On the 12th November the DfE updated two statutory guidance documents – What maintained schools must publish on line and what academies and free schools must publish on line. There are some new additions plus a number of significant amendments.
Your school website is a really important asset for your school. It informs the wider school community of all the wonderful things that are happening on a day-to-day basis.
During this Pandemic, in many schools, websites have been the key communication tool between home and school. Ensuring that parents and families know what is happening, sharing work and activities for those who are having to work from home as well as being a portal for all your statutory documentation.
Your website is also the repository for all your compliance documents that may be reviewed prior to an inspection. Although Ofsted inspections are currently suspended and their visits are currently taking place remotely your school website is still a really important asset for showcasing your school.
You will note from the titles of the two documents that maintained schools MUST publish and academies and free schools SHOULD publish. I would recommend that all additions and amendments are added to your website irrespective of the type of school you are in.
It is also really important that any documents that MUST be on your website are easy to find. Maybe you could give someone from outside of the school a list of content to find and see how long (or how many clicks) it takes them to get to what they are looking for. You probably know where everything is, they don’t!
The majority of the information in these two documents is very similar and the same amendments have been made.
The one addition which is just in the academies and free schools document is:
You must publish how many employees have a gross annual salary and benefits of £100,000 or more. You should publish these figures in £10,000 increments.
The one addition which is just in the maintained document is:
Schools that do not have a website
You must still publish all of the information which is set out in this document online even if you do not maintain your own website. You can use an alternative website to host the information as long as you make the address and details of the website known to parents, for example, by providing parents with the URL (website address) and any other relevant details.
The new addition to both documents is:
Coronavirus (COVID-19) catch-up premium
If your school gets the coronavirus (COVID-19) catch-up premium grant in academic year 2020 to 2021, you should publish details of:
- how it is intended that the grant will be spent
- how the effect of this expenditure on the educational attainment of those pupils at the school will be assessed
All the other sections in both documents where there are added information or amendments are listed below. Where possible I have highlighted the additions.
Foundation schools and voluntary-aided schools
If the school’s governing body determines your admission arrangements, you must publish them on your website each year and keep them on your website for the whole school year.
You must explain:
- how you’ll consider applications for each relevant age group at your school
- what parents should do if they want to apply for their child to attend your school
- your arrangements for selecting the pupils who apply (if you are a selective school)
- your ‘over-subscription criteria’ (how you offer places if there are more applicants than places)
You must also publish a timetable for organising and hearing admission appeals for your school by the 28 February each year.
- include a deadline for lodging appeals which allows those making an appeal at least 20 school days from the date of notification that their application was unsuccessful to prepare and lodge their written appeal
- include reasonable deadlines for those making an appeal to submit additional evidence, for admission authorities to submit their evidence and for the clerk to send appeal papers to the panel and parties
- ensure that those making an appeal receive at least 10 school days’ notice of their appeal hearing
- ensure that decision letters are sent within 5 school days of the hearing wherever possible
Community schools and voluntary-controlled schools
If the local authority manages your admissions process, refer parents to the local authority to find out about your school’s admission and appeal arrangements.
Admissions arrangements for all mainstream academy schools, other than 16 to 19 institutions must comply with the School admissions code and the School admission appeals code.
Academy trusts must publish the admissions arrangements for their schools on their website and keep them there for the whole of the offer year (the school year in which offers for places are made).
Exam and Assessment Results
Schools are not required to publish their exam and assessment results from 2019 to 2020 academic year as these have not been published as performance measures by the Secretary of State. You must, however, continue to display your 2018 to 2019 performance measures until new performance measures are published. You should clearly mark that these performance measures are not current.
This then lists the information you are required to publish for end of KS2, KS4 and KS5.
You 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
Your approach to the curriculum should also include how you are complying with your duties in the Equality Act 2010 and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014 about making the curriculum accessible for those with disabilities or special educational needs.
Academies and free schools
In addition to the above academies should:
- how you meet the 16 to 19 study programme requirements (if you have a sixth form or offer education at 16 to 19)
Depending on what phase of education your school offers, we recommend you also publish any of the following that apply to your school:
- the names of any phonics or reading schemes you are using in key stage 1
- a list of the courses available to pupils at key stage 4, including GCSEs
- the 16 to 19 qualifications you offer
You must publish a strategy for the school’s use of the pupil premium. DfE has published templates to help schools present their pupil premium strategy statements.
You may wish to plan your pupil premium use over 3 years. You should aim to update the online strategy statement by the end of the autumn term each year to reflect your plans for the academic year after assessing the needs of your pupils, both new and existing.
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 overcome those barriers and the reasons for that approach
- how you’ll measure the effect 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 effect of the expenditure on pupils
We understand that evaluating the pupil premium’s impact in the 2019 to 2020 academic year will present difficulties as a result of reduced numbers of pupils having attended between March and July 2020.
Instead, schools may wish to monitor and report on the grant’s impact at the end of the current financial year, bearing in mind their duty to update this information at least annually, covering the whole period since September 2019.
Year 7 literacy and numeracy catch-up funding
If your school has received year 7 literacy and numeracy catch-up premium funding for the 2019 to 2020 academic year, you must publish:
- details of how you spent your allocation for that year
- how your use of that allocation made a difference to the attainment of the pupils who benefit from the funding
As final payments of the Year 7 catch-up premium were made in relation to the 2019 to 2020 academic year, the 2020 to 2021 academic year will be the last year on which schools must report how this funding was used.
PE and sport premium for primary schools
If your school receives PE (physical education) and sport premium funding, you must publish:
- the amount of premium received
- a full breakdown of how it has been spent
- the impact the school has seen on pupils’ PE, physical activity, and sport participation and attainment
- how the improvements will be sustainable in the future
You are also required to publish the percentage of pupils within your year 6 cohort who met the national curriculum requirement to:
- swim competently, confidently, and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres
- use a range of strokes effectively
- perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations
As public bodies, local-authority-maintained schools must comply with the public sector equality duty in the Equality Act 2010 and the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties and Public Authorities) Regulations 2017. This means you must publish:
- details of how your school complies with the public sector equality duty – you must update this every year
- your school’s equality objectives – you must update this at least once every 4 years
The Equality Act 2010 and Advice for Schools provides information as to how your school can demonstrate compliance, for example, including details of how your school is:
- eliminating discrimination (see the Equality Act 2010)
- advancing equality of opportunity – between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it
- consulting and involving those affected by inequality, in the decisions your school or college takes to promote equality and eliminate discrimination (affected people could include parents, pupils, staff and members of the local community)
Special educational needs and disability (SEND) information
You must publish an Information Report on your website about the implementation of your school’s policy for pupils with SEN and should update it annually.
You should update any changes occurring during the year as soon as possible. The report must comply with section 69 of the Children and Families Act 2014, meaning that it must contain:
- the ‘SEN Information’ specified in schedule 1 to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014. (Statutory guidance on this is contained in section 6.79 to 6.82 of the Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0 to 25 years)
- information as to:
- the arrangements for the admission of disabled pupils
- the steps you have taken to prevent disabled pupils from being treated less favourably than other pupils
- the facilities you provide to help disabled pupils to access the school
- the plan prepared under paragraph 3 of schedule 10 to the Equality Act 2010 (accessibility plan) for:
- increasing the extent to which disabled pupils can participate in the school’s curriculum
- improving the physical environment of the school for the purpose of increasing the extent to which disabled pupils are able to take advantage of education and benefits, facilities or services provided or offered by the school
- improving the delivery to disabled pupils of information which is readily accessible to pupils who are not disabled
Governors’ information and duties – Maintained schools only
You must publish information on the governing body in line with the constitution of governing bodies of maintained schools’ statutory guidance. This should include:
- details of the structure and responsibilities of the governing body and its committees
- the full names of the Chair of the governing body and Chair of each committee information about each governor, including their:
- full name, date of appointment, term of office, date they stepped down (where applicable) and who appointed them (in accordance with the governing body’s instrument of government)
- relevant business and financial 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)
- attendance record at governing body and committee meetings over the last academic year
You should also publish the same information for associate members making it clear whether they have voting rights on any of the committees to which they have been appointed.
You will find the full DfE documents here: