school.
What does that look like? A great example is safeguarding. If you have a safeguarding page on your website and the content is up to date but you also have a safeguarding policy on your policies page which is NOT up to date, that is an indication of a lack of attention to detail. It raises questions about whether or not you have a firm hand on everything you do, right throughout the school.
When you have established how you will use your website to demonstrate the quality of education in your school and you have put in place processes to ensure rigour and preciseness to all you do, you can then shift focus to consistently implementing these practices.
The power of consistency will set you apart from most schools - to quote on trust leader we spoke to this year;
"the ones who are getting it right don't worry about creating this kind of content or maintaining a compliant website anymore"
It is no overstatement when we say that these three tenets of school website compliance ease the burden of ensuring your website is up to date all year round. School leaders tell us that when they know that their website information is up to date and that the quality of education in school is being evidenced through the website consistently. the pressure is lifted enormously.
You have the power to achieve the same goals.
Successful schools do consistently what others do occasionally.
It is worth noting that safeguarding is still Ofsted's number one priority. If you are not ensuring that your safeguarding compliance requirements are met, your inspection will effectively fail before it has begun.
Also, note that inspectors are largely not referencing results and attainment as much as they were. This is one of the reasons quality of education is such a big focus in school website compliance this year. But, while inspectors are not focused on results at the moment, make sure your information is up to date to avoid unnecessary questions.
Mastering the three key focuses for school website compliance in 2022/23 will set you up for success every year. Without question.
In the School Website Compliance Workshop this year, we work through all steps in detail with examples and a step-by-step plan to follow. The session is available to watch at your leisure.
If you haven't already downloaded this year's School Website Requirements Guide, you can do so here.
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