All schools are not the same... so why are their websites?

Every school has to satisfy ISI or Ofsted’s requirements for a website but is this really where a school’s motivation should begin and end?

A website should provide so much more. More than ever, schools need to ensure they compete effectively for those students!

laptop with mockup of Bleasdale School website

Make a great first impression.

Your website is likely to be the first impression anybody gets of your school. Once the inspector has read your last inspection report the first thing they will do is visit your website. Same with prospective families researching your school and teachers researching job opportunities. So, surprise them and make them excited about visiting the vibrant, inspirational school that you are.

…does your website create the right first impression?

Tell your school’s unique story on your website.

In my work I’m lucky enough to meet remarkable and inspirational school leaders every day. Every school I visit is unique in some way, each with its own story to tell and it’s critical that this is reflected in one of your most important marketing assets – your website.

Schools have story to tell; make sure it’s reflected on your website…

Sell the ‘sizzle’…. not the sausage!

There is a place on your website for your policies and procedures, information about safeguarding and the school opening times (the ‘sausage’), but all too often this information takes pride of place on a website’s home page and doesn’t ‘sell’ a school. Whereas a website with a powerful story and professional photography can showcase your school’s ‘sizzle’ – what you do for your students, how you believe in them, how you empower them and how you develop them. This is ultimately what will pull at the heart strings of your school’s community and set your school apart from others.

…ensure visitors to your website gain a real understanding of what’s special about your school.

Don’t be invisible.

More and more websites are now visited on mobile devices than on desktop computers. School websites however, often do not adapt to phones and tablets very well meaning a large proportion of users can’t access the information they are after when they want it. This is a non-negotiable requirement for any new website, and is certainly not something that you should be paying extra for.

Close up of Moseley School and Sixth Form website on a mobile.

…more websites in the UK are now visited on mobile devices than on desktop computers.

I may be preaching to the converted… your school may already shine like a beacon in a sea of school website mediocrity, but if not, consider this… Every school needs a website… not just because ISI or Ofsted say that they do, but because it’s important to showcase what’s remarkable about your school. With a little effort, but no more investment, you could improve parental engagement, staff recruitment, and student numbers, and you could make my weekly research and that of the inspectorate just a little more interesting.

We are school communication & design experts

If you want to find out how Blue Apple Education can help you unearth the remarkable in your school you can call us on +44 (0) 330 223 0766 or email us [email protected]

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