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This page provides guidance to be used by Wikipedia editors to determine if a school should or should not have an article on Wikipedia. This guidance applies to articles about schools themselves; it is not directly applicable to school districts or other education articles. While satisfying these notability guidelines generally indicates that a school warrants an article, a school article failing to do so is not a criterion for speedy deletion.
This guideline can be considered a specialised version of Wikipedia:Notability applied to schools. It reflects the core values of Wikipedia policies, including the following:
- No original research
- Reliable sources
- Wikipedia articles must not be vehicles for advertisement
- Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information
- A school is notable if it has been the subject of significant coverage in secondary sources.
- Such sources must be reliable, and independent of the school itself. The depth of coverage of the subject by the source must be considered. If the depth of coverage is not substantial, then multiple independent sources should be cited to establish notability.
- Trivial or incidental coverage of a subject by secondary sources is not sufficient to establish notability.
- Once notability is established, primary sources may be used to add content.
- Ultimately, and most importantly, all content must be verifiable by reliable sources. Thus, schools with sufficient sourced material have the necessary notability for an article.
Indicators of probable notability
In general, tertiary degree-awarding institutions and senior secondary schools are considered notable. 'Senior secondary schools' exclude middle schools and schools that do not educate to at least grade 9/age 15. They include high schools in the US and grammar schools and comprehensive schools in Australia, Hong Kong, and the UK, for example. These schools are considered notable by virtue of such factors as notable alumni, community importance, notable sporting and scholastic successes. The amount of information from reliable secondary sources customarily available for such schools — based on news coverage of sports and academic awards, relative size, and importance to the community and region — are usually sufficient for verifiability.
For elementary/primary and middle schools, reliable secondary sources are usually too limited for notability. An exception is made for schools having a specific, notable distinction or status (e.g., the Blue Ribbon Schools Program in the U.S. and Beacon School, Training school, or 'Grade 1' outstanding Office for Standards in Education overall assessment in the UK).
Failure to establish notability
- These guidelines assume that there is some encyclopedic content. Directory-only entries (name, address, school type, staff member listings, etc.) are not adequate.
- Subject to the above paragraph, if a school article fails to establish notability, but the school can be confirmed to exist, then the page should be merged and redirected. In the United States and Canada, schools are usually organized by school district. The article about the school district (if one exists), or the municipality (if not), is the normal target. Outside North America the target should be an Education in ... page if one exists or, failing that, the lowest level of locality article.
- "Significant coverage" means that sources address the subject directly, and no original research is needed to extract the content. Significant coverage is more than trivial but may be less than exclusive.
- For example, simple reporting of sporting or academic events occurring (a routine if not daily event for most schools) does not establish notability. However, a school winning a state (US/Australia), provincial (Canada) or county (UK) (or higher) level sporting or academic event does count towards establishing notability.