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School website: publishing requirements and your role in it
Find out what your role is in making sure your school website complies with publishing requirements. Use our checklists if you want to dig deeper to check your school or trust website is compliant.
Updates to this article
07 July 2020: We've updated all of the checklists in this article. The checklists for academies and multi-academy trusts now reflect the changes to the Academies Financial Handbook from 1 September 2020. It includes new requirements to publish:
- Whistle-blowing procedures
- Number of employees whose benefits exceed £100k
How to monitor the website
Your role is strategic - hold senior leaders to account
You should ask your headteacher and senior leaders questions about the upkeep of the website.
For example, ask:
- How often is the school website updated?
- When was it last updated? For example, some requirements need to be updated each year - is this done?
- Who is responsible for updating the website?
- Does the website comply with publishing requirements? How do you know?
There's also additional information about your governing board that you must publish.
Delegate operational responsibility for updating the website
Although you're ultimately responsible for publishing information on the school website, you should give operational responsibility of publishing and maintaining the website to your senior leadership team because they're better placed to do this. Phil Preston, one of our associate education experts, explained this to us.
Use our checklist as a last resort
Give the relevant checklist to the member of staff who has delegated responsibility for maintaining the website.
If you aren't satisfied yet with the answers you get from your headteacher or senior leaders, you can use the checklist yourself to see if your school website complies. If it doesn't, raise this with your headteacher.
Checklist for maintained schools
This checklist summarises the information maintained schools must publish on their websites.
Checklist for academies
This checklist summarises the information academies, including free schools, are usually required to publish on their websites. Check your funding agreement to find out exactly what you're required to publish online.
If you're part of a multi-academy trust (MAT), your trust will likely publish some of this information on your behalf, as we explain below.
Checklist for multi-academy trusts (MATs)
In addition to the information that academies will usually publish, there are certain things that MATs must publish at trust level about your trust as a whole. This checklist summarises those requirements.
You should have a separate website
Although it's not technically a statutory requirement, we recommend that your trust has its own website, in addition to individual websites for each of your schools. It will allow you to make the information you're required to publish at a trust level easily accessible for interest 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.
One of our associate experts, Brendan Hollyer, explained this to us.
Phil Preston is an education consultant and experienced practitioner in new schools provision, school organisation and development planning, capital strategy and governor development.
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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