Is Your School Website Missing Vital Info?

Published: July 27, 2016

We bet you love your new multi-function school website, with it’s attractive theme to match your branding and its ability to act as a VLE. (PS. If it’s not multi-function, it’s not School Jotter.) All the content has been installed and you’ve uploaded the data to comply with  statutory requirements. Have you forgotten something? Apart from the more obvious information to have on your site such as the school’s contact details and a link to your most recent OFSTED report, there are a few more obscure items that you shouldn’t forget.
Bats and Balls
If your school receives the PE and Sport Premium Funding, you must show how you have or intend to use the money, as well as stating how this has affected your pupils’ involvement and attainment. Providing a larger and more varied range of equipment can help inspire children to become more active, which is a plus point for your school.

Governors Laid Bare
Not literally of course but it’s important to include details of governors’ financial and business interests on the school website. If they get a kick out of being part of a governing body and are on multiple boards, this must also be declared.
Attention or Detention?
Whatever strategies you’ve implemented to deal with challenging and unruly behaviour, these need to be outlined in detail. Parents will want to know how the school approaches bullying and any form of bigotry, which is in the news on a daily basis. This of course should be in keeping with your school ethos.
Levelling the Playing Field
Pupil Premium Funding may seem inadequate but at least it goes some way to helping schools provide extra support for disadvantaged pupils, in the hope they can reach similar attainment to their peers. Details of how and why this is spent, together with evidence of how it has helped disadvantaged pupils’ attainment must be on your school

Touchy Feely
While you might think it’s obvious to prospective parents what your school is all about, it may not be. In any case, it’s imperative that you spell it out on your website. What values do you promote? Do you place most emphasis on academic attainment or pastoral care? As parents and carers browse school sites, most seek out a school’s ethos and values first, rather than the latest SATs results. Don’t just tell them what they want to hear; make it personal and relevant to your school, and your way of doing things.
Regardless of whether you think anyone will ever read the statutory requirements, they’re not an option. To see exactly what should be included, visit the Government website.

Homework Month: Our collection of really useful blogs on how to take the hard work out of homework

Published: October 30, 2015

Over on we’ve been taking a look at homework workloads and how to make it all just that bit more managable. We’ve examined three different areas that people can struggle with in homework: managing stress, getting it done and marking it. We even have a podcast all about it!

Handling Homework Workload

The first blog of the month took a look at managing stress. With a focus on how teachers can help students, the rule of time-management is ultimately what came out as the most important factor, with things such as eating properly and staying positive also making the list. You can find the full blog here:
How teachers can help to handle homework stress

How to get Students to do their Homework

The second in our series of blogs examined how to get students to complete their homework. While it’s all very well to blame the student for their missed deadlines, it’s sometimes worth remembering that being set up to fail can be in the hands of the teacher. Planned workloads with fair expectations can help motivate a learner into engaging, rather than shutting down when feeling overwhelmed. Combine this with varied and interesting assignments that reinforce the learning done in lessons and you can help students get their work done. The full blog is here:
Getting Homework Done

How to Mark Homework

Finally, the third blog took a look at the research of Dr Rod Ellis and his various models for marking work. The theories he examines explain how you can turn the feedback process into one that also engages with a student’s learning process, and rather than just outlining the correct answers, actually engage them into learning afresh once marking has been handed back. The blog, along with a link to the full lecture, can be found here:
How to Mark Homework


Of course if you’d rather not spend time reading these blogs and would like to have them read to you, the inaugural episode of the Webanywhere Podcast is now live, where I go through each of the blogs and discuss what they mean and how you can implement some of the better ideas. Podcast link is below:

That just about wraps it up for Homework month, next month we’ll be examining anti-bullying, and tackling issues around cyber bullying in schools. Until then, thanks for checking out homework month!

Discipline in the Classroom – How to keep order without being the bad guy

Published: September 17, 2015

Sometimes being a teacher is far too stressful. Mounting workloads, lack of resources and even staff shortages cause all manner of issues within a school, but the biggest disruption is one that has always existed – keeping control of the classroom. The best laid plans can go awry when one student decides that today is the day they’re going to impress everyone by refusing to behave. Well, don’t lose your head – here’s a few tips for keeping control of the classroom.

1. Make the rules clear

The rules in your classroom will define the way it runs. The advice often given is to have 5 very clear, very firm rules. You need to make them short and easy to remember, and you need to teach them in a positive light. Remind students that behaving isn’t just going to avoid reprimanding, but can also lead to rewards. It’s also a good idea to get students to agree to the rules, through show of hands or even a written agreement. But don’t forget that you too will have to obey them. It has to be a fair system, one rule for them is just as much a rule for you.

2. Innocent before proven guilty

Sometimes misbehaviour is simply a misunderstanding of the boundaries. If someone is acting up, let them know why it’s not acceptable and explain what the rules are. Don’t let the student feel like a victim of ignorance – first offenses can slip, but repeat behaviour requires a firmer hand. Lay down the law and you’ll find that most, if not all students will be more than happy to obey. The point is to not assume malice – when you have someone actually causing active disruption you need to have no ambiguity that that’s what’s going on.

3. Be fair, but be authoritative

Is it better to be loved, or feared? Machiavelli is said to have fallen on the side of feared, but in truth he agreed the ideal was both. When disciplining students it’s always best to deal with the student in a way that they will be able to understand and accept, but if you need to put your foot down make sure not to hold back on the agreed consequences of breaking the rules. Authority is derived from respect, and to earn respect you must be consistent, both in mercy and in justice.

4. Don’t Argue

Arguing is a guaranteed root to misery, it inflames a pupil’s need to “win” and will lead to further disruption. Instead make sure you discipline students separately, as this gets them in an environment where they don’t have to defend their ego. Tell them they’ve broken the rules and then instigate punishment, don’t instigate a shouting match. Do hear your students out, let them make their case, but only once. Think of it as a 3 stage conversation.

Stage 1

Explain what rule they have broken.

Stage 2

Allow them to respond

Stage 3

If their input doesn’t change your mind enforce the punishment.
Don’t mistake not arguing for not listening – often the scuffles in the playground are rarely one student acting up, so make sure that all those involved are dealt with appropriately, and don’t punish the innocent, as nothing will erode your authority faster than being unfair.

5. Make sure cover teachers know the rules

As we’ve established, consistency is everything, so even when you aren’t in you’ve got to keep your classroom in order. Create a printed pack for substitute teachers explaining what the rules are and the expectation of the pupils. It might even be a good idea to have the substitute teacher explain to pupils that they’re aware of the rules and that they too agree with them. If you’ve done your job well, kids will respect the authority you laid down for the rules, even when you aren’t there.

6. Every day is a fresh start

Don’t hold grudges – there’s no such thing as a “troublemaker”. Once a student has served the consequence of their misbehaviour they should be treated like all the others regardless of past behaviour. If you help cultivate the reputation of a troublemaker it’ll become a self fulfilling prophecy, so try to encourage pupils to refresh their attitudes.
Keeping control of the classroom is tricky, but create a proper culture of discipline and you’ll soon see the need to monitor behaviour fade into the background of everyday teaching. It’s worth bearing in mind that although discipline is worth maintaining, rewards are what backup good behaviour.
Webanywhere offers online services for VLEs, School Websites and Learning Apps for both the education and workplace sector. Our range of products include a Merits App for our School Jotter suite, and a behaviour and rewards tracker via MIS integration.

Great Resource Websites for Headteachers and SLTs

Published: July 23, 2015

Being a headteacher or part of the Senior Leadership Team can be tough of course – leading a school involves trying to meet the expectations of parents, teachers and support staff, governors, Ofsted, and even the local community.

To stay up to date with education news and best practice, and to remember that there are many others in a similar position, it can be helpful to get information and advice from peers and those who understand your role.
You’ll be aware of many great resource websites for headteachers and SLTs, but we thought it would be useful to gather some of the best into one place:

Headteacher Update and SEC ED

Headteacher Update is the only magazine that is produced just for primary school headteachers in the UK.
The magazine contains articles on leadership problems, best practices, case studies and other information and resources for headteachers. The offline publication is published every two months and is distributed free of charge to all UK headteachers. The website provides more articles on best practices, useful resources and news.
Headteacher Update’s sister publication, SEC ED, offers similar information for secondary education heads, SLTs and teachers. It has a wide range of sections organised by theme and subject.
Check out and


SSAT is a membership site for schools worldwide, offering guidance to all members of school staff. It has separate membership options for primary schools, secondary schools and special schools.
Membership gives access to resources on topics such as: practical advice for achieving compliance with Ofsted requirements, creating a long-term vision, encouraging student leadership, tips on how to implement innovative practices based on the latest educational research and how to better collaborate with other schools.
The organisation also organises training courses and events on CPD and other important topics.
A 1-year primary school membership currently costs £275.00 + VAT and the secondary network membership is £1015.00 + VAT (Correct in July 2015).
For more information, go to:


NAHT is a trade union for professionals who hold leadership positions in primary, special and secondary schools, independent schools, sixth form and FE colleges, and other educational institutions.
Their website contains advice on topics such as Ofsted inspections, public engagement, performance tables, etc. They also organise training courses and events, and provide bespoke training for schools.
To get access to these resources you need to apply for a membership.
Find out more at

School Food Plan

School Food Plan was created to help head teachers, senior leadership teams, and other members of school staff improve the quality of food served at school and help pupils enjoy food that is tasty, but also good for them. The website provides a ton of information about the impact of serving better food to students.
They also provide a complete checklist for headteachers with tips to help ensure that good, affordable food is served in an attractive environment, and that lunch is a time during which all children (including the ones eating their own packed lunch) can socialise and engage in fun activities afterwards.
The information on the website has the support of the Secretary of State for Education.

Head Teacher Of The Week: Simon Hey, Greenacres Primary School

Published: April 28, 2014

Simon Hey has the best of both worlds at Greenacres Primary School, Shropshire. “I’m actually 40% head and 60% deputy as our school has a job share headship,” he says. “I enjoy the role of headteacher and maintain a teaching role also.”
It’s this split of responsibility that gives Simon two very useful viewpoints within the school. Here, as our Head Teacher Of The Week, he answers our questions…

What do you think makes a good leader?

Someone who leads by example, earns and gives trust and respect, and is constantly looking ahead.

How important is technology in improving learning outcomes?

As part of looking ahead, we need to be sure that we show children and adults that ICT can be successful as a learning tool  as it is as a source of entertainment.

What are you tips for preparing for Ofsted?

We all know what will be inspected and so we should have evidence ready to share with the inspectors. The best way to collect evidence is as part of your cycle of internal school monitoring, ensuring evidence is current, clear and useful. An inspection lasts for a very intense short period of time and spending it searching for evidence to back up your judgements might mean you are not able to share more of all the positive work your school is doing.

What tips would you give other senior leaders who aspire to becoming a headteacher?

Although schools are all different in terms of size and catchment areas, the resulting benefit for each individual child should be at the core of every decision and change we make. Remembering that the children are the sole reason for being there helps focus the mind in a world of increasing complexity.

What is your biggest challenge at the moment?

The biggest challenge is the same as it has always been, to give each child in our care the best education we can in an atmosphere of increasing expectations. We are working a great deal more with colleagues in schools in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, and Herefordshire. Using a combination of formal and informal CPD, sharing ideas and identifying the most successful teaching and learning strategies, we are already seeing the successful impact of this collaboration.

How do you feel education is changing?

When I started teaching I was told by colleagues I thought were ancient (they were in fact the age I am now) that if I stayed in the job I would see it all change over and over again. When has education ever stood still? We are all still searching for the best way of educating our children in an ever changing world.

What gets you out of bed in a morning?

The chance to do things better than yesterday.

Do you think your school’s Head deserves to be Head Teacher Of The Week? Nominate them and tell us why! Email your Head’s details to

Head Teacher Of The Week: Jo Corrigan, Eastlands Primary School

Published: April 21, 2014

This week, we head over to Rugby in the West Midlands for our Head Teacher of the Week. Jo Corrigan (back, far left in our picture, with Year 6 children celebrating winning the Rotary Young Citizen of the Year Award at the BBC),  regularly receives comments about how good Eastlands Primary School’s website is. So, we’ve picked her brain about technology, Ofsted in schools and what it takes to be a great teacher…

Why did you choose to become a Headteacher?
As a child I never spoke about being a teacher but being a headteacher.  I have been inspired by my own teachers and realised it was such a privilege position to be in.

How important is technology in improving learning outcomes?

The children we currently teach have grown up with a wide range of technology and I am sure new technologies will emerge in the future which they will require in the career paths they choose.

What are you tips for preparing for Ofsted?

Clearly being prepared for Ofsted is very important and there is lots of documentation provided to support this. However, as a school we have never done things just to satisfy Ofsted. We believe in providing a high quality education for our children and are always looking to improve.

How do you motivate your staff?

By proving to them that the outcomes for the children make all of the hard work worthwhile.

What is your biggest achievement to date?

My biggest achievement to date is getting through an extremely challenging first year as a headteacher and receiving external validation that I had made a positive impact on the outcomes for the children at my school. This enables me to focus on the creation of exciting teaching and learning resources for e-safety with a group of children in my school which have received national and intonation all awards.

What do you think makes a great teacher?

A great teacher understands that children only get one chance at education and that a great deal of trust is put in their professionalism to get it right.
What is your biggest challenge at the moment?
Keeping up with the amount of changes taking place and the short timescale provided to implement them.

Head Teacher Of The Week: Azita Zohhadi, Nelson Mandela School

Category: Breaking News

Published: April 14, 2014

This week’s Head Teacher of the Week is Azita Zohhadi, of Nelson Mandela School, Birmingham. As we discovered, becoming a highly-regarded school in your area starts with having a great leader…

Why did you get into teaching?
I loved going to school when I was younger and my favourite game as a child was being a teacher. I used to make my own register and plan lessons for my toys, teddy bears and younger sister! My mum was a teacher and my grandparents were Heads of schools in Iran so I think it must be in my blood too!
What do you think  makes a good leader?
A good leader to me is someone who can empower others and move people forward without needing to be the person at the front. A good leader needs to see things from many perspectives and needs to recognise that you need to work with others as you do not have all of the answers.

How important is technology in improving learning outcomes?
Technology is incredibly important as it can support children in so many ways and it can bring the outside world and the knowledge of the world into the classroom.
What are your tips for preparing for Ofsted?
Make sure your website is welcoming and up to date as this is the first place Ofsted look prior to a visit. Then all of the obvious – know your school and sell it!
What tips would you give to other senior leaders who aspire to becoming a head teacher?
Get involved in all aspects of school life, do as many whole school projects as you can to drive forward school improvement and making sure that you are well read and up to date with local and national educational issues.
How do you motivate and manage your staff?
You’ll need to ask them that! Hopefully by continuing to value them and caring for their well-being. Also by providing a stimulating place to work and giving them the opportunities to develop their roles within the school.
What do you think makes a great teacher?
A great teacher is someone who feels passionately about improving children’s life chances and a person who thinks carefully about all interactions with children so that they get the best from them. A great teacher needs to be caring, approachable and fair.
How do you feel education is changing?
I think schools have to make more links with each other and share things more. We feel far more of a collective responsibility to support children no matter which school they may be attending. This is a good thing.
What is your biggest challenge at the moment?
My biggest challenge at the moment is the economy and the knock on effects on our budget. Cost are going up and there are far more services that we have to buy into which used to be provided for us.
Think you or your Head Teacher deserve to be our Head Teacher of the Week? Email us – – and tell us why!

Head Teacher Of The Week: Roy Hepplestone, Whitehill Community Academy

Category: Breaking News

Published: April 7, 2014

This week, we are introducing a brand new weekly blog post: Head Teacher of the Week. Each Monday, we’ll profile a head teacher from an influential primary school, finding out their knowledge, experiences and passing on their tips for others. Our first Head Teacher of the Week is Roy Hepplestone, of Whitehill Community Academy, Halifax, West Yorkshire.

“Being a head teacher is the best job in the world,” says Whitehill Academy’s Roy Hepplestone (pictured above). With 19 years’ experience, Roy is suitably qualified to make such a judgement.
It’s this passion for the job and his commitment to Whitehill Academy that has made the school not just a teaching school, but winner of the Investor In People Gold award this year. “Relationships are key,” says Roy. “We are a very supportive team. The Whitehill ethos and team spirit has seen us through the hard times.”
The ‘can do’ culture is also important at Whitehill, and it has helped them become an over-subscribed school. Enjoying the support of the local community, Roy says making a difference to children’s lives is what makes it all worthwhile. “Commitment, drive and knowing the children is what makes a great teacher,” says Roy.

When it comes to technology, Whitehill is one of the most forward-thinking establishments we’ve ever worked with. “Technology is a vital tool to ensure that schools, academies and organisations run effectively. We have always placed ICT as a major driver within the curriculum and also throughout the Whitehill Academy MAT,” comments Roy.
Finally, Roy believes a good leader needs to be able to listen, build effective teams, be a good communicator, develop relationships, nurture talent and take risks. “Stay at the forefront of new developments, communicate early, always aim high… And enjoy!” he says. From a head teacher who’s seen his school gain an Outstanding Ofsted, and become an Academy, a National Leader and achieve Teaching School status, this is sound advice.
Find out more about Whitehill Community Academy here.