The year ahead for Schools Online Presence - websites
Posted 2 months ago
Each year as January comes around we tend to look back and review the year that has just passed and have high hopes for the one about to begin. There are always many things on the horizon some that are broadly welcomed, others that may bring concern and even trepidation. This year is no different for schools as they consider their online priorities for the year ahead.
So, what is 2019 likely to bring for schools and what are the implications. Colin Green the Director of Education picks out some of the likely highlights.
What impacts the year ahead?
I couldn’t write this series of articles without beginning with OFSTED. Twitter has been alive with chatter around the new framework to be introduced from September 2019. No teacher and no school can be unaware of the development of the new framework. Nor will they be short of opinion on it or planning for it. There are many positive or contentious developments depending on one’s perspective or understanding. The one thing that is clear however is that it’s important to schools and they will need to be aware of and understand the changes. They’ll need to adapt to and prepare for the new framework.
What impact will curriculum have on inspection?
Although now at consultation (which closes on 5th April) it is very clear from not only what Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman has previously stated and the actual proposals but also the direction of the DfE, that the curriculum is going to be central. The emphasis on a broad and balanced curriculum will be welcomed by schools. But what does it mean in the light of inspection? There are many issues to consider and schools will certainly be looking at what they already offer, what adaptations are required and how they will evidence their rich and broad curriculum.
Many Schools will make significant steps to update their website.
An area schools are unlikely to have considered at this early stage, but one they may wish to do in the coming months however, relates to their school website.
There is already a statutory requirement for schools to publish curriculum information online. This includes various pieces from how phonics is taught (in primary schools) to how parents can find out more about what the school is teaching. The new emphasis placed on curriculum by Ofsted however is likely to lead to schools increasing and improving how well their websites demonstrate and celebrate their curriculum. Not only will schools need to ensure they meet the statutory requirements for publishing relevant information, they will also need to consider how well their website reflects and celebrates their offering.
Even with the proposed afternoon pre-inspection visit school websites will remain a critical source of information for Ofsted prior to inspecting a school. The development of school websites is therefore likely to reflect this. Galleries already play an important part in schools’ websites. They are used as a showcase, largely for parents or prospective parents. They are however, likely to grow in importance and be increasingly planned as an evidence source for inspection. They are also likely to be extended to see an increased emphasis on video alongside images. Blogging giving a coherent and chronological account of the curriculum may also be further developed. There are interesting times ahead for school websites.
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