Guidance

What academies, free schools and colleges should publish online

The information that academies, including 16 to 19 colleges and any educational institution that has academy arrangements, should publish on their websites.

If your school or college is one of the following types, you need to check your funding agreement to find out exactly what information you must publish on your website:

  • academies, including free schools, studio schools and university technical colleges
  • sixth-form colleges
  • general further education (FE) colleges

This guide gives an overview of the information that the Department for Education (DfE) recommends that you publish on your website if you are one of these schools or colleges.

If you’re a school maintained by your local authority, see guidance on what schools maintained by the local authority must publish online.

School or college contact details

Your website should include the:

  • name of your school or college
  • postal address of your school or college
  • telephone number of your school or college
  • name of the member of staff who deals with queries from parents and other members of the public
  • name of the headteacher or principal
  • name and address of the chair of the governing body (if you have one)
  • name and contact details of your special educational needs (SEN) co-ordinator (SENCO) unless you’re a special academy

If you’re an academy or free school, you should publish details about your academy’s sponsor:

  • if the school’s owner is an individual, you should publish their full name and contact details (address and a telephone number)
  • if the school’s owner is a group or organisation, you should publish the address and telephone number of its office

Admission arrangements

Academies

Admissions arrangements for all mainstream academy schools, other than the institutions detailed below, must comply with the School admissions code and the School admission appeals code.

Academy trusts must publish the admissions arrangements for their schools on their website and keep them there for the whole of the offer year (the school year in which offers for places are made).

16 to 19 academies and colleges

If you’re a 16 to 19 academy, FE college or sixth form, we recommend that you publish details of your admission arrangements.

You should publish this information a year before the beginning of the academic year to help parents and students make an informed choice, and we recommend that the arrangements don’t change during the year. You should include details of:

  • open days your college or academy is planning
  • the process for applying for a place at your college or academy
  • whether your college or academy gives priority to applications from pupils enrolled at particular schools

Note that the School admissions code and the School admissions appeal code don’t apply to 16 to 19 academies, FE colleges and sixth-form colleges.

Ofsted reports

Academies and colleges, including 16 to 19 institutions, should do one of the following:

  • publish a copy of your school’s or college’s most recent Ofsted report
  • publish a link to the webpage where users can find your school’s or college’s most recent Ofsted report

Exam and assessment results

Key stage 2 (KS2)

We published the 2017 KS2 performance tables in December 2017.

If you’re an academy, you should publish the following information on your website each year:

  • percentage of pupils who’ve achieved the expected standard in reading, writing and maths
  • average progress that pupils have made in reading between KS1 and KS2
  • average progress that pupils have made in writing between KS1 and KS2
  • average progress that pupils have made in maths between KS1 and KS2
  • percentage of pupils who’ve achieved a higher standard in reading, writing and maths
  • your pupils’ average scaled score in the reading test
  • your pupils’ average scaled score in the maths test

You can find more information about these KS2 performance measures, including the higher standard, in the Primary school accountability guidance.

Key stage 4 (KS4)

We published the 2017 KS4 performance tables in January 2018.

If you’re an academy, you should publish the following information on your website each year:

  • your school’s progress 8 score
  • your school’s attainment 8 score
  • the percentage of pupils who’ve achieved a strong pass (grade 5 or above) in English and maths at the end of KS4
  • the percentage of pupils entering for the English Baccalaureate (EBacc). To enter the EBacc, pupils must take up to 8 GCSEs or equivalents, across the 5 subject ‘pillars’ of English language and English literature, maths, sciences, a language and history or geography
  • percentage of pupils who’ve achieved the English Baccalaureate. In 2017, this was the percentage of pupils achieving the EBacc, so pupils who got a grade 5 or above in English and maths, and a grade C or above in the science, humanities and language pillars of the EBacc. In 2018, the EBacc attainment measure will change to an average point score (EBacc APS), showing pupils’ point scores across the 5 pillars of the EBacc
  • percentage of students staying in education or employment after key stage 4 (destinations)

During the transition to the new GCSE grading scale we will base the EBacc pass level on grade 5 or above for reformed subjects and grade C and above for unreformed subjects.

Key stage 5 (KS5)

If you’re an academy or college, you should publish a link to your 16 to 18 performance tables page.

You can find more information about these performance table measures in the ‘16 to 18 accountability headline measures’ guidance.

Performance tables

Academies, including 16 to 19 academies and colleges, should publish a link to the school and college performance tables and your school or college’s performance tables page.

Curriculum

Academies should publish:

  • the content of the curriculum your school follows in each academic year for every subject, including for mandatory subjects such as Religious Education even if it’s taught as part of another subject or subjects or is called something else
  • your approach to the curriculum
  • how parents or other members of the public can find out more about the curriculum your school is following
  • how you meet the 16 to 19 study programme requirements (if you have a sixth form or offer education at 16 to 19)

Depending on what phase of education your school offers, we recommend you also publish any of the following that apply to your school:

  • the names of any phonics or reading schemes you are using in key stage 1
  • a list of the courses available to pupils at key stage 4, including GCSEs
  • the 16 to 19 qualifications you offer

Behaviour policy

Academies should publish details of the school’s behaviour policy, including its anti-bullying strategy.

Read advice on developing and publishing your school’s behaviour policy.

We encourage colleges to publish this information as good practice.

Pupil premium

If your school receives pupil premium funding, your funding agreement will state what information you need to publish about it.

Regardless of what your funding agreement requires you to publish, we recommend that you publish details of your pupil premium strategy.

For the current academic year, we recommend you publish:

  • how much pupil premium funding you received for this academic year
  • details of the main barriers to educational achievement that the disadvantaged children in your school face
  • how you will spend your pupil premium funding to overcome these barriers and the reasons for the approach you’ve chosen
  • how you will measure the effect of the pupil premium
  • the date of the next pupil premium strategy review

For the previous academic year, we recommend you publish:

  • how you spent your pupil premium funding
  • the effect that the pupil premium had on pupils

The Teaching Schools Council has produced guidance for schools on developing and presenting their pupil premium strategy, including a pupil premium strategy template which schools may choose to use.

Year 7 literacy and numeracy catch-up premium

If your school receives year 7 literacy and numeracy catch-up premium funding, you must publish details of how you spend this funding and the effect this has had on the attainment of the pupils who attract it.

You must include:

  • how much year 7 catch-up premium you received for this financial year
  • details of how you intend to spend the funding
  • details of how you spent your year 7 catch-up premium last financial year
  • how it made a difference to the attainment of the pupils who attract the funding and how you assessed the effect it had

PE and sport premium for primary schools

If your school receives PE and sport premium funding, your grant funding agreement will explain what information you must publish. It’s likely that you’ll have to include:

  • how much PE and sport premium funding you received for this academic year
  • a full breakdown of how you’ve spent or will spend the funding this year
  • the effect of the premium on pupils’ PE and sport participation and attainment
  • how you will make sure these improvements are sustainable
  • how many pupils within their year 6 cohort can do each of the following:
    • swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres
    • use a range of strokes effectively
    • perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situation

Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

Special educational needs (SEN) information report

Academies and free schools must publish a report on their policy for pupils or students with SEN and how they put the policy into effect. They should update this information annually, or as soon as possible if there are changes during the year.

The report must comply with:

Careers programme information

From September 2018, academies, free schools and colleges should publish information about the school’s careers programme. This information should relate to the delivery of careers guidance to year 8 to 13 pupils (12 to 18 year olds) and any requirement set out in your funding agreement to deliver careers guidance. For the current academic year, you should include:

  • the name, email address and telephone number of the school’s Careers Leader
  • a summary of the careers programme, including details of how pupils, parents, teachers and employers may access information about the careers programme
  • how the school measures and assesses the impact of the careers programme on pupils
  • the date of the school’s next review of the information published

Read the statutory guidance for schools on careers guidance and access for education and training providers, or guidance for further education colleges and sixth-form colleges on careers guidance, for more information.

The statutory guidance for schools also contains further information about a policy statement that academies must publish to comply with Section 42B of the Education Act 1997, setting out the circumstances in which providers of technical education and apprenticeships will be given access to year 8 to 13 pupils.

Equality objectives

As public bodies, academies and further education institutions must comply with the public sector equality duty in the Equality Act 2010 and the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) Regulations 2011. This means you have to:

  • publish details of how your school complies with the public sector equality duty - you should update this every year
  • publish your school’s equality objectives - you should update this at least once every 4 years

You need to include details of:

  • eliminating discrimination (see the Equality Act 2010)
  • improving equality of opportunity for people with protected characteristics
  • consulting and involving those affected by inequality in the decisions your school or college takes to promote equality and eliminate discrimination (affected people could include parents, pupils, staff and members of the local community)

Complaints policy

We recommend that all academies, free schools and colleges publish their complaints policy online.

If you’re an academy, free school, FE or sixth-form college, we recommend that you publish your whistleblowing policy online.

Academies and free schools must publish any arrangements for handling complaints from parents of children with special educational needs about the support provided by the school.

Annual reports and accounts

Academies and free schools

You should publish the following financial information about your school:

  • annual report
  • annual audited accounts
  • memorandum of association
  • articles of association
  • names of charity trustees and members
  • funding agreement

You can find more guidance about these in the Academies financial handbook.

FE and sixth-form colleges

Colleges should publish their instruments and articles of government on their website.

They should also publish their annual members’ report and audited financial statement every year.

Trustees’ information and duties

Academies and free schools

Academy trusts must publish accessible and up to date details of governance arrangements. Find more on what you need to publish about your academy and its board of trustees in the Academies financial handbook.

FE and sixth-form colleges

You should publish the following details about your college’s governing body:

  • the governing body’s structure and responsibilities
  • details of any committees
  • the names of all governors, including the chair

You may wish to simply publish your governors’ handbook, which should include all this information.

Charging and remissions policies

Academies should publish their charging and remissions policies (this means when you cancel fees). The policies must include details of:

  • the activities or cases where your school will charge pupils’ parents
  • the circumstances where your school will make an exception on a payment you would normally expect to receive under your charging policy

Values and ethos

Academies and colleges should publish a statement of their ethos and values.

Requests for copies

You should provide a paper copy of the information on your website if a parent requests one.

Published 30 June 2016
Last updated 25 October 2018 + show all updates
  1. Added additional clarification in line with regulations to the SEN section.
  2. Updated policy for content on academy websites.
  3. Updated guidance for the current academic year.
  4. First published.