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Make your website Ofsted ready

Scarlett MacFarlane of Purple Creative Studio shares her top website tips to increase your chances of passing a school inspection

Posted by Jo Golding | May 22, 2019 | Technology

While a parent may consider aspects of the website when deciding if it’s suitable for their child, or a teacher may warm towards a school as a prospective employer based on what they see online, there is a key and very important difference when creating a website for a school. A school’s website can affect how they are evaluated by an Ofsted inspector, who will research the school online in advance and review how well their website gives an insight into the school’s ethos and culture. As well as making sure that the statutory information is accessible.

Here’s a handy guide to help reduce your chances of getting caught out during an inspection.

Curriculum

While information about the school curriculum is accessible on the government’s website, as an academy it is important you are clear about what this means in your school’s context. Therefore consider:

·      Your approach to the curriculum and how this supports pupil transitions, the new Ofsted draft framework focuses heavily on transitions.

·      Details of your school curriculum for each subject and academic year. This should include Religious Education (even if taught as part of another subject).

·      Clearly signposting how your website visitors can find out more about your curriculum.

Special educational needs (SEN) and disability information

Academies and free schools are required to publish policies for SEN pupils and how they put their policy into effect. There are some laws your report must comply with and this should be updated annually or as soon as possible after a change occurs.

Laws your SEN policy report must comply with:

·      Section 69 of the Children’s and Family Act 2014 covering the admission arrangement of pupils with disabilities, how you will protect pupils with disabilities from being treated less favourably, and information on accessible facilities provided.

·      Paragraph 3 of schedule 10 of the Equality Act 2010 (accessibility plan) showing how your school has increased the extent to which pupils with disabilities can participate in the curriculum and in wider school life. This includes outlining specific services and facilities introduced into the school’s physical environment, including improvements to the delivery of information to pupils with disabilities.

·      Regulation 51 and schedule 1 of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014 where appropriate.

·      Section 6 of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years.

Performance, reporting and assessments

There is a certain level of detail that is required here for academies across all stages of education and it is important that this is easy to access by parents, pupils and inspectors.

Ofsted Reports

·      Publish a copy of, or a link to your academy’s most recent Ofsted report

Key Stage Two Exam and Assessment Results

·      Percentage of pupils who’ve achieved the expected standard in reading, writing and maths.

·      Average progress that pupils have made in reading, writing and maths between KS1 and KS2.

·      Percentage of pupils who’ve achieved a higher standard in reading, writing and maths.

·      Your pupils’ average scaled scores in both the reading and maths test.

Key Stage Four Exam and Assessment Results

·      Your school’s progress 8 score.

·      Your school’s attainment 8 score.

·      The percentage of pupils who’ve achieved a strong pass (grade 5 or above) in English and maths at the end of KS4.

·      The percentage of pupils 1) entering and 2) achieving the English Baccalaureate (EBacc).

·      Destinations of KS4 pupils.

Key Stage Five

Publish a link to your performance tables page.

Careers programme information

It is important to maintain relevant information on your careers programme. An out-of-date webpage may give the impression that your school does not take access to employment as seriously. Details should include:

·      The name, email address and telephone number of your school’s Careers Leader.

·      A summary of the careers programme, including details of how pupils, parents, teachers and employers may access this information.

·      How your school measures and assesses the impact of the careers programme on pupils.

·      The date of your school’s next review of the careers programme.

Equality, behaviour and feedback

Given that academies are public bodies, they must comply with equality laws which means you must publish and annually update details of how your school complies with the public sector equality duty. Ofsted will pay close attention this area. You need to include details of:

·      How you eliminate discrimination.

·      How you improve equality of opportunity for people with protected characteristics.

·      What your school’s equality objectives are (updated every four years).

·      How you consult and involve those affected by a decision that is intended to promote equality and eliminate discrimination.

Behaviour

Make sure you have clearly published your school’s behavioural policy and anti-bullying strategy on your website.

Feedback

Feedback, particularly when negative, is usually an area schools want to downplay on a website. However, you are legally required to clearly outline your complaints procedure and provide an opportunity for parents to give feedback.

In order to demonstrate complete transparency to the Ofsted inspector, ensure to include:

·      A link to Parent View (Ofsted-led feedback website)

·      Details of complaints procedure (particularly queries relating to SEN needs

·      Whistleblowing policy

·      Social media platforms – this is not a requirement, but it can be a great tool for your school to develop its reputation more widely and share success stories.

Fees, funding and premium

With greater scrutiny on how schools handle their finances, Ofsted will expect to see clear and up-to-date information on your website which outlines your charging policies and pupil premium strategy. This includes details of:

·      How much pupil premium funding you receive each year.

·      Details of why you receive this funding (highlighting educational barriers your schoolchildren face) and how the money will be spent.

·      How you will measure the impact of your pupil premium strategy.

·      The date of your next pupil premium strategy review.

·      Details of your charging policy, including exceptions, e.g. exceptional circumstances when parents will be charged or alternatively when usual charges will be remitted.

General, contact, admission, values and trustees

Ahead of an inspection, one of the first areas of your website that your Ofsted inspector will look at is the basic statutory information that provides an overview of your school and its values. As an academy, you will also need to include any affiliations, groups or sponsors connected to the school. Make sure to include:

·      Name, contact details and postal address of school.

·      Name of headteacher and staff member responsible for parent and public queries.

·      Contact details of SEN coordinator.

·      List of trustees (including contact details for chair).

·      Details of the individual or organisation which owns the school.

·      Statement of values, including approach to safeguarding.

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