The School Information (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 doesn’t mean a great deal to most English schools but it should. In April this year the Government released a directive that schools must publish certain information on their school website from the 1st September 2012. It will be the first stop for OFSTED before they inspect your school. But what if you don’t have a website? Schools will need to ensure they have the facility to publish the specified content online and the staff to create and maintain the content.Worried-well have no fear because in this post I will detail all the information that you will need to publish and where to find it.
Who needs to do this-what about Academies and Free schools?
It looks like all schools in England are expected to comply with this legislation-Taken from the DFE website
“The School Information (England) Regulations 2008 (SI 2008/3093) require local authorities and maintained schools to publish specified information on schools in school and local authority composite prospectuses. The regulations also specify additional key admissions-related information that local authorities have to make available every year through their composite prospectuses to guide parents through local admissions processes and to inform comparisons between schools.
The School Information (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 (SI 2012/1124) remove the requirement upon governing bodies of maintained schools to publish the annual prospectus and instead introduces a new obligation requiring schools to publish specified information on a website. These changes will come into effect in September 2012.” So that’s maintained schools-what about Academies and Free Schools?
“Academies and Free Schools are required to publish information through their funding agreements. The new model funding agreement will require academies and Free Schools to publish the same information as maintained schools.”
So check those funding arrangements! (Thanks to @stevegovenor for clarification on this.)
What if my school doesn’t have a website?
“where there is no website maintained for the school, the governing body must arrange for the information specified in Schedule 4 to be published on a website, the address and details of which are made known to parents.”
Don’t panic! There are plenty of places that offer free, easy to use websites that a school can use. Google sites (Part of the brilliant Google apps for Education ) probably should be your first stop. Easy to use, secure and free. Other examples are Doomby and Weebly . Richard Byrne (@rmbyrne) has a great article about how to build a free website here. If you don’t fancy building a website from scratch then why not create a Wiki? Wikispaces offers an advert free wiki for all schools-interested look here for a great starter kit. You could also let someone else build your site and add all the information- John Sutton’s (@HGJohn) fabulous CreativeBlogs will do this for you and so will the always dependable Mike McSharry’s(@mikemcsharry) company Systemed but obviously for a very reasonable fee.
What information do the government want schools to publish?
Schools are no longer required to publish a prospectus. Instead, schools will be required to publish this key information online.
1. The name, postal address and telephone number of the school, and the name of a person to whom enquiries should be addressed.
- (a)the admission arrangements for the school, including any arrangements for selection, any oversubscription criteria and how to apply for a school place; or
- (b)information as to how parents may access that information in the local authority’s composite prospectus published on their website.
On my school website I have just linked to my Local Authority website-most LA’s have this information online.
3. Information on how parents may access the most recent Ofsted report.
Again just post a link to your school’s OFSTED website or a link to the actual report if you wish to upload it.
4. The school’s most recent key stage 2 results as published on the Department for Education’s website:
- (a)% achieving Level 4 or above in English and Maths
- (b)% making expected progress
- (c) % achieving Level 5 or above in English
- (d) % achieving Level 5 or above in maths
5. The school’s most recent key stage 4 results in the School Performance Tables published on the Department for Education’s website:
- (a)“% achieving 5 + A* – C GCSEs (or equivalent) including English and Maths GCSEs”;
- (b)“% achieving the English Baccalaureate”; and
- (c)“% of pupils making expected progress”.
I also linked to previous academic years scores-obviously if you are a Primary you need not publish Key Stage 4 scores!
6. Information as to where and by what means parents may access the School Performance Tables on the Department for Education’s website.
Link to the DFE website with the school performance tables.
7. The following information about the school curriculum—
- (a)in relation to each academic year, the content of the curriculum followed by the school for each subject and details as to how additional information relating to the curriculum may be obtained;
- (b)in relation to key stage 1, the names of any phonics or reading schemes in operation; and
- (c)in relation to key stage 4—
- (i)a list of the courses provided which lead to a GCSE qualification,
- (ii)a list of other courses and qualifications offered at key stage 4
Of all the information that the Government want schools to publish I think this section is the most time consuming and difficult. I am still gathering information for my school!
8. The behaviour policy
9. The amount of the school’s allocation from the Pupil Premium grant for the current academic year; details of how it is intended that the allocation will be spent; details of how the previous academic year’s allocation was spent, and the effect of this expenditure on the educational attainment of those pupils at the school in respect of whom grant funding was allocated.
A great template for Pupil Premium spending at schools on The Key website (pay service-though do offer free trial).
10. The report prepared by the school under section 317(5)(a) of EA 1996 (duties of governing bodies in relation to special educational needs.
I’m still trying to find out if schools need to do this-as Governors report to parents no longer exists so how can the Government expect a Governors report on SEN. I am going to link to a school report on SEN, percentages, pupils, categories etc. *(@clerktogovernor) posted this extremely helpful link about what needs to be included-“Have now found out (I believe) what it is that the GB must report on for SEN. = loads. See EA 1999 list: The Education (Special Educational Needs) (Information) (England) Regulations 1999″
11. The school’s charging and remissions policy (Note that no charge can be made for issuing paper copies of the information listed in this legislation)
Most primary schools don’t have charging or remission policies-Ours has a Childcare Charging policy (for our 0-5 provision), an After-School Club Charging Policy and has a lettings policy for rental of rooms. I also pointed out that all school trips are by voluntary contribution.
12. A statement of the school’s ethos and values.
Obvious but very important.
*Ofsted Inspectors also expect to see
- basic information on key staff.
- a calendar of major events including closures.
- the times of the school day.
- basic information about how the school is organised including any alternative or specialist provision.
- information provided for parents such as arrangements for setting pupils, home school agreement, music education opportunities and sports and fixtures information.
*After a very reasonable tweet from Headteacher Graham Bett (@grahambett) I will hopefully clarify OFSTED stance. Sir Michael Wilshaw HMCI, in a speech on 24th February 2012, said that: “The good head thinks carefully about how to prepare for an inspection by ensuring the website is up-to-date with information on school evaluation, development planning, the school timetable, etc.” I think that more than covers the above information. I also feel that it will be information that should already be on a school website and is not too difficult to find.
For those parents who cannot access the internet or who find hard copies of materials more accessible, the regulations will require schools to continue to provide a hard copy where parents request it – this can be simply met by printing a hard copy of the online information. Schools are not allowed to charge for this service.
This all seems very daunting-most school websites that I have looked at haven’t got this information. As a Government directive all schools need to comply with this and if it’s the first port of call for OFSTED then it’s in the school’s best interest to make this information available.
Finally here’s a link to my school’s (Wybourn Community Primary) website-I don’t think it’s perfect but it has most of the information that the The School Information (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 asks schools to publish online. I hope it helps.
Thanks go to the brilliant Clerk to the Governors Blog (@clerktogovernor) whose great summary of the legislation I shamelessly stole.