In today’s digital age, having a well-maintained website is essential for schools to communicate effectively with parents and the wider community. A school website provides a vital course of information such as events, schedules, resources, and other important updates. However, a school website is only effective if it is regularly updated, and parents are encouraged to visit it frequently. In this blog post, we will discuss how schools can encourage parents to visit your school website regularly and why it is important to do so. Firstly, let’s look at why it is essential to have a good school website in the first place.
The importance of a school website
A source of information
A school website is an essential tool for parents to stay informed about their child’s education. It provides important information such as homework assignments, upcoming events, and key dates in the academic year. By visiting the school website regularly, parents can ensure that they are kept up-to-date with any changes.
In addition to being a communication tool, a good school website can also be used to showcase the school’s achievements and successes and reflects the school itself. By highlighting the accomplishments of students, teachers, and the school, parents can gain a greater appreciation for the institution and its mission. This can create a sense of pride and loyalty among parents, who may then be more likely to recommend the school to others and become more engaged in their child’s learning.
Engage with parents
A school website can also be used to foster a sense of community. Quite often, schools will link parent engagement apps and communication tools with pages on their school website, take our MarvellousMe parent platform for example – the Rewards and Recognition feature is often linked with the values and visions page on a school website which can help to reinforce the school’s ethos and culture.
The website can also help to promote volunteer opportunities so that parents can become more engaged with the school and their child’s education. This sense of involvement can generate a positive relationship between parents and the school, which can ultimately lead to better academic outcomes for pupils.
Showcase your schools USP’s
Your website should showcase your school’s unique selling points and help local families see what you are offering pupils both in and out of the classroom. Your school website can highlight the things that make your school stand out from the competition. This could include academic achievements, extracurricular activities or specialised programs, and any other factors that make your school the number one choice for parents.
Tick the box with Ofsted
Schools have a statutory duty to arrange for specific information to be published online, and a school website is the best place to host this. Ofsted inspectors will review your website as part of their inspection preparation. Statutory requirements should be part of your Ofsted inspection checklist to ensure school website compliance.
Download our Ofsted website checklist to make sure your website ticks all the right boxes.
How to encourage parents to visit your school website regularly
Make sure your website is user-friendly
The first step in encouraging parents to visit your school website regularly is to ensure that it is user-friendly. Your website should be easy to navigate and provide clear and concise information. It should also be optimised for mobile devices, as many parents will access the website from their smartphones or tablets.
Provide valuable information
Your school website should provide valuable information that is relevant to parents. This can include school calendars, school policies, and curriculum information. By providing this information, parents will have a reason to visit the website regularly and can get actively involved in their child’s learning journey.
Update the website frequently
As aforementioned, regularly updating the school website with relevant content is crucial in maintaining its effectiveness. A stagnant website with outdated information can be frustrating and discouraging for parents who rely on it for important information. Regularly updating the website not only keeps parents informed but also encourages them to visit it frequently to stay up-to-date.
Promote the website to parents
To encourage parents to visit your school website, you need to promote it. This can be done through newsletters, social media, and posters – take Juniper Education’s promotional website posters for example that can be found at the bottom of this blog and are available free to download.
You can also provide links to the website on school flyers and other materials. By promoting the website, you will increase awareness and encourage more parents to visit it.
Make it interactive
You could also try to make your school website interactive. This can be done by adding forums, polls, and surveys. You can also provide opportunities for parents to leave feedback or ask questions. By making the website interactive, parents will feel more engaged and that their voice is being heard.
A good school website is a critical tool for communication between the school and parents. It’s important to maintain your website, using our advice above, to ensure it is effective as possible and to encourage repeat visitors. Parents who visit a school website regularly are clearly more engaged, and this in turn can lead to better academic outcomes for pupils and a more positive school environment overall.
We can help you shine online
Juniper Education have been creating engaging school websites for over 40 years and have over 7,500 schools and 500 MATs within our customer portfolio. We are the market leading school website designer who is big enough to make a difference, yet small enough to care about each and every school we work with.
We can help you get the most out of your school website and encourage parental use! All our websites are designed to be mobile-first and are built using our own content management system (CMS), so updating your website is quick and easy too.
Download our promotional website posters for free