Who edits your school website?
If our guesses are correct, based on speaking to schools every day, your school website editing either falls on the shoulders of the ICT coordinator/IT team in school, or a member of the school admin team. Perhaps even a School Business Manager or Headteacher in a small school. The Super Admin account wields great power and with that comes great responsibility… so it is no wonder that this falls to those who feel most confident with the technology.
It’s good to share
However, this means that often the person with all the responsibility may actually feel pretty distant from those who have content to add to the site. This can end up in some back and forth before items are posted, which may affect the timeliness of updates. Or it may result in some strict rules around the timescale needed for updates and what is allowed, which can hamper any new and creative uses of your website.
A strong website, which parents want to visit often and which encourages prospective parents to find out more, requires regular updates to ensure content is fresh. This might include:
- Photo galleries showing the latest pieces of work or displays
- Diary dates of upcoming school events and also events of interest in the local area (especially popular when they point parents to things to do during school holidays!)
- Updated curriculum pages with current learning – useful any time but especially during lockdowns or snow days!
- Newsletters and/or short news items
- Trip information and forms for parents to print off if they lost theirs
- Year group or department pages with details of current learning
- Links to useful organisations
This list is by no means exhaustive and we are sure you can think of loads of additions to your school website which you would like to have. But you may be a bit worried about letting everyone access and add whatever they like!
Although you want to have one harmonious website, having content added by multiple people can be a real benefit to the schools online presence. It will better represent your current school and be interesting for visitors as there is always something new or different. So we have tried to solve this with our multi-layered user access rights within the Greenhouse CMS. Allowing schools to choose just the right amount of freedom without letting things get unwieldy!
Page level editing delegation
With our page level delegation rights you can give a department content control for their own subject, for example. The Arts department may want to add new photo galleries of the latest pieces of work. The maths department may want to add links to external websites which are useful for home learning. The Parental Engagement coordinator may want to update a parents’ area of the website (you can even password protect these pages for visitors so that only current parents can access the content within.)
We also have schools who have a group of pages which governors have access to edit, for example, uploading meeting minutes and similar updates of interest to the whole community.
You can choose whether to allow anyone with staff user rights to publish without a check, or you can set up approval permissions. This mean that the Super Admin can check the page to make sure it is OK before it is published to the world!
This gives an added level of comfort whilst giving different staff the freedom to work on the website. Importantly, this also means the workload can be shared out rather than all left on one admins shoulders!
CMS User Roles
Whilst it’s likely you will not give every single member of staff their own login, you could set up some specific users which can be shared with anyone who wants to add content to the website. For example, you could set up an “EnglishDepartment” user who can only add content on specific English pages which you give them edit rights for.
You may also want to have extra Admin users. Admin users can edit any page but cannot change the rights of the SuperAdmin user. Staff users can only edit pages you give access to from the SuperAdmin account.
You can have as many users as you need for your school. You could, in theory, set up a “Pupil” user for say, the school council members, so that they can update their own pages. Although of course you will want to ensure full training for them from an e-safety point of view. You may also want to create policies around the use of website access rights. Although also remember that you can disable publishing directly so that the SuperAdmin user can check pages before they go public!
Here to help
It might sound complicated but we promise it’s very straight forward once you get started.
The bottom line is that there’s a lot of flexibility within the Greenhouse CMS to help you share responsibility for your school website content.
If you are interested in spreading the admin load for your school website, get in touch if you need help setting up your extra CMS users safely and with confidence!