Every school needs a great website.
It’s that simple. This is your chance to entice, engage and impress potential / existing pupils and their parents.
Take a look at your website and think about what it communicates to your target audience. Will they come away from it with a true understanding of your school’s values, goals and achievements?
Or will they become frustrated by your clumsy layout, slow load times and lack of information?
Your school could be the best in your area (or even your entire region), but if you neglect your website you’ll sell your school short.
And you’ll make it harder to cultivate strong relationships with parents and guardians in a world where the average person spends more than one day each week online.
Let’s take a closer look at what makes an effective school website.
In 2019, the best school websites will put a real emphasis on:
We’re using mobiles more and more for browsing the internet, rather than desktop or laptop computers.
We all know how irritating it can be to browse a website on our phone which simply doesn’t work. You’re less likely to stay on it, and may leave in a matter of seconds.
That’s why responsive school website design is crucial. Your school website must offer the same great performance across all devices, to make sure every user is satisfied.
Pages must load quickly on your school website, or you run the risk of boring (or flat-out enraging) visitors.
Images and videos all have to be compressed to keep load times to a minimum. Making your website attractive and stylish is vital, but speed is too important to overlook.
Parents want to communicate with teachers and administrative staff in a way that’s convenient to them.
Not everyone likes speaking over the phone. We don’t all feel comfortable with emails. And live chat may still be a little bit too modern for less internet-savvy people.
The best UK school websites of 2019 offer multiple ways to interact with staff, catering to parents and pupils of all tastes.
What does a great school website look like?
Here are 10 amazing examples.
Manchester’s Button Lane Primary School benefits from a fantastic website that pops with colour and character.
The homepage features a warm welcome written by the headteacher, while the variety of colours lends the site a friendly, inviting atmosphere.
All the key facilities can be accessed by clicking on the tabs at the top of the page, taking you straight to Parent’s Information, Children’s Information, Calendar, Our Curriculum, Newsletters and the Contact Us sections within seconds.
Some of these links are presented as bold icon buttons further down too, for easier access.
Elevate Multi Academy Trust’s website is sleek, professional and utterly engaging.
All the information you need is right there in the center of the homepage, with helpful text covering the trust’s vision and values (‘Raising Aspiration, Raising Achievement’).
High-definition images showcasing different facets of the trust’s services transition into one another nicely, while all links across the site are labelled clearly for simple navigation.
Pages load quickly too, and key contact details appear at the top.
“Be friendly, be honest, be your best.”
As soon as you see this message beneath the Tendring Primary School logo — right at the top of the homepage — you understand this school’s values immediately. It’s a simple but effective way to convey goals and standards economically.
The headteacher’s message in the centre of the homepage is packed with valuable information but still gets straight to the point. You’ll find your way from one page to another easily and quickly, with colourful icons depicting the school’s different classes helping guide you to important resources.
This is one of the best UK school websites for 2019 for multiple reasons.
First of all, the animated background at the top of the homepage shows the school off brilliantly: you see the sports facilities, the pupils’ good behaviour, the attractive, rustic location and the grounds’ obvious high level of maintenance.
You can click one of multiple bold icon buttons to learn more about the school through the School News, Calendar, Gallery or Twitter sections.
Informative text offers an insight into the school’s goals and methodology, and more details (Governors, British Values, Curriculum etc.) are available further down.
Queens Park Academy’s website greets you with a bright, colourful design and clear links to essential pages (including About QPA, Parents Info, Vacancies etc.).
This ensures any visitor can find exactly what they’re looking for within seconds of landing on the homepage. Images of smiling pupils at work in the classroom, on the football field and enjoying their dinner all help to cultivate an image of a school in which everyone is welcome.
Doncaster’s St. Alban’s website is brilliantly designed, presenting its values and ethos clearly on the homepage, with an inviting introduction from the headteacher.
In the tabs at the top of the page, you’ll find links to separate pages for parents and pupils alike, covering such vital topics as uniforms, extracurricular activities, breakfast clubs and more.
Term dates, classes and details on the school’s Safeguarding are all just a click away too.
Another of the best UK school websites for 2019 belongs to Clifford Bridge Academy.
Here, visitors can get a taste of the academy through the scrolling images of pupils that head the homepage. There are two greeting messages — one from the executive, another from the headteacher — which outline the core values.
The Parent’s Zone and Children’s Zone feature practical insights for all years and cover different elements of school life. Navigation is easy and pages load in good time, making this an invaluable hub for parents and pupils.
The design is vibrant and dynamic, making terrific use of reds and whites throughout.
Brill Church of England School’s website boasts some beautiful photography of the pupils, grounds and facilities, offering a comprehensive overview of the school.
The homepage features large images linking to different areas — News, Why Brill?, Parents and Pupils — while the headteacher’s message is insightful. Testimonials, information on the PTA and a section on the school’s ethos all contribute to a great site.
This school website has an extremely polished, sophisticated feel, bolstered by the use of strong blues and whites.
You can click through to such pages as Key Information, Our Curriculum and Parents from the homepage. Each of these sections — and the few others — is well-designed and simple to explore.
Helmsley Community Primary School’s website does a fantastic job of delivering all the details parents and pupils want to know in a streamlined way. Multiple contact methods are also available, including a dedicated absence form (a handy alternative to calling the school directly).
The large page icon buttons incorporate imagery nicely, using visual cues alongside text to convey information (for example, the button linking to the About Us page features a glowing light bulb, evoking ideas and creativity).
Last but by no means least, Meols Cop High School’s website is another of our best UK school websites for 2019.
The images displayed across the site showcase the different disciplines of the school (such as dance) and the different age groups being educated. A wealth of information is available too, separated into easy-to-find sections like Parents, Staff, Students etc.
You’ll find pages dedicated to Attendance, Show My Homework, School Council, Bulletins, Healthy Schools, Examinations and much more. A list of all staff in the school is included in the Meet Our Staff page as well, which covers all departments.
It’s more important than ever now that every school invests in a quality website. You have to provide parents and pupils with the chance to learn more about your school, communicate with staff and develop an appreciation of your entire mission.
The 10 websites explored above demonstrate the variety of styles and approaches school websites may utilise. Each has its own unique look and sensibility, but all cover similar details to maximise their appeal.