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What maintained schools, academies and colleges need to publish online

29th Mar 2023 | Education | Education services retainer | Legal services for Colleges | Legal services Schools and Academies | Mi HR Audit for Education
a computer screen with a school website

For schools and colleges, it can be difficult to know what to publish online and what to avoid. This article outlines what academies, free schools, and colleges must or should publish online.

Requirements to publish information comes from various places, including statute, funding agreements and the Academy Trust Handbook. Schools must know what to publish and how often this information should be updated.

Below is a checklist of what schools must publish online:

  • Contact details
  • Admission arrangements
  • Uniform policy
  • Ofsted report
  • Exam results
  • Opening hours
  • Curriculum
  • Pupil premium and recovery premium
  • PE and sport premium
  • Public sector equality duty
  • Financial and governance information
  • Remote education policy
  • Behaviour policy
  • Careers programme for year groups 7 – 13
  • Complaints policy
  • Charging and remissions policies
  • Statement of values and ethos

Schools must publish contact details online 

Relevant contact details of the school (including the address and telephone number) and the following staff must be made available online, including:

  • Contact information for queries from parents or the public
  • The Headteacher or Principal
  • The Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo)
  • The chair of the governing body (if applicable)
  • Schools must publish admission arrangements online

Schools must publish admission arrangements online

Academy trusts, foundation schools and voluntary aided schools must:

  • Publish admission arrangements for their schools on their website by 15 March each year and keep them there for the entirety of the offer year
  • Set out how in-year applications will be dealt with for schools by 31 August each year
  • Publish a timetable for organising and hearing admission appeals by 28 February each year

The guidelines recommend that 16 to 19 academies and colleges publish details of admission arrangements.  

Community schools and voluntary controlled schools would refer parents to the local authority.

Schools must publish their uniform policy online 

Where schools have a uniform policy, this must be published in a clear and easy-to-understand format on their website. DfE has separate statutory guidance on uniform policies, which should be complied with when developing and implementing any uniform policy.

Schools must publish their Ofsted results online

The school should publish its most recent Ofsted report on its website or include a link to the report on Ofsted’s website.

Schools must publish test, exam and assessment results online

Due to the pandemic, requirements to publish certain results have changed. Schools are only expected to publish results for the 2021/2022 academic year, which will be made publicly available by the Secretary of State. These largely include:

  • Key stage 4 and 16-18 performance measures. DfE advises schools to add the following sentence next to any results in these categories:
    • “Given the uneven impact of the pandemic on school and college performance data, the government has said you should not make direct comparisons between the performance data for one school or college and another or to data from previous years.”
  • Key stage 2 results for the academic year 2021 to 2022 do not need to be published. Schools should display their most recent key stage 2 data (for most, this will be 2018 to 2019 academic year). It should be clearly marked that the data does not relate to the 2021 to 2022 academic year. DfE recommends using the following language:
    • “The government will not publish KS2 school-level data for 2021 to 2022 academic year. The last available public data is from 2018 to 2019 academic year. It is important to note that the data from that year may no longer reflect current performance.” 

A link should be included to the school’s page on the school and college performance measures website.

Schools must publish opening hours online

Schools should publish their compulsory opening hours from the official start of the school day (morning registration) to the official end of the school day. This should include breaks but not before or after school clubs which are optional to attend.

Schools should publish the curriculum online

Maintained schools must publish:

  • The content of the curriculum the school follows in each academic year for every subject
  • How parents or other members of the public can find out more
  • The names of any phonics or reading schemes the school uses in KS1
  • List of courses available to pupils at KS4, including GCSEs

Academies must also publish:

  • How they meet the 16 to 19 study programme requirements
  • Any 16 to 19 qualifications the school offers

Schools must also set out their accessibility plan to increase the extent to which disabled pupils can participate in the school’s curriculum.

Schools should publish their pupil premium and recovery premium online

Schools receiving pupil premium funding must publish a pupil premium strategy statement each year by 31 December. While DfE’s recommends that pupil premiums be planned for use over three years, schools must update their statements each year to reflect the academic year spending activity. Schools must use the DfE template.

Schools should publish their PE and sport premium online

Schools receiving the PE and sport premium funding must publish:

  • The amount of premium received
  • A full breakdown of how it has been or will be spent
  • The impact the school has seen on pupils’ PE and sport participation and attainment
  • How will the improvements be sustained

Schools must also publish the percentage of pupils within their Year 6 cohorts who met the national curriculum swimming requirements.

All information must be published by the end of the summer term or 31 July at the latest.

Schools should publish their public sector equality duty online

As public bodies, maintained schools, academies and FE institutions 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 requires schools to publish:

  • Details of how the school complies with the public sector equality duty (updated every year)
  • The school’s equality objectives (updated once every four years)

Schools should publish their SEND online

Maintained schools and academies must publish an information report on their websites outlining the implementation of the school’s policy for pupils with SEN. Schools should update the report at least once a year.

Schools should publish their Financial and Governance information online

Academies must publish:

  • Audited annual reports and accounts
  • Memorandum and articles of association
  • Names of charity trustees and members
  • Their funding agreement and any supplemental funding agreements

Colleges should publish their instruments and articles of government on their website. They should also publish their annual members’ report and audited financial statement every year.

Schools, academies and colleges must also publish the number of employees who have a gross annual salary and benefits package of £100,000 or more.

In line with the Academy Trust handbook, Trusts must be transparent with their governance arrangements. This includes:

  • The trust’s scheme of delegation for governance functions and the full names of any chairs
  • Details of any members serving at any point over the past 12 months (including any relevant business and pecuniary interests)
  • Details of any trustees serving at any point over the past 12 months (including any relevant business and pecuniary interests). If the accounting officer is not a trustee, their business and pecuniary interests must still be published
  • Trustee and local governor attendance records at board and committee meetings and local governing body meetings, respectively, over the last academic year

Colleges should publish the following details about your college’s governing body:

  • The governing body’s structure and responsibilities
  • Details of any committees
  • The names of all governors, including the chair

You may wish to simply publish your governors’ handbook, which should include all this information.

Maintained schools must publish:

  • 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
  • Attendance record at governing body and committee meetings over the last academic year
  • Information about each governor, including their:
    • Full name, date of appointment, term of office, the 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

They 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.

Other policies which schools should publish online

Schools are also required to publish the following policies and statements (where applicable):

  • Remote education policy
  • Behaviour policy
  • Careers programme for year groups 7 – 13
  • Complaints policy
  • Charging and remissions policies
  • Statement of values and ethos

If you would like further advice or support on your school’s publication requirements, please contact Jill Donabie at 0191 211 7933 or via [email protected].

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