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Making Sure Your Website is DfE Compliant

Published on 09/11/17

First published on September 18th 2014, the guidance for ‘What maintained schools must publish online’ by the Department for Education (DfE) was intended to help create more consistency and transparency amongst schools.

Since then, the guidance has been updated multiple times, with the vast majority of updates taking place in the last few years. With the introduction of free schools, academies and 16-19 colleges, a second guidance paper was published.

Why Does It Matter?

For maintained schools it’s a legal requirement in order to comply with The School Information (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2016 and making this information accessible not only increases transparency amongst your school community, but it can also win over Ofsted Inspectors next time they visit your school.

It has long been documented that Ofsted Inspectors visit a school website prior to visiting the school, to check what information is made available, and to use this as a barometer for parental communications and how well the school is run. Doing everything possible to adhere to the guidance provided by the government will ensure you make a great impression.

What Does It Include?

The information that maintained schools should publish online includes details about admission arrangements, key school policies, pupil premium data - including how it’s spent, examination and assessment results, governor information and more. 

Reviewing Your Website Frequently

Some of the information you have to publish, like your school’s value and ethos, will likely remain unchanged most of the time, whereas information on Governors and Examination Results will need updating more regularly.

To make sure your school remains compliant, we suggest conducting a content audit at least once a term, making sure that you are updating all of the relevant information. Since the guidance can change at any time, we recommend keeping an eye on the Department for Education website, as well as our blog and social media accounts for updates. 

Going the Extra Mile

Some schools are getting creative with their school website content, by either putting up more information than is required to show they are on top of everything, or by creating a quick link to a hidden page that details the location of all of the content across their website in one place. Anything to make the lives of Ofsted Inspectors easier will always stand you in good stead.

Access Our Handy Checklists

For a full overview of what is required on your website, make sure you check out our free handy checklists - based on the latest updates and regulations.