School website is a website built, designed, and maintained by a school. In many legislations, it is a statutory requirement for schools to publish certain information on-line, on their website, or elsewhere.
School website software is a specialised form of Content Management System (CMS) hosted on a computer connected to the internet. It is commissioned by the school governors. It is designed and installed by a specialist computer software company. When it has been accepted, the client (the school) is responsible for maintaining the content; adding new content and changing elements of the visual design, the visitor to the site cannot make these changes but accesses the site to read the content. CMS may have additional modules that allow it to do additional tasks- like mass emailings, online registration for events or even online sales. The sites can be simple and follow proven models, with just the text and the images customised to the schools requirements or bespoke, or part of a larger management suite. The basic content of the website is to large part by defined by the government. The content of the website must comply with data protection legislation. A school website addresses these audiences:
- Prospective parents and their children – who require information about the school, pastoral care, exam results, admission procedures, open days.
- Existing parents – who are looking for day to day information, school calendar, parent portals, news, events, galleries of stay-at-home worksheets
- Those monitoring the school- Ofsted and other child care agencies, the national and local press.
- Visitors to the school – those requiring, contact details and directions to the school.
- Alumni - networking with other old boys, calendars, and news.
- Fundraising - giving, legacies and gifts.
Websites cannot be static, legislation changes and also the needs of the school. If the website is being used as a method of school promotion then current style and fashion is important. The rise of mobile phone use among parents means that the site has to be optimised for mobile browsers as well as the laptop or PC.
The Principal legislation in the UK for state schools and private, or independent schools was the Education and Inspections Act 2006 and its amendments and regulations, such the School Information Regulations 2012 and more importantly the School Information (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2016
A maintained school in England must display information online. . In 2020 this is:
- School contact details
- Admission arrangements
- Ofsted reports
- Exam and assessment results
- Performance tables
- Behaviour policy
- School complaints procedure
- Pupil premium
- Year 7 literacy and numeracy catch-up premium
- PE and sport premium for primary schools
- Special educational needs (SEN) and disability information
- Careers programme information
- Equality objectives
- Governors’ information and duties
- Charging and remissions policies
- Values and ethos
- Requests for paper copies
These are section headings and within each there is specific information that needs to be published. Ofsted monitors the contents of school websites, and should items be missing an inspection could be triggered.  All establishments in England must register with the Department for Education. They are given an URN (Universal Recognition Number) and will be inspected by Ofsted. Private schools have greater freedom in how they teach but they still are required to have a website that complies, though the content required will differ from that of a state school or an academy.
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- "The School Information (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2016". www.legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
- "What maintained schools must publish online". GOV.UK. Retrieved 7 April 2020. This article incorporates text published under the British Open Government Licence:
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