The list of statutory information that schools must publish on their website is extensive. It changes regularly and seems to keep growing so is a significant challenge for school leaders to ensure that they keep their websites compliant. We recently launched a new service, which has proved to be extremely popular, where we audit your website against statutory requirements and provide you with a written report RAG rating each criterion with development steps where needed. You can find out more here you can also download a sample audit here to see what it might look like. This gives great evidence for Senior Leaders, Governors, Local Authority, or Trust, representatives and for OFSTED etc.
Most Common Mistakes
So, what are the most common mistakes that we have found on school websites? We have listed the sections as they appear in the DfE statutory requirements document and bullet pointed some common errors that we have found.
- Not having a named person who deals with queries from the public and just having “School Office” or something similar.
- Not having contact details for your SENDCo
Exam and assessment results
- Not clearly marking the 2018 – 2019 as “not current”.
- Not explaining how parents or members of the public can find out more about the curriculum.
- Not explicitly explaining how your approach to the curriculum fulfils your duties in the Equality Act 2010 and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014
- Not having information on the effect of the expenditure on pupils for the previous academic year.
PE and sport premium for primary schools
- Not having swimming figures on the report. Obviously swimming lessons haven’t been able to happen through the pandemic but this requirement has not been removed by the DfE(!). Personally, I sent a Google Form survey to my Y6 parents with these three questions on so I could still gather the information and report it.
- Not updating their policy annually that details how the school complies with the public sector equality duty
Governors’ information and duties
- Not including information about how particular governors were appointed.
- Not having a statement about staff with a gross salary exceeding £100,000 (even if there are none).
Requests for paper copies
Not having a statement explaining that all material on the website is available as a paper copy and how to request this.
Download our Primary Audit Report Example
Keeping a website up-to-date is a time consuming job but I hope that these points have been useful in hopefully helping you avoid some of the common pitfalls. It is also worth noting that the requirements are different for a maintained school and for an academy so do make sure you are using the correct statutory school website requirements list.
Need help? Use our comprehensive audit service for peace of mind.
Frequently asked questions
What do your audit process look like?
Firstly, we look at what type of school you are, e.g. Primary or Secondary and then whether you are a maintained school or academy (because the requirements differ depending on your type of school). We then carefully go through your website checking each criterion in the statutory requirements ensuring that the documents or information is available, that links work and that any documents are in date.
What do I receive after your audit?
You will receive a report with a RAG rating next to every requirement for your website. If you have any amber or red colours, there will be an accompanying comment explaining why this isn’t green and suggestions where appropriate for what needs to be done. In some cases, even when a criterion is fully met and coloured green, we may include a comment with some hints or tips that could be useful.
What do the colours mean on your report?
Green – complete and no action required.
Amber – present but needs attention, e.g. may be out of date or missing some information.
Red – missing from the website or incorrect.
Does your audit meet the statutory requirements as they are today?
Yes, the DfE site is checked regularly to ensure that our audits meet statutory requirements as they are today. We also get weekly updates from the DfE informing us of any changes to their statutory requirements to ensure that our audits are always correct at the date of publication.
Do you actually look at the documents or just make sure that they are available on the site?
We do actually check the documents to make sure they are in date and, for things like the Pupil Premium report, make sure that they are on the correct template.
Find our Statutory School Website Audit here.