School and academy websites

Apart from resources, training and consultancy, CatholicLinks is also able to provide Catholic schools or academies in England and Wales with effective and well-designed websites.  It is important that schools or academies understand the need to contribute quality content to a coherent framework that forms the basis of the site. Clearly, good photographic material is important in communicating a sense of the internal community, the curriculum, the relationships and the culture prevalent within the school or academy; sometimes a picture speaks a 1000 words. It is also important that the school considers the audience for the website and ensure that the language is pitched properly to parents, carers, students and the wider community.

We will work with schools or academies to ensure that the website not only meets legal requirements, but is also constructed in a manner that makes sense and is coherent from an educational viewpoint, as well as being accessible to parents and guardians and other stakeholders.

It is very important that the school or academy staff are well informed by the headteacher or principal of the importance of the school or academy website, and of their role and responsibilities in contributing material to the website in accordance with the school policy. Producing a quality website clearly involves the staff who have responsibilities for different subjects and aspects of school life; they are likely to be required to produce text, photographs and resources for uploading to the site.

The Ofsted School Inspection Handbook states that in planning and preparing to undertake an inspection inspectors will use information on the school’s website. Logically, this means that your school or academy website is a very important source of information for the inspection team.  It is not unreasonable to suggest that if your website does not meet requirements, it raises questions about the management and governance of the school or academy.

The information below – regarding websites – is presented separately for maintained schools and academies to avoid any confusion.


Schools – Legal terminology

It is worth pausing to reflect on the general use of legal terminology used in Acts or in Regulations.

Where legislation (which may be in an Act or in Regulations) imposes a duty on governing bodies, local authorities or headteachers to do something, they must perform that duty. These statutory duties can be identified by the use of the word ‘must’.

Where legislation confers a power upon governing bodies, local authorities or headteachers they may choose whether or not to exercise that power. These powers can be identified by the use of the word ‘may’.

Where legislation imposes a duty on governing bodies, local authorities and headteachers to have ‘regard to’ any guidance issued by the Secretary of State, such guidance is statutory and can be identified by the use of the word ‘should’.

The use of ‘have regard to’ means governing bodies, local authorities and head teachers should follow the guidance unless they have good reason not to do so. Any decision not to follow the guidance should be documented fully in case it is challenged.


Schools – Legal requirement – updated 11 November 2016

Every local-authority maintained school must publish specific information on its website to comply with The School Information (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2016.

Academy – Legal requirement

If you are an academy or free school, you need to check your formal funding agreement to find out what you should publish on your website. The specific details of the organisation and scheme of delegation in an academy setting may be particular to the academy or academies in question. Academies, depending upon when they were established, may be required to publish the following on their website: 1) the academy memorandum and articles of association, annual accounts, annual report, and funding agreement and 2) list of the directors of the academy trust, as well as the other features listed below for school and academies. Newer academies are likely to have the duty to publish this information; older academies should do so as good practice.

Consider

Obviously, information on the website needs to communicate quality, a respect for parents as the primary educator of their children, and a sense of accountability to the community served by the school or academy in question for the use of public funds. Think how best you can do this as a school or academy community. Be prepared to listen to the voice of those you serve and make sure you meet their needs as they perceive them, as well as providing what you think they need and meeting statutory requirements.


Ofsted

The Ofsted School Inspection Handbook (August 2016) advises inspectors that they must use:

29. The lead inspector will prepare for the inspection by gaining an overview of the school’s recent performance and any changes since the last inspection. The lead inspector will use all available evidence to develop an initial picture of the school’s performance. The planning will be informed by analysis of: …

information on the school’s website, including its statement on the use of the pupil premium,[1] in primary schools the PE and sport premium, the statutory sharing with parents of curriculum information (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), the special educational needs (SEN) information report, the presence and suitability of the safeguarding guidance, taking into account current government requirements, information about the promotion of equality of opportunity and other information for parents[2]

[1] Throughout this document, ‘disadvantaged pupils’ refers to those pupils for whom the pupil premium provides support.
[2] Information for schools about information required on a school website is available at www.gov.uk/what-maintained-schools-must-publish-online.


INFORMATION FOR MAINTAINED SCHOOLS

THE SCHOOL INFORMATION (ENGLAND) (AMENDMENT) REGULATIONS 2016

Voluntary Aided Catholic Schools maintained by Local Authorities must meet the requirements of these Regulations


School contact details

Your school’s website must include the following contact information:

  • your school’s name;
  • your school’s postal address;
  • your school’s telephone number;
  • the name of the member of staff who deals with queries from parents and other members of the public.

Consider

Although not a statutory requirement, it makes really good sense that whoever answers the telephone to the general public is trained and is confident in managing communication with a range of people. Remember, the person or persons required to answer the telephone are the public voice of the school, if not the public face. They are an ambassador for the school and that first contact can really make a difference. Politeness, good manners, a confident style, a pleasant tone, a sense of having time to listen, and communicating a willingness to help are important attributes. An off-handed manner, abruptness, a lack of knowledge, and a sense of being irritated or unwilling to give time to a query can be very detrimental in communicating the values and cultural norms of the school community.

Ensure that access information is up to date, clearly signposted and enables enquirers to get to who they need to speak with as easily as possible.


Admission arrangements

You must publish your school’s admission arrangements each year and keep them up for the whole year.

You must explain:

  • how you will consider applications for every age group;
  • what parents should do if they want to apply for their child to attend your school;
  • your arrangements for selecting the pupils who apply;
  • your ‘over-subscription criteria’ (how you offer places if there are more applicants than places);
  • how parents can find out about your school’s admission arrangements through your local authority.

Consider

The underlying mindset of the governance and management of the school with respect to admissions is important in terms of communicating with parents and carers. A Catholic school is there first to serve the Catholic community and then the wider neighbourhood community; the key word here is ‘serve’. Without parents and carers to support the school by electing to seek admission for their children, then the school would fail to be effective or even viable. Effective school communities with a Catholic ethos and strong values communicate that sense of service very well and parents feel welcome in seeking admission for their children as a valued partner in their child’s education.  When this mindset is lacking the school can make the mistake of thinking too much in reverse, i.e. that parents just ought to be grateful that they can get their children into the school. From a particular perspective that may well be a fact, but such an attitude communicated to parents does not necessarily make for a healthy, balanced partnership. Therefore, it is important to get the ‘tone’ of the website right.

Ensure that there is an introductory paragraph that sets the scene as to the legal requirement, aims and purposes of the school’s admission policy / arrangements.


Ofsted reports

You must publish either:

  • a copy of your school’s most recent Ofsted report;
  • a link to the report on the Ofsted website.

Consider

Although not statutory, it is useful to publish information about the school’s response to the last Ofsted report and progress made with respect to areas for improvement. This approach respects the parents’ interest as partners and also can help promote a sense of confidence in the governance and management of the school. There is an opportunity to demonstrate how the school has made progress and how it knows this is the case, which in turn can communicate how well the community works together and is a learning community.

Ensure there is an introductory paragraph that sets the scene by explaining the legal requirement, aims and purposes of Ofsted inspections; do not simply assume that all parents are informed like educational professionals.

Make sure there is clarity as to the date of the last Ofsted inspection report – and where relevant – how the academy may have changed significantly since the last inspection.


Exam and assessment results

Key Stage 2 (KS2) (end of primary school) results

You must publish the following details from your school’s most recent key stage 2 results:

  • average progress scores in reading, writing and maths
  • average ‘scaled scores’ in reading and maths
  • percentage of pupils who achieved the expected standard or above in reading, writing and maths
  • percentage of pupils who achieved a high level of attainment in reading, writing and maths

Key Stage 4 (KS4) (end of secondary school) results 

You must publish the following details from your school’s most recent KS4 results:

  • Progress 8 score;
  • Attainment 8 score;
  • percentage of pupils who got a good pass in English and maths;
  • percentage of pupils achieving the English Baccalaureate combination of subjects (this means pupils who got a GCSE grade C or above in English, maths, 2 sciences, a language, and history or geography);
  • student ‘destinations’ (the percentage of students who continue in education or training, or move on to employment at the end of 16 to 19 study).

Read guidance on Progress 8 and Attainment 8 – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/progress-8-school-performance-measure

16 to 19 (Key Stage 5) results

Academies, free schools and colleges
From March 2017, you must publish:

  • the progress students have made in English and maths;
  • the progress students have made compared with students across England;
  • the average grade that students in your college get at 16 to 19 study (key stage 5)
    student ‘retention’ (the percentage of students who get to the end of their study programme);
  • student ‘destinations’ (the percentage of students who continue in education or training, or move on to employment at the end of 16 to 19 study).

Read more guidance about 16 to 19 accountability measures – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/16-to-19-accountability-headline-measures-technical-guide

Consider

Give consideration to an introductory paragraph for setting the scene for this information. For example, how might you help parents know and understand the ‘jargon’? You might want to add some basic facts, such as those that are provided on the DfE national website.


Performance tables

You must include a link to the DfE Check School Performance tables.

See: https://www.gov.uk/school-performance-tables


Curriculum

You must publish the following information about your school’s curriculum:

  • the content of your school curriculum in each academic year for every subject;
  • the names of any phonics or reading schemes you are using in Key Stage 1;
  • a list of the courses available to pupils at Key Stage 4, including GCSEs;
  • how parents or other members of the public can find out more about the curriculum your school is following.

Consider

Although not statutory, the school may wish to provide information for parents that bridges the gap between the curricular experience in school and the home’s capacity to help support children’s learning. This is particularly helpful in early years of primary education when parents are more likely to be influential in determining how children have access to experiences, resources and opportunities that support their learning in school. Consequently, if parents have access to an outline of the key areas of knowledge or learning, topics, et cetera, they can plan their family life and leisure activities accordingly to add value to the school experience. Taking children on visits to places of historical, geographical, environmental or scientific interest; providing access to books; visiting museums and the like can be suggested to parents with respect to the planned school curriculum.

Ensure there is an introductory paragraph that helps set the scene for this page that covers the legal requirements, aims and purposes of the curriculum in your school.


Behaviour policy

You should publish details of your school’s behaviour policy.

The policy must comply with section 89 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006.

See: www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/40/section/89

Advice on developing and publishing your school’s behaviour policy is available

See: www.gov.uk/government/publications/behaviour-and-discipline-in-schools

Consider

Although not statutory, the school may wish to consider what kind of advice, guidance and support it may wish to offer to parents about managing children’s behaviour in a way that reflects the good practice of the school and reinforces values and principles shared by the home and school.  Some schools provide programmes for parents in behaviour management.

Ensure there is an introductory paragraph that sets the scene for the information on this page.  You may wish to explain the school’s principles, aims and purposes that underpin the behaviour policy, which clearly communicate the culture and ethos of the school.


School complaints procedure

You must publish details of your school’s complaints procedure, which must comply with Section 29 of the Education Act 2002.

Read guidance on developing your school’s complaints procedure –

https://www.gov.uk/publications/school-complaints-procedures


Pupil premium

You must publish a strategy for the school’s use of the pupil premium. You no longer have to publish a ‘pupil premium statement’.

For the current academic year, you must include:

  • your school’s pupil premium grant allocation amount;
  • a summary of the main barriers to educational achievement faced by eligible pupils at the school;
  • how you will spend the pupil premium to address those barriers and the reasons for that approach;
  • how you will measure the impact of the pupil premium;
  • the date of the next review of the school’s pupil premium strategy.

For the previous academic year, you must include:

  • how you spent the pupil premium allocation;
  • the impact of the expenditure on eligible and other pupils.

Pupil premium funding is allocated for each financial year, but the information you publish online should refer to the academic year, as this is how parents understand the school system.

As you will not know allocations for the end of the academic year (April to July), you should report on the funding up to the end of the financial year and update it when you have all the figures.

The Teaching Schools Council has published templates to support schools in presenting their pupil premium strategies. Use of the templates is voluntary. This is the link from the DfE site.

http://tscouncil.org.uk/resources/guide-to-effective-pupil-premium-reviews/

Consider

Ensure that there is an introductory paragraph on this page that explains what ‘pupil premium’ is and what it is meant to achieve and how. Remember that most parents and carers are not educational professionals. Information can be accessed from the DfE website.


Year 7 literacy and numeracy catch-up premium 

If your school receives year 7 literacy and numeracy catch-up premium funding, you must publish details of how your school spends this funding and the effect this has had on the attainment of the pupils who attract it.

See: www.gov.uk/guidance/year-7-literacy-and-numeracy-catch-up-premium-guide-for-schools

You must include the following:

  • your funding allocation for the current academic year;
  • details of how you intend to spend your allocation;
  • details of how you spent your previous academic year’s allocation;
  • how last year’s allocation made a difference to the attainment of the pupils who benefit from funding.

Consider

Ensure there is an introductory paragraph that sets the scene for the information on this page and explains year 7 literacy and numeracy catch-up premium funding. Remember that most parents and carers are not educational professionals. Information can be accessed from the DfE website.


PE and sport premium for primary schools

If your school receives PE (physical education) and sport premium funding, you must publish:

  • how much funding you received
  • a full breakdown of how you’ve spent the funding or will spend the funding
  • the effect of the premium on pupils’ PE and sport participation and attainment
  • how you’ll make sure these improvements are sustainable

See: www.gov.uk/guidance/pe-and-sport-premium-for-primary-schools

Consider

Ensure there is an introductory paragraph that sets the scene for the information on this page and explains PE and sport premium funding. Remember that most parents and carers are not educational professionals. Information can be accessed from the DfE website.


Special educational needs (SEN) and disability report

If your school is a maintained school, then your governing body must publish an SEN information report on the school’s policy for pupils with SEN.

The report must comply with:

  • section 69(2) of the Children and Families Act 2014,
  • regulation 51 and schedule 1 of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014.

See: www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/6/section/69

See: www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/1530/regulation/51/made

See: www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/1530/schedule/1/made

See: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/send-code-of-practice-0-to-25

You can find details of what to include in schedule 1 of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014, and section 6 of the Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0 to 25 years (links above).

  • You must also publish the accessibility plan your governing body prepared in compliance with paragraph 3 of schedule 10 to the Equality Act 2010.

See: www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/schedule/10

Consider

Ensure there is an introductory paragraph that sets the scene for the information on this page and explains what is meant by ‘SEN’ … avoid educational jargon / acronyms unless they are first explained.


Charging and remissions policies

You must publish your school’s charging and ‘remissions’ policies (this means when you cancel fees). The policies must include details of:

    • the activities or cases for which your school will charge pupils parents;
    • the circumstances where your school will make an exception on a payment you would normally expect to receive under your charging policy.

Read about school charging and remission – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/charging-for-school-activities

Consider

Ensure there is an introductory paragraph that sets the scene for the information on this page; draw on the school’s policies.


Values and ethos

Your website should include a statement of your school’s ethos and values.

Clearly this statement needs to pay attention to the distinctive and inclusive nature of a Catholic school.


Safeguarding Policy

In September 2016, the DfE issued updated the statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe. This should include making your policies available on your website as good practice.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/550511/Keeping_children_safe_in_education.pdf

The DfE website says,

Every setting should have an effective child protection policy and a staff behaviour policy. This is sometimes called the code of conduct and should include, among other things:

  • acceptable use of technologies
  • staff/pupil relationships and communications
  • the use of social media

We would expect everyone to be aware of the safeguarding procedures within their school or college and that these have been explained to them as part of their induction.

This should include being aware of the:

  • child protection policy
  • staff behaviour policy (sometimes called a code of conduct)
  • role of the designated safeguarding lead

Governing bodies and proprietors should also ensure that appropriate policies and procedures are in place so that timely, appropriate action can be taken to safeguard and promote children’s welfare.


Publication of Governor’s information and duties

In the interests of transparency, governing bodies are required to publish up-to-date details of their governance arrangements on the school website. The information will need to be in a readily accessible form – on a webpage and avoiding the need to download or open a separate document. (This task may be delegated to the clerk.)

You must publish information about your school’s governors, including details of each governor’s business interests, financial interests, and governance roles in other schools, as well as the structure and responsibilities of the governing body and committees.

See Section 10 in https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/constitution-of-governing-bodies-of-maintained-schools

You must publish:

  • The details of the structure and responsibilities of the governing body and any committees, and the full names of the chair of each;
  • For each governor who has served at any point over the past 12 months:
    • their full names, date of appointment, term of office, date they stepped down (where applicable), who appointed them (in accordance with the governing body’s instrument of government),
    • relevant business and pecuniary interests (as recorded in the register of interests) including:
      • governance roles in other educational institutions;
      • any material interests arising from relationships between governors or relationships between governors and school staff (including spouses, partners and close relatives);
      • their attendance record at governing body and committee meetings over the last academic year.
    • Governing bodies should also publish this information for associate members, making clear whether they have voting rights on any of the committees to which they have been appointed.
    • Governing bodies should make it clear in their code of conduct that this information will be published on their governors and any associate members. Any governor failing to provide information to enable the governing body to fulfil their responsibilities may be in breach of the code of conduct and as a result be bringing the governing body into disrepute. In such cases the governing body should consider suspending the governor.

Register of Interests

Regulation 26 and Schedule 5 (15) of The School and Early Years Finance (England) Regulations 2013 require that all Local Authority Schemes for financing schools include details about the setting up of a register of any business interests of the governors and the headteacher. Since 1 September 2015, (through their local authority’s scheme for financing schools) it is a statutory requirement that governing bodies of maintained schools are required to publish a register of interests on the school website, according to statutory guidance (The Constitution of Governing Bodies of Maintained Schools, March 2015).

There is no definition for what constitutes ‘an interest’, but the DfE’s Governors’ Handbook does make some recommendations and states that if there are any doubts, the presumption should be to record and publish the said information. Declarations should include any association with individuals, businesses, contractors, directorships, or shareholdings in any organisation that may provide goods or services to the school. Association with persons such as parent, spouse, co-habitee, child or business partners where influence could be brought to bear needs to be declared. If a governor or member of staff or related person has any pecuniary or non-pecuniary interest in a matter to be discussed at a governors’ meeting the governor or member of staff must declare their interest and withdraw from that part of the meeting.

Note that most local authorities will provide model Business Registers for schools to use as part of their Local Scheme of Delegation. Failure to declare an interest is a serious matter and can lead to further difficulties in governance.  As a matter of good practice, the clerk should ask governors to sign a declaration of interests form at the start of each meeting. A deliberate failure to declare an interest would be a justifiable cause to suspend the said governor because such an action puts the functioning of the governing body at risk.

Declaration-of-Interest-Form-2015-010-30

Register-of-Interest-Form-2015-010-30


Requests for paper copies

If a parent requests a paper copy of the information on your school’s website, you must provide this free of charge.


INFORMATION FOR ACADEMIES

Depending on when they were established – academies may be required to publish the following information. When in doubt ‘do’ publish rather than ‘don’t’ publish information (which is required of maintained schools) in the interests of openness and transparency.


REQUIRED – Annual governance statement – academies

The Academies Financial Handbook 2016 (effective from 1 September 2016) states the following, i.e. it is a requirement, not an option.

Note also the information must be published in a readily accessible format, i.e. not hidden away in other attached documents; it should be readily available on web pages avoiding the need to download or open a separate document.

2.5.1 Publishing information about governance structures*

2.5.2 In the interests of transparency, an academy trust must publish on its website up to-date details of its governance arrangements in a readily accessible format. This must include:

  • the structure and remit of the members, board of trustees, its committees and local governing bodies (the trust’s scheme of delegation for governance functions), and the full names of the chair of each (where applicable)
  • for each member who has served at any point over the past 12 months, their full names, date of appointment, date they stepped down (where applicable), and relevant business and pecuniary interests including governance roles in other educational institutions
  • for each trustee and local governor who has served at any point over the past 12 months, their full names, date of appointment, term of office, date they stepped down (where applicable), who appointed them (in accordance with the trust’s articles), and relevant business and pecuniary interests including governance roles in other educational institutions. If the trust’s accounting officer is not a trustee their relevant business and pecuniary interests must still be published.
  • for each trustee their attendance records at board and committee meetings over the last academic year
  • for each local governor their attendance records at local governing body meetings over the last academic year

Since 1 September 2015, the Academies Financial Handbook extended the requirement to publish the business and pecuniary interests of local governors / academy representatives, as well as directors. It does not explicitly state that any personal interests that have been declared should be published, however in the interests of openness and transparency it would make good sense. There is a requirement in the Articles of Association for directors who have a personal interest (financial or otherwise) which may conflict with their duties to provide governance to declare it as soon as they become aware of it.

Boards of Directors should make it clear in their code of conduct that the information required will be published on their directors and any other persons involved in the governance arrangements, which may be particular to the academy company and the individual academies. Any director / local governor / local academy representative failing to provide information to enable the Board to fulfil their responsibilities then may be in breach of the code of conduct and as a result be bringing the Board into disrepute. In such cases the Board should consider suspending the director / local governor / local academy representative.

*Note: The DfE uses the term ‘trustee’ – meaning the director of the charitable company limited by guarantee set up to run the academy/academies, who therefore also has charity trustee obligations. This is NOT the same meaning of ‘trustee’ as ‘trustee’ meaning a diocesan trustee who serves the diocesan trust.  Therefore, when you read this guidance you need to be thinking about ‘directors’ of the academy company not diocesan trustees of the diocesan trust. (On the CatholicLinks website, see the ‘Terminology’ page in the ‘Academy Governance’ section.)


Persons of significant control

From 6 April 2016, new company ownership requirements came into force to establish an internal register of Persons of Significant Control (PSC) – this is in addition to their registers of members, directors and their interests. The register must identify any person connected with the company who has significant control over it and include the necessary details about who they are and the nature of their control.

All academy companies must submit an annual Confirmation Statement (which replaces the Annual Return) to Companies House, along with the necessary details of their PSCs, published on a central register.

See: www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/515720/Non-statutory_guidance_for_companies__LLPs_and_SEsv4.pdf/


The Articles of Association and Memorandum of Understanding

These are the founding documents for the academy company and the individual academies.


Academy contact details

The following contact information:

  • your academy’s name;
  • your academy’s postal address;
  • your academy’s telephone number;
  • the name of the member of staff who deals with queries from parents and other members of the public;
  • name of the headteacher or principal;
  • name and address of the chair of the governing body (if you have one);
  • name and details of your SEN co-ordinator (SENCO) if you’re a mainstream academy.

If you’re an academy or free school, you should also publish details about your academy’s owner:

  • if the school’s owner is an individual, you should publish the proprietor’s full name and contact details (address and a telephone number);
  • if the school’s owner is a body of persons, you should publish the address and telephone number of its office. (i.e. The Diocesan Trustees, c/o The Diocesan Education Service or Diocesan Schools Commission + address and telephone number).

Consider

It makes really good sense that whoever answers the telephone to the general public is trained and is confident in managing communication with a range of people.  Remember, the person or persons who are required to answer the telephone are the public voice of the academy, if not the public face! They are an ambassador for the academy and that first contact can really make a difference. Politeness, good manners, a confident style, a pleasant tone, a sense of having time to listen, and communicating a willingness to help are important attributes. An off-handed manner, abruptness, a lack of knowledge, and a sense of being irritated or unwilling to give time to a query can be very detrimental in communicating the values and cultural norms of the academy community.

Ensure that access information is up to date, clearly signposted and enables enquirers to get to who they need to speak with as easily as possible.


Admission arrangements

Admissions arrangements of all mainstream academies and free schools must comply with the ‘School admissions code’ and the ‘School admissions appeals code’.

  • You must publish your academy’s admission arrangements each year and keep them up for the whole year.

You must explain:

  • how you will consider applications for every age group;
  • what parents should do if they want to apply for their child to attend your academy;
  • your arrangements for selecting the pupils who apply;
  • your ‘over-subscription criteria’ (how you offer places if there are more applicants than places);
  • how parents can find out about your academy’s admission arrangements through your local authority.

Consider

The underlying mindset of the governance and management of the academy with respect to admissions is important in terms of communicating with parents and carers. A Catholic school is there first to serve the Catholic community and then the wider neighbourhood community; the key word here is ‘serve’. Without parents and carers to support the academy by electing to seek admission for their children, then the academy would fail to be effective or even viable. Effective school communities with a Catholic ethos and strong values communicate that sense of service very well and parents feel welcome in seeking admission for their children as a valued partner in the child’s education.  When this mindset is lacking the academy can make the mistake of thinking too much in reverse, i.e. that parents just ought to be grateful that they can get their children into the academy. From a particular perspective that may well be a fact, but such an attitude communicated to parents does not necessarily make for a healthy, balanced partnership. Therefore, it is important to get the ‘tone’ of the website right.

Ensure that there is an introductory paragraph that sets the scene as to the legal requirement, aims and purposes of the academy’s admission policy / arrangements.


Exclusion arrangements

If you are an academy or free school other than a 16 to 19 academy, you should publish details of your policy for excluding pupils.


Ofsted reports

The following information:

  • publish a copy of your academy’s most recent Ofsted report;
  • publish a link to the webpage where users can find your academy’s most recent Ofsted report.

Consider

It is useful to publish information about the academy’s response to the last Ofsted report and progress made with respect to areas for improvement. This approach respects the parents’ interest as partners and also can help promote a sense of confidence in the governance and management of the academy. There is an opportunity to demonstrate how the academy has made progress and how it knows this is the case, which in turn can communicate how well the community works together and is a learning community.

Ensure there is an introductory paragraph that sets the scene by explaining the legal requirement, aims and purposes of Ofsted inspections; do not simply assume that all parents are informed like educational professionals.

Make sure there is clarity as to the date of the last Ofsted inspection report – and where relevant – how the academy may have changed significantly since the last inspection.


Exam and assessment results

Key Stage 2 (KS2) (end of primary school) results

The DfE will publish the 2016 KS2 performance tables in December 2016. From December 2016, if you are an academy or free school, you should publish the following information on your website:

The following details from your academy’s most recent KS2 results:

  • percentage of pupils who have achieved the expected standard in reading, writing and maths;
  • average progress that pupils have made in reading between KS1 and KS2;
  • average progress that pupils have made in writing between KS1 and KS2;
  • average progress that pupils have made in maths between KS1 and KS2;
  • percentage of pupils who have achieved a higher standard in reading, writing and maths;
  • your pupils’ average score in the reading test;
  • your pupils’ average score in the maths test.

You can find more information about these KS2 performance measures, including the higher standard, in the ‘Primary school accountability’ guidance.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/primary-school-accountability

Key Stage 4 (KS4) (end of secondary school) results

The DfE will publish the 2016 KS4 performance tables in January 2017.

From January 2017, if you are an academy or a free school, you should publish the following information on your website:

  • your school’s progress 8 score;
  • your school’s attainment 8 score;
  • percentage of pupils who have achieved grade C or above in English and mathematics at the end of KS4;
  • percentage of pupils who have achieved the English Baccalaureate.

For information on progress 8 score and attainment 8 score See: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/progress-8-school-performance-measure

For information on the English Baccalaureate See:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/english-baccalaureate-ebacc

Consider

Give consideration to an introductory paragraph for setting the scene for this information. For example, how might you help parents know and understand the ‘jargon’? You might want to add some basic facts, such as those that are provided on the DfE national website ‘School and College Performance Tables’.

Key Stage 5 (KS5)

The DfE will publish the 2016 KS5 performance tables in January and March 2017.

From March 2017, if you are an academy, free school or college, you should publish the following information on your website:

  • the progress students in your college have made compared with students across the country;
  • the average grade that students in your college get at KS5;
  • the progress students in your college have made in English and maths;
  • retention (this is the proportion of students who get to the end of the main programme of study that they enrolled on at your college);
  • destinations (this is the percentage of students who continue in education or training, or move on to employment at the end of 16 to 19 study).

You can find more information about these performance measures in the ‘16 to 19 accountability headline measures’ guidance – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/16-to-19-accountability-headline-measures-technical-guide


Performance tables

Include a link to the DfE school performance tables website.

See: www.education.gov.uk/schools/performance/


Curriculum

The following information about your academy’s curriculum:

  • the content of the curriculum your academy follows in each academic year for every subject;
  • your approach to the curriculum
  • how parents or other members of the public can find out more about the curriculum your academy is following
  • how you meet the 16 to 19 study programme requirements (if you have a sixth-form or offer education at 16 to 19).

Depending on what phase of education your academy offers, you should also publish any of the following that apply to your academy:

  • the names of any phonics or reading schemes you are using in Key Stage 1;
  • a list of the courses available to pupils at key stage 4, including GCSEs;
  • the 16 to 19 qualifications you offer.

Consider

The academy may wish to provide information for parents that bridges the gap between the curricular experience in school and the home’s capacity to help support children’s learning. This is particularly helpful in early years of primary education when parents are more likely to be influential in determining how children have access to experiences, resources and opportunities that support their learning in school. Consequently, if parents have access to an outline of the key areas of knowledge or learning, topics, et cetera, they can plan their family life and leisure activities accordingly to add value to the school experience. Taking children on visits to places of historical, geographical, environmental or scientific interest; providing access to books; visiting museums and the like can be suggested to parents with respect to the planned school curriculum.

Ensure there is an introductory paragraph that helps set the scene for this page that covers the legal requirements, aims and purposes of the curriculum in your academy.


Behaviour policy

If you are an academy or free school, you should publish details of your behaviour policy, including its anti-bullying strategy.

See: www.gov.uk/government/publications/behaviour-and-discipline-in-schools

Consider

The academy may wish to consider what kind of advice, guidance and support it may wish to offer to parents about managing children’s behaviour in a way that reflects the good practice of the academy and reinforces values and principles shared by the home and academy.  Some academies provide programmes for parents in behaviour management.

Ensure there is an introductory paragraph that sets the scene for the information on this page. You may wish to explain the academy’s principles, aims and purposes that underpin the behaviour policy, which clearly communicate the culture and ethos of the academy.


Pupil premium

If your school receives pupil premium funding, your funding agreement will specify what information you need to publish about it.

See: www.gov.uk/guidance/pupil-premium-information-for-schools-and-alternative-provision-settings

Regardless of what your funding agreement requires you to publish, the DfE recommend that, if you are an academy or free school, you publish details of your pupil premium strategy.

For the current academic year, the DfE recommend you publish:

  • how much pupil premium funding you received for this academic year;
  • details of the main barriers to educational achievement that the disadvantaged children in your academy face;
  • how you will spend your pupil premium funding to address these barriers and the reasons for the approach you have chosen;
  • how you will measure the impact of the pupil premium;
  • the date of the next pupil premium strategy review.

For the previous academic year, the DfE recommend you publish:

  • how you spent your pupil premium funding;
  • the impact that the pupil premium had on pupils.

The Teaching Schools Council has produced guidance for schools / academies on developing and presenting their pupil premium strategy, including a pupil premium strategy template.

Consider

Ensure that there is an introductory paragraph on this page that explains what ‘pupil premium’ is and what it is meant to achieve and how. Remember that most parents and carers are not educational professionals. Information can be accessed from the DfE website.


Year 7 literacy and numeracy catch-up premium

If the academy receives year 7 literacy and numeracy catch-up premium funding, you must publish details of how the academy spends this funding and the effect this has had on the attainment of the pupils who attract it.

See: www.gov.uk/guidance/year-7-literacy-and-numeracy-catch-up-premium-guide-for-schools

Include the following:

  • how much Year 7 catch-up premium you received for this financial year;
  • details of how you intend to spend the funding;
  • details of how you spent your year 7 catch-up premium last financial year;
  • how it made a difference to the attainment of the pupils who attract the funding and how you assessed the effect it had.

Consider

Ensure there is an introductory paragraph that sets the scene for the information on this page and explains year 7 literacy and numeracy catch-up premium funding. Remember that most parents and carers are not educational professionals. Information can be accessed from the DfE website.


PE and sport premium for primary schools

If the academy receives PE and sport premium funding, publish details of how your academy spends this funding and the effect it has had on pupils’ PE and sport participation and attainment.

See: www.gov.uk/guidance/pe-and-sport-premium-for-primary-schools

You must include the following:

  • how much PE and sport premium funding you received for this academic year;
  • a full breakdown of how you’ve spent or will spend the funding this year;
  • the effect of the premium on pupils’ PE and sport participation and attainment;
  • how you will make sure these improvements are sustainable.

Consider

Ensure there is an introductory paragraph that sets the scene for the information on this page and explains PE and sport premium funding. Remember that most parents and carers are not educational professionals. Information can be accessed from the DfE website.


Special educational needs (SEN) report

The report must comply with:

  • section 69(2) of the Children and Families Act 2014,
  • 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 – 25 years’.

See: www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/6/section/69

See: www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/1530/regulation/51/made

See: www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/1530/schedule/1/made

See: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/send-code-of-practice-0-to-25

You can find details of what to include in schedule 1 of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014, and section 6 of the Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0 to 25 years (links above).

Accessibility plan for disabled pupils

You must publish your accessibility plan, which should include details of how you have:

  • increasing your disabled pupils’ ability to participate in your school’s curriculum;
  • improving the physical environment of your school so disabled pupils can take better advantage of the education, benefits, facilities and services you offer;
  • improving the availability of accessible information to your disabled pupils.

The accessibility plan you publish can either be a freestanding document or part of another document (such as your school development plan) in compliance with paragraph 3 of schedule 10 to the Equality Act 2010.

See: www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/schedule/10

Consider

Ensure there is an introductory paragraph that sets the scene for the information on this page and explains what is meant by ‘SEN’ … avoid educational jargon / acronyms unless they are first explained.


Equality objectives

As public bodies, academies and free schools must comply with the public sector equality duty. This means you have to:

  • publish details of how your school is complying with the public sector equality duty – you should update this every year;
  • publish your school’s equality objectives – you should update this at least once every 4 years.

See: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/section/149

You need to include details of how your school is:

  • eliminating discrimination (see the Equalities Act 2010);
  • improving equality of opportunity for people with protected characteristics;
  • consulting and involving those affected by inequality in the decisions your school or college takes to promote equality and eliminate discrimination (affected people could include parents, pupils, staff and members of the local community).

See: ‘eliminating discrimination’ – http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/contents

See: protected ‘characteristics’ – http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/section/4


Complaints policy

The DfE recommend* that all academies and colleges publish their complaints policy online. This will allow parents to access the information more easily. (* – this means do it.)


Annual reports and accounts

You should (do it) publish certain financial information about your school:

  • annual report;
  • annual audited accounts;
  • memorandum of association;
  • articles of association;
  • names of charity trustees and members;
  • funding agreement.

You can find more guidance about these in the ‘Academies financial handbook’.

See: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/535870/Academies_Financial_Handbook_2016_final.pdf


Charging and remissions policies

The charging and remissions policies; include details of:

  • the activities or cases for which your academy will charge pupils parents;
  • the circumstances where your academy will make an exception on a payment you would normally expect to receive under your charging policy.

Ensure there is an introductory paragraph that sets the scene for the information on this page; draw on the academy’s policies.


Values and ethos

Include a statement of your academy ethos and values.

Clearly this statement needs to pay attention to the distinctive and inclusive nature of a Catholic academy.


Safeguarding Policy

In September 2016, the DfE issued updated the statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe. This should include making your policies available on your website as good practice.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/550511/Keeping_children_safe_in_education.pdf

The DfE website says,

Every setting should have an effective child protection policy and a staff behaviour policy. This is sometimes called the code of conduct and should include, among other things:

  • acceptable use of technologies
  • staff/pupil relationships and communications
  • the use of social media

We would expect everyone to be aware of the safeguarding procedures within their school or college and that these have been explained to them as part of their induction.

This should include being aware of the:

  • child protection policy
  • staff behaviour policy (sometimes called a code of conduct)
  • role of the designated safeguarding lead

Governing bodies and proprietors should also ensure that appropriate policies and procedures are in place so that timely, appropriate action can be taken to safeguard and promote children’s welfare.


Requests for copies

If a parent requests a paper copy of the information on your academy’s website, you must provide this free of charge.


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