Top tips to ensure your school website is Ofsted-ready

One of the most obvious things to consider, alongside including the statutory information somewhere on the website, is making it easy to find. A drop-down menu, with all the relevant pages sitting under that menu, is the easiest way to ensure that any Ofsted members of staff can find the information they need. Some schools name this menu simply “Ofsted” whereas others may use names such as “Key Info” instead. However, you often still want that information to sit in other places so that parents, prospective parents, and staff members can all find the information they need from your website on a more regular basis. 

Making your Ofsted-ready content easy to find

Our FREE Statutory Requirements Checklist is a useful guide which helps you to ensure you have updated everything you ofsted checklistneed to include on your school website, for the purposes of Ofsted checks and in line with DfE requirements.. In this blog, we aim to bring together some best practice tips on what to include and how best to present this on your website to make it easy to find. The DfE published guidance has been updated a number of times in the years since it was first introduced. The most recent updates have been in September 2022 and then April 2023, as we have detailed in the linked previous blogs.

For example, you want to publish your uniform details to satisfy the statutory criteria, but also want parents to easily find this information when they need it. You can link to a page from more than one menu, therefore you could have the relevant uniform page sitting within your “Parent Info” menu, but then still link to it again from your “Ofsted” menu. Another way to do this would be to have an “Ofsted” or “Key Info” page which is simply a list of hyperlinks to all relevant information pages and policies. This ensures you have not actually duplicated any policies or pages too, as this can cause problems if a policy was updated in one place but not another. 

Highlighting your curriculum offering

As well as the policies and other statutory information from the Key Info section of your site, you also want to make your curriculum offering detailed and easy to understand. There are a number of ways you can layout your curriculum, as detailed in this linked previous blog,  and our newer feature of curriculum icons and pop-ups has been very popular in recent years. It is worth noting that the curriculum icons alone can give a great first impression of the breadth of your “broad and balanced” curriculum even before people dig into each subject to see more information. You may also want to add an icon for a section on your extra-curricular offering to show all the wonderful things you offer to your students. 

You can link to your curriculum offering section from your “Key Info” drop down menu, or a dedicated page of links as aforementioned. Many schools have a featured section on curriculum in a dedicated menu item too, and may feature the curriculum icons on the homepage to make sure this stands out. As this is the more “exciting” information (versus the financial information, for instance, which is more of a practical measure) it is worth really thinking about ways to highlight your curriculum offering. 

Displaying your exam results with pride

You are no doubt very proud of your previous cohorts, and very happy to shout their achievements from the rooftops. Our animated statistics are a really popular way to showcase those past results – both attainment and progress measures – in a way which gives the information required to Ofsted but also makes them really engaging and special for any visitor to your website. These can be a part of your homepage or a special feature on the relevant results pages within your website – or even both!

Going past the statutory

With all this talk about statutory requirements it can be easy to forget that any inspection is your opportunity to shine. Alongside the necessary pages and policies it is perfectly valid to add in some information about other areas you are very proud of. You might want to feed through your social media feed which highlights your work in the community, for instance. Or links to work in extra-curricular sessions or special days. We often forget about these amazing examples of wider learning when “the call” comes. Your website is a great way of always gathering this information into an easy-to-find list when your inspection arrives. This could be something you do via a blog on the site, or a page which builds up with photo galleries from special days. Or it might be another version of Curriculum pop-ups which focus on those elements outside of the usual curriculum. Or you may want to simply ensure you update things in your news items and then ensure you draw staff attention to this again when the call comes, as this helps them to focus on all those positives too. And photos of happy children reminds us all about why we are doing this!

Getting ahead with Ofsted early warnings

“Thank you so much – the advance warning really helped us to feel mentally prepared when the call came.”

Ask us about how our optional Ofsted early warning system is helping schools to be extra prepared in all the right ways when that call comes. 

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