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Who Should Be Involved In Your School Website?

Published on 16/09/15

Your school website will be used by several different user groups, and pleasing them all can be tricky. Designing a new school website can be an exciting time, but it also needs to be a time for research, questions and decisions.

The big question: Who should be involved?

Whilst there are some obvious answers (a headteacher is a great place to start), some others might not be so obvious. Any large group who have a vested interest in your school should be considered when designing a new website. This includes teachers, school staff, governors, parents, students and the local community. However, as with any large project, including so many groups of individuals can introduce differences of opinion - but all are integral to the success of your new school website.

In this blog we will discuss some real-life examples where a schools views may differ from the parents expectations, when designing and adding content to a new school website.

Contact information
What the school wants: “We want to include minimal contact information, to avoid sales companies bombarding us with calls. We might even only include a contact form, so no phone numbers or email addresses will be on the website”.
What parents want: “I need to get in touch with my child’s school to discuss important matters – but can’t find the phone number. I also can’t find the headteacher’s name, so don’t know who I need to talk to” 
What your website needs to do: We understand that not every school wants to give away contact information, but it is so important that your parents – and the parents of prospective students – have easy access to this information. The Department for Education's regulations stipulate that you must include the school address, phone number, and the member of staff in charge of enquiries. It’s not compulsory from Ofsted to include the headteacher’s name, but it’s incredibly useful.

Design and navigation
What the school wants: “We want the latest design trend to be incorporated in our new school website.”
What parents want: “I want to be able to navigate a website easily, and find the information I need quickly with little hassle.”
What your website needs to do: You should consider the needs of your stakeholders (the people who actually use your website, and have an interest in your school), and design your website to meet their needs. Do your stakeholders view your school website from their phone most of the time? Then your school website should look great on a smaller screen, too.

Moving forward: How to develop your school website, and keep everyone happy

Chatting to your key stakeholders about your new website could really help. Setting up a survey, asking your stakeholders questions about their requirements could highlight important information you may not have previously considered. Don’t have enough time to send a survey to all your stakeholders? Alternatively, you could just chat to a few key groups, which are representative of your school community. These could include your PTA, Governors and School/Student Council. 

Want to find out how a stakeholder analysis could improve your next school website? Get in touch! Email or call 0845 257 0224 to find out how we can design your new school website around you, and your community.