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1 The PrimarySite Essential Guide to School Websites

2 Introduction and Contents PrimarySite is the UK s largest provider of websites to UK primary schools. Founded by a teacher in 2002, we understand schools and work closely with them to design bespoke websites that truly reflect their values, helping them to connect with their whole school community. We have created this handy pocket guide to help you ensure your website not only meets the latest Department for Education requirements and Ofsted needs, but also has everything you need to communicate effectively and give the right impression of your school. Should you need any advice, or if you currently have a website that is difficult to update, please just contact us; we ll be very happy to help. In this pocket guide Introduction... 3 Top tips for improving your school website Department for Education Online Information Checklist Best Practice Ofsted & E-Safety School websites by PrimarySite

3 Top tips for improving your school website Top tips for improving your school website Are you getting the most out of your school website? A website that s full of useful information will be the first place that parents visit instead of coming into school or phoning the school office, saving valuable staff time. Make it as easy as possible for them to find what they need Improve community links: Use the school website to build ties with your wider community. You could link to the local library, sports clubs, places of worship, community centre or wraparound care providers. Share responsibility: Most schools share out the responsibility for updating their website so that the task doesn t fall to just one member of staff. Get teachers or teaching assistants to update their class pages and office staff to add the most recent newsletters and photos. Three click rule: Visitors should be able to find any information they are looking for within a maximum of three clicks. Ensure that pages are well categorised in the navigation of your site to help people find what they need. Put important information on the home page or have an obvious quick link to it. Get pupils involved: Parents love anything that showcases their children s talents. Ensure you have galleries of artwork, sports events, school performances and trips. Get pupils involved in making their own class pages or blogs which parents will be keen to read, with the added benefit of developing the pupils computing and literacy skills. Ask parents for their input: Survey parents to find out what they want from the school website. Ask them how often they visit the school website, what they usually go to it for and what they would like to see more of. Review visitor statistics: If you are able to view visitor statistics for your school website, take a look to find out what your most popular pages are and ensure that all key information can be found on those pages. If your website isn t being visited frequently, write to parents and remind them of the website address and what information can be found there. Archive old pages: You could archive old pages meaning you still keep the content but it is hidden so parents don t have to scroll through old news and dated class pages to find the latest information, keeping content fresh and relevant. Always ensure the most recent item is at the top of the page. Promote the website everywhere: Make sure parents know the website address and why they should visit it. Put up posters at school, perhaps designed by the pupils, and add the website address to the school s letterhead, newsletters and social media accounts if you have them. 4 For a FREE website review contact us on

4 Department for Education Online Information Checklist Department for Education Online Information Checklist The Department for Education has a list of requirements that primary schools must display on their public-facing websites. To comply with these requirements, you will need to publish the following information on your school website: Curriculum Information about your school s curriculum in relation to each academic year, the content of the curriculum for each subject and details on how additional information relating to the curriculum may be obtained. You should include your phonic and reading schemes in operation for Key Stage 1. Contact Details The name, postal address and telephone number(s) of the school, and the names of relevant contacts to whom enquiries should be addressed. Pupil Premium Information about your Pupil Premium allocation and how you plan to spend it in the current year. You should also state how you spent the previous year s allocation and the impact it had on the educational attainment of those pupils for whom it was allocated. Sports Premium Details of your allocation for the current year and how you intend to spend it. How you spent your previous year s allocation and the impact on pupils PE and sports participation and attainment. Ofsted A copy of, or link to, your school s most recent Ofsted report. Admissions Either: The determined admission arrangements for the school in relation to each relevant age group at the school, including any arrangements for selection, any oversubscription criteria and an explanation of the process for applying for a school place; Or: Information about where parents can find out more about your school s admissions arrangements through the local authority. Policies Your school s policies in relation to: a) Behaviour (discipline, exclusions and anti-bullying) b) Charging and remissions (details of the activities for which your school will charge pupils parents or guardians, and the circumstances in which your school will make exceptions to these charges) c) SEN and disability provision (including admission arrangements, preventative steps taken to ensure SEN pupils are not treated less favourably than other pupils, access to facilities and the Accessibility Plan) 6 For a FREE website review contact us on

5 Best Practice Assessment Results You must include the following details from your school s most recent KS2 results: a) % achieving Level 4 or above in reading, writing and maths b) % who have improved by two or more levels in reading, writing and maths between KS1 and KS2 c) % achieving Level 5 or above in reading and writing d) % achieving Level 5 or above in maths Department for Education School Performance Tables You must include a link to the DfE School Performance Tables website. Best Practice We ve worked with more than 4,000 UK primary schools to create outstanding websites that meet the needs of school staff, parents and the wider community. From our experience, we recommend that, in addition to meeting the DfE list of content requirements, you also include the following on your website: Information about the Local Education Authority Details of the Local Education Authority that the school is governed by with their full contact details (if applicable). School Values A statement outlining your school s ethos and values. Schools are encouraged to publish any information above the minimum that they feel parents and the wider community may need to make effective school choices. Academies and Free Schools are required to provide much of this same information through their funding agreements or the Independent Schools Regulations. Academies must also provide details of the trust they belong to, a timetable of the school day and business information detailing their annual accounts, annual report, memorandum and articles of association and Funding Agreement. Classification of the school Whether the school is a Primary, Infant, Junior, Community, Middle, Foundation, Free, VC, VA or Academy School etc. Co-educational or single sex Day or boarding Any selective admission arrangements Any faith character Any specialist status. Staff List Staff names, photos, job titles and associated year groups or key stages. Number of Pupils By age and/or year group. School Lunches Menu and typical cost of lunches, including how to pay. 8 For a FREE website review contact us on

6 Best Practice Homework Policy How much homework is typically expected to be completed by each year group per week. Map A map of where your school is, including directions, details of access and parking. Travel Information For example, school buses put on by the Local Education Authority or private providers and who to contact to arrange travel. Search Function Such as Google Search to help visitors find what they are looking for quickly and easily. Scrolling Banner To draw attention to latest important news such as school closures. Newsletters PDFs of newsletters and any other printed documents that are sent home to parents. Timetable A timetable of a typical school day or week. Term Dates Including Inset days. Calendar Dates Any dates that may be useful for parents, such as PTA meetings, school trips, book week etc. Uniform Details For each year group (if applicable) and where to buy uniform including any school shop opening times. Clubs Extra-curricular clubs and activities available for each year group. Wraparound Care Details of before and after school clubs with contact details. PTA / Governor Details Details of the PTA and Governors, including contact information for the Chairs and meeting agendas and minutes if applicable. Complaints Procedure Details of the school s complaints procedure and the number of complaints registered under the formal procedure during the preceding school year. Additional Curriculum Information The school s curriculum in relation to PSHE and teaching British values. Links to any further information about the school Any links to other websites which may be of interest to parents such as news stories about the school in the local media. How often should I update the website? Guidelines state that changes regarding admissions information should be updated no less than six weeks before admissions closing dates. We recommend you check that other information is up to date at least every term. 10 For a FREE website review contact us on

7 Ofsted & E-Safety Ofsted & E-Safety Ofsted s report, The safe use of technologies, found that pupils who are given greater freedom at school to use new technologies, have a better knowledge and understanding of how to stay safe online. It is also important to provide an easy, low-key way for pupils to report any problems they experience online. Ultimately, pupils need to know that schools will protect them, not punish them. Establishing this trust ensures that communication channels are kept open and that schools can use pupils knowledge and experience of the digital world to ensure that e-safety policies evolve effectively. Many school support bodies recommend exposure to a certain amount of risk so that children are able to navigate the web safely outside school. In short, when children are aware of the risks, they can be taught how to avoid them. Ofsted inspectors will note how effectively schools keep pupils safe online and reduce the risk of bullying through digital channels. That s not to say online bullying won t happen; it s about how the school manages it if it does. Ofsted inspectors will look for schools staff training programmes to help make staff aware of the different social networks and terminology being used. Schools that are found to be outstanding by Ofsted often use an online reporting mechanism such as SHARP (Student Help Advice Reporting Page System) and conduct e-safety lessons, not just for pupils but for their parents too. Ideally, pupils should be involved in creating the school s policy so their buy-in is strong. Safe social networking sites designed specifically for children, or tools like our own PrimaryBlog, allow teachers to teach the safe use of web technology in a controlled environment. With such software, staff monitoring and pupil restrictions are initially set high, with the ability to reduce restrictions as trust is built. At PrimarySite, our School Website Policy recommends that schools do not name pupils in full when images of them are displayed online and that they explain to them the dangers of giving out any personal information online. Categories for your e-safety policy might include: Who to speak to if you have any worries How to report concerns Bullying and harassment Sexual content and communication Meeting strangers on and offline Privacy and personal data misuse Downloading content and permissions Excessive use Self-image perspectives Age and gender perspectives What does Ofsted find in an outstanding school? Pupils are fully aware of different forms of bullying, including cyber-bullying and prejudice-based bullying, and actively try to prevent it from occurring. Bullying and derogatory or aggressive language in all its forms are rare and are dealt with highly effectively by the school. All groups of pupils are safe and feel safe at school and at alternative provision placements, at all times. They understand very clearly what constitutes unsafe situations and are highly aware of how to keep themselves and others safe in different situations. 12 For a FREE website review contact us on

8 School websites by PrimarySite Don t forget to include your e-safety policy clearly on your school website for Ofsted, parents and pupils to access at any time. It is well known that Ofsted inspectors now view the school s website prior to inspections to look for the statutory information and, more specifically, the information shared with parents about the curriculum. Their handbook states that this is so the lead inspector can start to assess the breadth and balance of the school s curriculum and whether it is likely to promote preparation for, and an appreciation of, life in modern Britain. School websites by PrimarySite Easy to update websites To find out how your school website performs against our best practice guidelines, DfE requirements and Ofsted expectations, please contact us to arrange a free website review. One of our experienced School Website Consultants will be very happy to talk to you. Our free web review normally takes around 15 minutes. It could be your most valuable conversation this term! Amazingly, it only took five minutes to train the staff on how to update their new website! We are so pleased with the end results and would recommend PrimarySite to any school looking to update their website. Rob Holmes, Governor, Charleton Church of England Primary School, Unrivalled customer service I m actually an Ofsted inspector myself and I know that a school s website is an important thing that an inspector looks at before they visit a school, so it s always been a priority of mine as a Headteacher. When I know I m going to do the inspection of a school, I look very closely at their website to check that it includes all of the information that is required by law - pupil premium details, PE funding etc. I also look at how the school communicates with parents, and check additional features, like links for the children making sure that the games are safe, for example. Jane Langley, Headteacher, Alwoodley Primary School, Leeds Great service provided from beginning to end. All the help was provided and all questions answered, no matter how silly. Feedback and support received and s answered straight away. Thanks for the help and support. Toby Boulter, Teacher & ICT, Fairmeadows Foundation Primary School We will guide you effortlessly through the design process of your website, allowing you to make as many changes as you require to get the design just right for your school. 14 For a FREE website review contact us on

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