SCHOOL ADMIN

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 However, all it takes is one visit from the Big O for that out-of-date website to become a major issue.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 hi@schudio.com).

“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.

Example excerpt:

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 hi@schudio.com / 0333 577 0753 to discuss further. You can even book a phone meeting that suits your schedule here.

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Fact: The more families talk positively about school, the better children do. Attendance increases, children’s motivation is higher, and classroom behaviour, happiness and outcomes improve.

For any school, communication with parents is essential, but finding the best way to do this can sometimes be quite difficult. The traditional route of the letter sent home, as you might expect, has fallen out of favour due to the number of notes lost crumpled in the bottom of school bags. We’ve also found that SMS communication wasn’t all that effective either, as parents found it too intrusive due to the sheer volume of text messages sent. One parent, Daniel, told us: “You would get every single update for all 400 pupils at the school to do with classes, events and activities; it was a lot of information at once.”

Child protection software has become one of the hottest edtech trends in the few years that CPOMS have been offering its services to schools across the UK. So far, almost a quarter of all schools in the UK use CPOMS as a method of recording and monitoring child protection, safeguarding and wider pastoral care for children. There are numerous reasons why designated safeguarding leads and SLT have made this such a big edtech trend, but we keep seeing the same advantages over and over. Using own our CPOMS system as an example, here are eight of the most 'buzzed'-about advantages that child protection software offers:

We pose this question to Lynne Taylor, cofounder of data protection specialists GDPRiS:

It was from first-hand experience and a gleaming recommendation that initially piqued Jane Cartlidge’s interest in InVentry.

When did you last review your timetabling software, or school practices when it comes the complex area of scheduling? Chris Ellison, deputy headteacher at Kennet School in Thatcham (whose old timetable can be seen above), discusses how his school saved £300k - and a lot of hassle! - with Edval:

Schools and academies are urged to be more aware of the forthcoming changes to data protection at all levels of the organisation. To help schools, colleges and other education institutions navigate their way through the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and get plans off the ground, Arena Group has set up a free, practical webinar.

Primary school leaders now have a new self-evaluation process that helps them to tighten teaching, learning and administration. The team behind celebrated admin tool Educater have unleashed their latest resource: SEFonline, an online self-evaluation tool that supports SLT staff in preparing for Ofsted inspection visits and shaping their school improvement plans.

With new data protection regulations coming into force in May 2018, all organisations, including schools, will need to rethink how they manage personal data in order to comply fully. GDPR, or the General Data Protection Regulation, is designed to bring data protection up-to-date and provide greater protection to the individual. This will place more onerous requirements on schools to manage data well and more rigorously than current regulations permit. Penalties have also increased, making this a critical issue that cannot be swept under the carpet.

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