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Publishing information on the website: requirements
See what information maintained schools, academies and MATs need to publish online, and understand your role in publishing information on the school website.
- Maintained schools
- Multi-academy trusts
- Governors' role: top-level and strategic
- Monitoring compliance
- Format for publishing information
What's been updated?
This article was updated in January 2019 to include a checklist of the documents that multi-academy trusts (MATs) have to publish online. This is separate to the list of things that academies are usually required to publish.
This checklist summarises the information maintained schools must publish on their websites. It shows which requirements apply only to primary, secondary schools or special schools.
This checklist summarises the information academies, including free schools, are usually required to publish on their websites.
You should check your funding agreement to find out exactly what you're required to publish online.
If you're part of a MAT, your trust will publish some of this information on your behalf, as we explain below.
In addition to the information that academies will usually publish, there are certain things that MATs must publish online. This checklist summarises those requirements.
It's recommended for MATs to have a separate website, although it's not a requirement
The ESFA told us that it recommends MATs to have their own separate website from their academies to more easily fulfil publishing requirements.
As a MAT, you should publish the information about your trust and academies where it's most likely to be accessed by interested parties, such as parents.
For example, each academy website could host school-related documents, including:
- School policies, such as those related to behaviour, safeguarding, special educational needs and the curriculum
- Spending reports, such as those relating to the pupil premium, PE and sport premium or year 7 catch-up premium
- Information about the local governing body
The trust's website would then publish documents relating to the overall trust, for example:
- The overall scheme of delegation
- Information on the MAT trustees
- Annual reports and accounts
- Articles of association and funding agreement
These trust-related documents could still be linked to from the schools' websites, but wouldn't necessarily need to be hosted on them.
This was explained to us by Brendan Hollyer, one of our associate experts.
Governors' role: top-level and strategic
Although your board is ultimately responsible for publishing information on the school website, give operational responsibility to your senior leadership team because they're better placed to maintain it.
Keep a strategic focus. Monitor your school's website and ask the headteacher and senior leaders questions about its upkeep.
Phil Preston, another of our associate experts, explained this to us.
Ofsted's School Inspection Handbook says that it'll report on any failure by your school to comply with statutory arrangements (page 14).
The Key's Compliance Tracker, which covers the statutory requirements for school websites, is designed to help school leaders identify gaps and remain compliant.
Members of our sister service, The Key for School Leaders, can use the tool at no extra cost and download ready-made compliance reports to share with governors or Ofsted inspectors. Ask your senior leadership team for your Compliance Tracker report today.
To download a sample report, click below:
Alternatively, for more information about Compliance Tracker click below:
Format for publishing information
Information about schools’ governance arrangements should be published directly onto their website, rather than as a downloadable document (see paragraph 331 of the Governance Handbook).
For all other information there's no specified format. What's important is that it's easily accessible to parents and other stakeholders.
Carry out a review of the school website, and as part of this, consult with your stakeholders on what they think of the current setup.
This was suggested by Gulshan Kayembe, one of our associate education experts.
Phil Preston is an education consultant and experienced practitioner in new schools provision, school organisation and development planning, capital strategy and governor development.
Gulshan Kayembe is an independent consultant who has experience of inspecting schools. As a consultant, she provides mentoring for senior leaders and has worked as an external adviser on headteachers’ performance management.
Brendan Hollyer is the vice-chair of governors at a primary school and an all-through special school. He has been a national leader of governance since 2014 and provides training and support to schools in the south east. Brendan has also worked as the director of conversions and governance for a multi-academy trust.
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