School website information
‘Transparency’ and ‘accountability’ are words which governors and trustees are accustomed to hearing; there is an increasing expectation that part of the delivery of these buzzwords will be through the school website. The website is often the first place that prospective parents will look when they want to get a ‘feel’ for your school and what goes on within it. Websites can provide day to day information for parents and the community about events and developments in the school, along with specific information about what their children will be learning and how the school is performing. Ofsted inspectors will use the school website as one of their sources of information prior to visiting the school and will make a judgement about whether the school meets requirements on the publication of specified information on its website and identify where it does not.
Every maintained and academy school must publish specific information on its website to comply with statutory responsibilities and legislation. Although minimum requirements are set many schools choose to go far beyond these and publish a wealth of information for parents, pupils, staff, governors, trustees and the community, making their website a really useful and interactive part of their school resources.
Website review service
The Governance Consultancy Team offer a website review which will look at the information currently published on the school website to ensure that the school is meeting the statutory criteria and identify any gaps, with signposting and advice on how any oversights can be addressed. The review will also identify any information which should not be on your website, or is out of date. Further details can be found on the e-store, or by contacting the Governance Consultancy Team.
A template accessibility plan is available to download from the subscriber content pages of this website.
The accessibility plan forms part of the schools’ documentation around SEND and Equality. The accessibility plan is based around three key areas:
Increasing the extent to which disabled pupils can participate in the school curriculum
Improving the physical environment of schools, and
Improving the delivery of information to disabled pupils and parents
Under the Equality Act 2010 schools are required to:
Take reasonable steps to avoid disadvantage caused by a provision, criteria or practice or a physical feature that puts a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person. This involves removing or avoiding a physical feature, for example steps and lifts.
Take reasonable steps to provide auxiliary aids/services.
Provide information in an accessible format.
Develop and implement (by allocating appropriate resources) Accessibility Plans which will:
Increase disabled pupils’ access to the school curriculum
Improve the physical environment
Improve provision of information.
The duty is an anticipatory and continuing one that schools owe to disabled pupils generally, regardless of whether the school knows that a particular pupil is disabled, or whether the school currently has disabled pupils. The school will need to plan ahead for the reasonable adjustments that it may need to make, working with the relevant admissions authority as appropriate.
The website must give information about the admissions procedure and admissions policy for the school. This may be as simple as linking to the Devon County website admission pages. It is useful for prospective parents if the school publishes the key dates for admission, even if they use the county process.
Church schools will be supported in developing admissions procedures and policies by the Diocese.
If the school’s governing board decides the admissions, you must publish your school’s admission arrangements each year and keep them up for the whole of the offer year (the school year in which offers for places are made).
The information published must explain:
- How you’ll consider applications for every age group
- What parents should do if they want to apply for their child to attend your school
- The arrangements for selecting the pupils who apply (if you are a selective school)
- The ‘over-subscription criteria’ (how places are offered if there are more applicants than places).
When changes are proposed to admission arrangements, all admission authorities must consult on their admission arrangements that will apply for admission applications the following school year. Where the admission arrangements have not changed from the previous year there is no requirement to consult, subject to the requirement that admission authorities must consult on their admission arrangements at least once every 7 years, even if there have been no changes during that period. Consultation must last for a minimum of 6 weeks and must take place between 1 October and 31 January in the determination year.
For the duration of the consultation period, the admission authority must publish a copy of their full proposed admission arrangements (including the proposed PAN) on their website together with details of the person within the admission authority to whom comments may be sent. Failure to consult effectively may be grounds for subsequent complaints and appeals.
All admission authorities must determine (i.e. formally agree) admission arrangements every year, even if they have not changed from previous years and a consultation has not been required. Admission authorities must determine admission arrangements for entry in September of the following year by 28 February in the determination year. The determined admission arrangements must be published on the school website and sent to the local authority.
Model terms of reference for an Admissions Committee are available on the subscriber content pages.
Careers information (years 8 to 13)
From September 2018 there is a requirement to publish:
- The name, email address and telephone number of the school’s Careers Leader
- A summary of the careers programme, including details of how pupils, parents, teachers and employers may access information about the careers programme
- How the school measures and assesses the impact of the careers programme on pupils
- The date of the school’s next review of the information published
- A policy statement regarding access arrangements for education and training providers.
Further information can be found on the Department for Education website.
Year 7 catch-up premium
If the school has received year 7 literacy and numeracy catch-up premium funding, the website must give details about:
- The funding allocation for the current academic year
- Details of how the school intends to spend their allocation
- Details of how the school spent the previous year’s allocation
- How last year’s allocation made a difference to the attainment of the pupils who benefit from the funding
The school website should include the:
- Name of your school or college
- Postal address of your school or college
- Telephone number of your school or college
- 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 board. (This could be a school email address)
- Name and details of your special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) co-ordinator (SENDCO) if you’re a mainstream academy. (A mainstream academy is one that is not specifically for pupils with special educational needs.)
Academy and free schools, should publish details about the academy’s sponsor:
- If the school’s owner is an individual, their full name and contact details (address and a telephone number)
- If the school’s owner is a group or organisation, the address and telephone number of its office.
The school’s website must include the following:
- The school’s name
- The school’s postal address
- The school telephone number
- The name of the member of staff who deals with queries from parents and other members of the public
- The name and contact details of your special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) co-ordinator (SENDCO) if you’re a mainstream school. (A mainstream school is a local-authority-maintained school other than a special school.)
The school must publish:
- The content of your school curriculum in each academic year for every subject, including Religious Education even if it is taught as part of another subject or subjects, or is called something else
- The names of any phonics or reading schemes you’re 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.
Academy schools must also give information about their approach to the curriculum and how the school meets the 16 to 19 study programme requirements (if you have a sixth form or offer education at 16 to 19).
Exam and test results
Key stage 2 (end of primary school) results
The school 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 (end of secondary school) results
The school must publish the following details from your school’s most recent key stage 4 results:
- Progress 8 score
- Attainment 8 score
- Percentage of pupils who got a good pass (grade C or above) in English and maths - from January 2018 you should publish the percentage of pupils who achieved a strong pass (grade 5 or above) in English and maths
- Percentage of pupils achieving the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) 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) - during the transition to the new GCSE grading scale we will base the EBacc pass level on grade 5 or above for reformed subjects and grade C and above for unreformed subjects
- 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)
Key stage 5 (16 to 18) information
If you are a local-authority-maintained school sixth form, an academy, free school or college you should publish:
- The progress your students have made compared with students across the country, shown separately for A levels, academic, applied general and tech level qualifications
- The average grade that your students get at key stage 5, shown separately for A levels, academic, applied general and tech level qualifications
- The progress your students 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 institution), shown separately for each qualification type
- Destinations (this is the percentage of students who continue in education or training, or move on to employment in the year after the end of key stage 4)
The school must also provide a link to the School Performance Tables website.
Get Information About Schools (GIAS)
Get Information About Schools (formerly Edubase) - Department for Education national governor database.
Schools must now be using GIAS to provide the required information relating to the individuals involved in governance at their setting. Maintained school governing boards are under a duty to provide this information through the Education Act 1996; the requirement for academy schools is contained within the Academy Financial Handbook. The information must be kept up to date when changes occur. It is worth noting that each school in a federation has a separate DfE number, so they appear separately on GIAS, therefore the governance information will need to be completed for each school in the federation.
The information will be collected and published through the DfE’s secure site which is accessed via the school’s username and password. If the clerk is to be responsible for uploading the information please ensure that they are granted appropriate access to the site. When collecting information from your governors and trustees please make them aware that you will be sharing this information with the DfE. Much of this information is already available via the school’s own website; the national database will form a central record of everyone involved in governance. The idea of a national database was first suggested in early 2015, following the Birmingham Trojan Horse allegations. The DfE states that the national database is part of their drive to increase transparency on who governs our schools.
What information will be collected?
For all maintained school governors and academy trustees, members and local governors, the statutory data the DfE will collect in GIAS and make publicly available is:
- Full name (including title)
- Appointing body (e.g. parents, foundation, board etc)
- Date of appointment
- Date term of office ends (or ended, if within the last 12 months)
- For maintained schools whether they are the chair of governors or a member of the governing board, and for academies whether they are a trust member, a trustee, the chair of trustees, or a local governor on a local governing committee/body.
The information above will already be available on the school website. In addition the DfE will also request, but will not publish, further information, which will be encrypted and will not be publically available:
- Postcode for home address
- Date of birth
- Previous names
- Email address for the chair.
The DfE states that this information will help to quickly and accurately identify individuals who have a role in governance and will help to identify more easily where individuals govern in more than one context. The chairs’ email address will be made available to regional schools commissioner offices on request where they need direct contact with the chair. Clerks, or whoever populates the database, will need to comply with measures under Data Protection legislation, ensuring that once the personal information has been uploaded to GIAS it is securely destroyed.
The school should already have an account with GIAS, which the admin team would access through ‘Secure Access’ https://sa.education.gov.uk/idp/Authn/UserPassword
It may be that the clerk would collate the relevant information and pass it on to the admin team to upload onto the GIAS site. You can request access, so you can upload information directly to the database, through the ‘approver’ in the school. Further information about accessing an existing account, or creating a new one can be found here: https://sa.education.gov.uk/ui/help
Governor, trustee, members and associate member information
Schools are required to publish information relating to governance on the school website. The information is slightly different for academy schools and maintained schools; please see below. Suggested templates to present this information are available to download from the subscriber content pages of this website.
The Academies Financial Handbook states that, 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)
- 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 (if applicable
- Who appointed them (in accordance with the trust's articles)
- Relevant business and pecuniary interests (including governance roles in other settings).
If the trust’s accounting officer is not a trustee their relevant business and pecuniary interests must still be published.
Attendance information must also 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.
In the interests of transparency, a governing board must publish on its website up-to-date details of its governance arrangements in a readily accessible form, including:
- The structure and remit of the governing board and any committees
- 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 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).
Information must also be published showing the attendance record at governing board and committee meetings over the last academic year.
Boards 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.
Boards 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 board to fulfil their responsibilities may be in breach of the code of conduct and as a result be bringing the board into disrepute. In such cases the governing board should consider suspending the governor.
PE and sport premium
Ofsted assesses how primary schools use the primary PE and sport premium. They measure its impact on pupil outcomes, and how effectively governors or trustees hold school leaders to account for this impact. For primary schools in receipt of PE (physical education) and sport premium funding, the school must publish:
- How much funding the school received
- A full breakdown of how the funding was spent, or will be spent
- The effect of the premium on pupils’ PE and sport participation and attainment
- How the school will make sure these improvements are sustainable
- For the 2017 to 2018 academic year, there is a new condition requiring schools to publish how many pupils within their year 6 cohort are meeting the national curriculum requirement to swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres, use a range of strokes effectively and perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations.
The Department for Education (DfE) has announced its intention to conduct 'accountability reviews', which will be carried out after the April deadline for schools to have published details on their websites of how they have spent their premium funding. The DfE will sample a number of schools in each local authority, with the schools chosen based on a mix of random selection and prior non-compliance with the online reporting requirements.
Additional guidance on using the funding effectively and links to reporting templates are available on the DfE website.
There is a document detailing the statutory policies, documents and information required by schools, available to download from the subscriber content area.
All schools must publish their policies for:
- Behaviour. This policy must be based upon the identified behaviour principles, established by the board
- Charging and remissions
- Child protection (safeguarding)
- Complaints. You must also publish any arrangements for handling complaints from parents of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) about the support the school provides
- Equality Information and/or Policy. Governing boards are required to draw up and publish equality objectives every four years and annually publish information demonstrating how they are meeting the aims of the equality duty.
Academy schools must also publish their Exclusions policy.
There are a number of policies which it is useful to publish on the school website, although there is no statutory obligation to do so. These include the school policies for:
- Data protection
- Health and safety
- Provider access (secondary schools)
- Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions
Maintained schools must publish their strategy for the school’s use of the pupil premium on their websites.
Academies and free schools should read their funding agreement to identify what they need to publish on their websites. 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.
You must publish a strategy for the school’s use of the pupil premium.
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’ll spend the pupil premium to address those barriers and the reasons for that approach
- How you’ll 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 won’t 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, which we have provided below. Use of the templates is voluntary.
Scheme of delegation
All schools must publish their scheme of delegation, setting out the structure and remit of the board and any committees (including any LGBs in a MAT) as well as the full names of the chair of each.
The Scheme of Delegation explains how governance is set up within the school (or group of schools). It is a document explaining the levels of delegated responsibility which are given to committees and / or individuals. A multi academy trust will need a detailed scheme of delegation, showing the different layers of governance within the local governing bodies, the trust board and the senior leadership.
In a maintained school the delegation is detailed within your terms of reference; we suggest that there are a couple of paragraphs to ‘set the scene’ on the school website, explaining how many governors there are, how frequently the board meets, the three core roles for the board and if the board is supported by committees, lead governors or portfolio holders with delegated responsibilities. You should also mention if you have associate members, appointed for the skills they bring to a committee, and state if they have a vote at committee level. The terms of reference for the committees and/or individuals can then be published to give the detail of how the delegation works in your setting.
The Governance Handbook details what a good scheme of delegation should contain as follows:
'An effective scheme of delegation, particularly in MATs, will:
- Include details of all the committees, including LGBs in MAT (whether decision making or advisory), in place beneath the board and explain in headline terms the role and remit of each
- Provide full clarity on which governance functions are retained at board level and which are delegated making clear, particularly where the board governs a number of schools, where all key governance functions are exercised in respect of each school – including vision and budget setting and executive leader oversight and performance management
- Explain clearly how the role of governance structures relates to that of key executive leaders (such as the CEO, any executive principals or regional directors, and finance and HR directors), avoiding duplication for example in a MAT between the role of MAT executives and LGBs in holding individual academy leaders to account
- Explain the board’s parental and community engagement arrangements and how these feed into and inform governance both at board level and at the level of individual schools as applicable
- Be drafted clearly so that everyone in the organisation can understand it, in order to be clear about their role and that of others; and
- Explain the circumstances in which the arrangements set out may vary: including both the timeframes for the overall scheme being reviewed and updated, and any triggers that might lead the board to review or change levels of delegations.'
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
The school must publish a SEND report; this is not the policy, but a report written in easily accessible language, about what the school or setting provides. Specific information must be included within the report, as detailed in legislation. A template SEND report is available on the subscriber content area of this website.
The report should include information about:
- The kinds of special educational needs for which provision is made at the school
- Information, in relation to mainstream schools and maintained nursery schools, about the school’s policies for the identification and assessment of pupils with special educational needs
- Information about the school’s policies for making provision for pupils with special educational needs whether or not pupils have EHC Plans, including:
- how the school evaluates the effectiveness of its provision for such pupils;
- the school’s arrangements for assessing and reviewing the progress of pupils with special educational needs;
- the school’s approach to teaching pupils with special educational needs;
- how the school adapts the curriculum and learning environment for pupils with special educational needs;
- additional support for learning that is available to pupils with special educational needs;
- how the school enables pupils with special educational needs to engage in the activities of the school (including physical activities) together with children who do not have special educational needs and;
- support that is available for improving the emotional, mental and social development of pupils with special educational needs.
- The name and contact details of the SENDCo
- Information about the expertise and training of staff in relation to children and young people with special educational needs and about how specialist expertise will be secured
- Information about how equipment and facilities to support children and young people with special educational needs will be secured
- The arrangements for consulting parents of children with special educational needs about, and involving such parents in, the education of their child
- The arrangements for consulting young people with special educational needs about, and involving them in, their education
- Any arrangements made by the governing board relating to the treatment of complaints from parents of pupils with special educational needs concerning the provision made at the school
- How the governing board involves other bodies, including health and social services bodies, local authority support services and voluntary organisations, in meeting the needs of pupils with special educational needs and in supporting the families of such pupils
- The contact details of support services for the parents of pupils with special educational needs
- The school’s arrangements for supporting pupils with special educational needs in a transfer between phases of education or in preparation for adulthood and independent living
- Information on where the local authority’s local offer is published.
In order to view the subscriber pages and download the resources you will need to register for access.
You will only need to register once, using the registration code which was sent to the school when the Governance Consultancy subscription was purchased; your clerk or the school administrator should have the registration code. If they cannot provide your access code please contact us.
As part of the registration process you will create your own password, which you will be able to use to gain access next time you visit the website. If you have forgotten your password please click on the 'forgotten password' link, the Governance Team are unable to supply passwords.
National Careers Week governors handbook
Guidance on the responsibilities of the board