Guidance

What academies, free schools and colleges should publish online

The information that all types of academies, free schools and 16 to 19 colleges 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
  • free schools (including studio schools and university technical colleges (UTCs)
  • 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 details of your special educational needs (SEN) co-ordinator (SENCO) if you’re a mainstream academy

A mainstream academy is one that is not specifically for pupils with special educational needs.

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 and free schools

Admissions arrangements for all mainstream academies and free schools 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 forms.

Exclusion arrangements

If you’re an academy or free school other than a 16 to 19 academy, you should publish details of your policy for excluding pupils.

Ofsted reports

Academies, free schools and colleges 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 2016 KS2 performance tables in December 2016.

If you’re an academy or free school, 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 score in the reading test
  • your pupils’ average 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 2016 KS4 performance tables in January 2017.

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

  • your school’s progress 8 score
  • your school’s attainment 8 score
  • percentage of pupils who’ve achieved grade C or above in English and maths at the end of KS4 - this requirement will change from January 2018 when you must publish the percentage of pupils achieving a strong pass (grade 5 or above) in English and maths
  • percentage of pupils entering for the English Baccalaureate
  • percentage of pupils who’ve achieved the English Baccalaureate
  • 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)

We published the 2016 16 to 18 (KS5) performance tables in January 2017. We updated the 16 to 18 performance tables to reflect technical level qualifications in March 2017.

If you’re an academy, free school or college, you should publish the following information on your website:

  • the progress your students have made compared with students across the country, shown separately for A levels, academic, applied general and tech level qualifications
  • the average grade your students get at KS5, shown separately for A levels, academic, applied general and tech level qualifications
  • the progress your students have made in English and maths
  • retention (this is the proportion of students who get to the end of the main programme of study that they enrolled on at your institution), shown separately for each qualification type
  • destinations (this is the percentage of students who continue in education or training, or move on to employment in the year after the end of key stage 4)

You can find more information about these performance measures in the ‘16 to 19 accountability headline measures’ guidance.

Performance tables

Academies and colleges should publish a link to the school and college performance tables.

Curriculum

Academies and free schools must publish:

  • the content of the curriculum your school follows in each academic year for every subject
  • 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, you should 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

If you’re an academy or free school, you should publish details of your school’s behaviour policy, including its anti-bullying strategy.

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

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.

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

Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

Special educational needs (SEN) information report

Academies and free schools should 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:

Accessibility plan for disabled pupils

Academies and free schools need to carry out accessibility planning for disabled pupils under the Equality Act 2010.

You must publish your accessibility plan, which should include details of how you’re:

  • increasing your disabled pupils’ ability to participate in your school’s curriculum
  • improving the physical environment of your school so disabled pupils can take better advantage of the education, benefits, facilities and services you offer
  • improving the availability of accessible information to your disabled pupils

The accessibility plan you publish can either be a freestanding document or part of another document (such as your school development plan).

Equality objectives

As public bodies, academies, free schools and further education institutions must comply with the public sector equality duty in the Equality Act 2010. 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 Equalities 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.

Governors’ information and duties

Academies and free schools

The Academies financial handbook explains what information you need to publish about your school and its governing body.

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 and free schools 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

If a parent requests a paper copy of the information on your website, you must provide this free of charge.

Published 30 June 2016
Last updated 16 June 2017 + show all updates
  1. Updated guidance for the current academic year.
  2. First published.