The vast majority of school leaders will be familiar with the balancing act of reducing costs while still ensuring that we provide the highest possible quality of education to our students. In the 20 years I have spent working in the education sector – first as a teacher and then as a headteacher, before becoming the Chief Executive of the Thinking Schools Academy Trust – this challenge has been a key focus for me. I have seen much in the way of innovation and creative thinking to address it – but it is the model that we have introduced at Thinking Schools which I am most proud of.
When dealing with assessment, behaviour, attendance, teacher workload and the rest of daily school life, it can be easy to leave website updates for… tomorrow. However, all it takes is one visit from the Big O for that out-of-date website to become a major issue. But how can you find out exactly what’s expected for your school’s online presence, and how do you go about making this a reality? Thankfully, the team at Schudio - led by the dynamic duo of Nicole and Ian Richardson - have released a one-stop-shop resource to walk you through the process.
For the academic year ahead, you’ll want to have Your School Website Requirements Guide saved to your browser’s favourites. This resource is completely free-of-charge and requires no signup. It’s incredibly in-depth, answering any questions you may have (though the Schudio team are quick to answer any queries sent to [email protected]).
“There are specific requirements for academies, free schools and colleges and this guide covers all the latest changes,” the Guide states. “Every year we see at least two rounds of changes to the current requirements for school websites. They’re usually released at the beginning of September but can crop up at any time. It’s possible that a single requirement change will be released, such as the swimming requirements in autumn 2017. More often than not, a raft of changes is released in one hit.”
This comprehensive checklist explains what content to display on your website, offering suggestions on how to implement them to ensure that you not only meet the current requirements, but exceed them as well. The Schudio team designed this resource for ease-of-use, which allows for a consistent approach as you audit your own website.
“Demonstrate how your school is inclusive
Many schools have lots of EAL students, and how well you engage this part of your school community will most certainly be evaluated by OFSTED. By adding a good translate feature to your website, you will be inclusive of all your users and provide a really useful tool.
Also, your school needs to effectively demonstrate how you care for and educate those with additional needs, and of course there are the statutory requirements around safeguarding.
We’ll cover that in detail in the full Checklist in Chapter 5 but for now, note that these are issues that are right at the top of any inspector’s agenda.”
If you’d like to quickly check your website against the current requirements, Schudio has that covered too. The School Website Requirements Checker presents you with a report and then sends automatic notifications when school website requirements change. Plus, you don't need a Schudio website - it works with every school website!
Make sure that your school’s website is up-to-date: www.schudio.com/school-website-requirements. The Schudio team are keen to answer any questions you may have, so get in touch via [email protected] / 0333 577 0753 to discuss further. You can even book a phone meeting that suits your schedule here.
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It can be difficult to find learning strategies and resources that both tackle of budgetary concerns and teacher workload effectively. In 2018/19, we plan on helping you double your pupils’ rate of learning, while not charging a penny. Our team of educators and scientists know that our new platform works, and we want to bring it to your school this academic year.
With the warmer weather approaching - and the prospect of enjoying the great outdoors becoming more of a reality - schools need to be helping children prepare for the season ahead. Thankfully, Boots are once again bringing their Soltan Sun Ready Schools programme to UK classrooms - minimising workload and budget concerns, while maximising pupil health. This year, the leading pharmacy chain are even going so far as help fund school trips!
When your school buys from an education company, you do much more than engage in a simple sales transaction. Securing a new educational resource, whether it’s a piece of furniture or an edtech solution, can be the beginning of a great adventure. When it comes to the suppliers with whom you work, it’s well worth looking into why they do what they do.
Rushton Parish Council in Cheshire wanted to bring together a local school - Eaton Primary - with the Eaton village community. They ultimately decided that a large, open area was the best way forward; a place that would allow multiple children to play at one time, as well as boasting rustic features that would complement the bucolic surroundings. But with limited time and money, where to start? Furthermore, what would this area look like?
Many schools are looking for solutions to make their spaces - classrooms and playgrounds - stimulating areas for children. From my own areas of expertise, I frequently suggest zoning their playground and creating a performance zone, though this - as with many school improvements - can be costly. These benefits can be huge, though - just look at the below video of pupils dancing in their own outdoor performance area:
Wilbury Primary School had been letting out its facilities to the local populace for some time, however their local authority-managed booking service was deactivated at short notice. This, as you might imagine, brought about a wave of new headaches for the SLT. It was clear that they would struggle to manage the bookings internally as they didn’t have the necessary resources, and therefore needed to find a system that could replace and improve upon the previous one. To solve this issue, the school looked for an alternative provider.