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This section offers some useful articles on how schools and colleges can improve their online presence.

How can you improve the school's working efficiency and impress Ofsted through website?

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It is important that school websites are exploited to their potential, not least because they have the ability to improve the school's working efficiency, but also because they are a school's most powerful PR tool.

And yet any survey of school websites will quickly reveal the enormous differences there are between one school's website and the next. So what makes one school website successful and another, well, not so successful?

Following our analyses of hundreds of school websites, we have identified a number of factors which generally determine the success of a school website.

We start with the factor of efficiency.

Is the website easy to update? When there is a shortage of time website maintenance can soon become less of a priority and can eventually become of no priority at all.

Websites that are based on easy-to-use content management systems can not only reduce the amount of time spent updating the website but also make it possible for those with the most basic of IT knowledge to take on the task, as opposed to relying on IT staff alone.

Failing this, is there an option of out-sourcing if the school team is too busy?

Also, can the website be used to make processes within the school more efficient? Such as the ability for parents to make online payments for school meals and school trips?

Next is the issue of compatibility.

Research suggests that 40% of people visiting school websites use their mobile device (and this number is rising all the time). So if the site doesn't work readily on an iPad or a mobile phone, no matter how impressive it may be, a significant number of people will not be able to see it.

Following this we must ask ourselves if the site provides all the necessary information and access routes for current parents, pupils and staff, and also for prospective parents, pupils and staff.

We then move on to factors that impact the school's PR.

Does the website portray the image of the school as you want it to be portrayed? Is the look and feel of the website representative of the values of the school?

Is the school website welcoming and enticing for prospective parents – or do they feel that the site is really intended only for those already at the school?

And finally, does the school website comply with the ten Ofsted requirements and the legislation that came into force in 2012?

If you would like an outside view on how well your site is answering the above points, or indeed if you would like to find out more about how your school can use social media and how your school website can play a part in this development, please feel free to call us on 03330 124 907.

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