The Best UK School Websites for 2018

Published: January 2, 2018

Your website is your school’s chance to make a powerful first impression.
If someone with no knowledge of your school’s past achievements, results, or history arrived on your site, what would they take away from it? Even before visitors read a word of your content, they will still form immediate opinions based on the overall design and layout.
They should get a feel for your school’s values and goals within seconds, without having to root through blocks of text or search for information on other websites. According to the , there are a number of critical factors that must appear on maintained schools websites:

  • School contact details
  • Ofsted reports
  • Admission arrangements
  • Curriculum
  • Exams and assessment results
  • School complains
  • Behaviour policy
  • PE and sport premium (for primary schools)
  • Year 7 literacy and numeracy catch-up premium
  • Governors’ information and duties
  • Performance tables
  • Special educational needs and disability information
  • Equality objectives
  • Charging and remissions policies
  • Values and ethos
  • Requests for paper copies

As you can see, this is a fairly extensive list, but simply incorporating all of the features outlined above into your website is not enough. You also have to consider:

Offer Smooth Navigation and Accessibility

Simple layout and intuitive navigation are vital for good school websites. Every visitor – be they a parent, a guardian, a pupil, a governor – should be able to find the information they need with minimal effort.
Said resources should be separated into relevant categories and arranged in a logical manner.

Ensure Cross-Device Functionality

School websites should be accessible on desktop and mobile devices alike, to cater to users regardless of their location.
Your website should be optimised for handheld devices and smaller screens, to avoid slow load times or low-quality visuals.

Embrace Visual Content

While text is obviously important to relate essential information to visitors, images and video play a huge part in how your website is received.
Provide users with a comprehensive gallery of your school and grounds. Showcase your most attractive classrooms, your pupils’ past work, your sports facilities, your ICT suites, and more. You want to offer parents and prospective pupils an insight into your school’s everyday look and feel, but don’t just display the areas you are most proud of – give visitors a broad overview of your entire school.

The best way to see what your school website should look like is to explore some of the best online today.

Four Examples of Outstanding School Web Design


Warden Park Secondary Academy

Warden Park Secondary School’s website is a terrific example of exceptional school web design. It’s bright, colourful, and benefits from an incredibly-accessible layout which makes finding all the information you need incredibly easy.
The homepage boasts strong visual media, with a changing set of images presenting a glimpse of the school grounds, the different types of education it offers, and more. A well-written roster of updates is inluded, keeping parents informed of the school’s latest achievements, term breaks, fundraising activities, and other key news.
At the bottom of the homepage, there is a selection of icons directing you to the site’s different sections, including ‘Information for Parents’, ‘Information for Students’, ‘Career Opportunities’, ‘Contact Us’, ‘Curriculum’, and a few others.
At the top of the homepage, you will find clickable buttons taking you to their newsletter, calendar, contact details, and Twitter profile. The menu button reveals numerous options, demonstrating how strong the website’s layout is.
Overall, the white and blue colour scheme keeps the site clean, neat, and easy on the eye across both desktop and mobile devices.

Asquith Primary School

Primary schools should be warm, friendly, inviting places – and Asquith Primary School’s website reflects that.
The homepage is beautifully designed, featuring soft colours and a simple interface. The school’s logo, incorporating its name and motto (‘growing to succeed’), is presented in a gentle yellow, while the surrounding deep blues, purples, and greens are vibrant and dynamic. A number of buttons (decorated with icons) offer easy navigation throughout the site.
You can go directly to ‘key information’, ‘curriculum’, ‘parents’, ‘pupil zone’, and ‘contact’ at just the click of a button, without having to scour the site. Contact details are presented at the top right of the page, with the school’s full address, the name of the headteacher, and the phone number. The website benefits from fast responsiveness, too, with fast loading times.

Guardian Angels Catholic Primary School’s

The Guardian Angels Catholic Primary School website incorporates a bold mixture of yellows, blacks, and whites, grabbing your attention as soon as you arrive.
The logo is a striking visual, and its black-and-white colour scheme contrasts strikingly with the yellow behind it – creating a strong first impression on screens of any size. To the right, the school’s full address, contact number and email address, and headteacher’s name are all present.
The website’s homepage includes strong visuals, with each link to subsequent pages accompanied by an attractive, professional photograph of the school’s pupils. All of the most important sections are accessible instantly, including ‘about us’, ‘newsletter’, ‘upcoming events’, and more.
Another excellent addition to the homepage is the personal letter written by the headteacher, welcoming visitors to the site and outlining the school’s values.

Meols Cop High School

The Meols Cop High School website places a strong slideshow of images at the heart of its homepage, presenting a number of its pupils, the school grounds, and classes underway; you get a real sense of the school’s identity and inclusiveness in a matter of seconds.
One particularly effective part of the website is the year 7 parent’s evening survey results on the homepage, providing an honest breakdown of how newcomers and their parents responded to the school. This is an innovative addition that demonstrates how well the school fares in a key area.
The calendar, current vacancies, news updates, and other features are all present on the homepage too, turning it into a hub of information. Visitors can learn a great deal about the school, its values, its goals, and its successes from this one page.

The four websites explored above incorporate the crucial features we discussed earlier: great school web design, accessibility, cross-device compatibility, and the criteria specified by the Department of Education. Every school should invest in a high-quality website that reflects their ‘brand’ and presents visitors with everything they need to know.

School Jotter 4.5 update

Category: Release notes

Published: April 13, 2016

We’ve just pushed the latest update to School Jotter live. You might have noticed these are coming more frequently now – we’re aiming for smaller, more frequent, more agile releases every two weeks, rather than a big one every few months.


  • A new Files Download element has been added that allows you to share files and folders to your school website.
  • Pinterest has been added to the social networks list (compatible bespoke themes only.)
  • Extra security has been added to blogs that have been embedded on the website.
  • An issue that broke pagination of embedded blogs has been resolved.
  • An issue where CSV results were exported incorrectly from Forms has been resolved.
  • An issue where images could not be removed from News stories has been resolved.

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How to Design an Awesome School Website

Published: February 29, 2016

Website Design For Schools In The UK

This is a tricky issue for non-experienced website designers. While wanting to save on costs by doing their school web design themselves, schools should make sure they meet the Ofsted requirements when it comes to website content and structure.

One of the problems many school website designers encounter is that they use too many colors making their content very difficult to read. What follows are some tips to help create a beautiful website design for schools in the UK.

Defining Your School’s Brand and Content Strategy


Knowing your school’s brand and what you stand for will help you write the content for your school’s website. You need to understand the school’s core values as well as what your school stands for.


Then you need to understand what your school does well and what problems it can solve for its students. There are other key questions you can ask yourself before you start creating a content strategy.


That strategy will revolve around the answers to all of those key questions. Plus, understanding the purpose of your school will help you create a unique website look that stands out from the crowd.


What also is involved in defining your school’s brand will be the following elements:


  • Develop your school’s promise to potential parents and students
  • Add a tagline that reflects the purpose of the school
  • Create your school’s identity- this includes creating a logo, finding your voice, the imagery you want to use, and the colours you want to use.


Defining your school’s brand is a wide range of elements that help potential and current students know who you are. That makes your website more attractive than using a number of bright or other colours.


Building A Solid User-Friendly Experience On The School Website

In the world of web design, there are a lot of options you can use to build complexity to your school’s website design. However, the old sayings ‘keep it simple’ and ‘less is more’ are key guides you should use when creating a primary school website design.

Yes, having fun things like pop-ups, interactive polls, and lots of videos can help but often those elements and other ones turn the user experience into something far more time-consuming than parents want to go through.

The key to building a good user experience on your school’s website is to follow these key tips:

1. Keep The Website Focused On Current School Parents

Make sure the relevant information is easy to access and find. Those important issues of tuition costs, teacher contact opportunities, and school events all should be very easy for the current school parent to find.

2. Focus On Enrollment

Make your enrollment process a priority. Part of the school’s website design is to attract new students to your school. This can partly be achieved through your About Us web page.

3. Help Busy Parents

This is done by having a clear school calendar on your website. Then make it easy to access for those busy parents who do not have the time to waste doing complicated searches or bypassing pop-ups, etc.

4. Miscellaneous Pages

These include contact information, a news and media web page, and more. You want to keep your school web design interesting without making it hard for parents to navigate through all the pages to get the information they want.

Add Interactive Features and Compelling Content for engaging the audience

Once you have understood your school’s identity and purpose, and then fleshed out a content strategy, now is the time to add some more interesting elements to your school website design.

Look for key features that can incorporate interactive activities. These will help engage both parents and students. Then make sure to have someone write excellent content that will be of interest to those school parents.

Content is still king and will help boost your school’s website in the search engine rankings. Bad content is one way to drive prospective students and parents away from your school.

Some Additional Words

Since 2003, School Jotter has been working with thousands of schools across the UK and worldwide to develop the best school website and e-learning software. We always make sure our school web design reflects the ethos of each school.

Contact us today to see how we can help make your school website design more attractive and user-friendly. Our experts will be glad to spend time working with you to enhance your public face.

Now fully available for your school – Office 365 integration

Published: February 18, 2016

We’re pleased to announce that Office 365 integration is now fully up and running for anyone using our School Jotter platform. You can now take advantage of the full range of Office 365 features within the School Jotter ecosystem, complete with single-sign-on and file sharing.
Here’s the best new features of integration:

Single sign-on

And it really is single sign-on – with the Office 365 login method, if you’re logged into Office 365 you won’t need to enter anything to get into School Jotter, your computer will handle it all.

Easily add files to your website

Access your OneDrive files from within Jotter, and insert them as items on your School Jotter website. This means you don’t have to worry about taking an image from OneDrive, downloading it then reuploading it to Jotter – it’s right there already!

Outlook Calendar Synchronisation

It’s likely that your school has everything organised in an Outlook calendar already – wouldn’t it be great if this could automatically pull through to your website? The Calendar app can now read from and update from your Office 365 calendars, saving you one more update task.

All your OneDrive files in School Jotter

With the Office 365 desktop app, you and your students can even have access to your desktop files in School Jotter.

Share and collaborate

As well as accessing your own files, you can even share them with others, making it a great way to enable collaboration amongst students.
Interested in the benefits of integration? Contact us for a free demo.

Website of the week – Highbury School

Published: January 25, 2016

This week’s Website of the Week comes to us from an extraordinary school based in Brighouse, West Yorkshire. Highbury is a community primary school providing for children from two to eleven years who have a range of special educational needs that could not be met in regular schools.
My first thought when I saw this website was that it looks really good. Warm colours, animal illustrations and images of children make this website look very child-friendly which is what we would expect from a primary school website. Highbury school did a really good job making the website look child-friendly and still very professional at the same time.

Website is really easy to navigate. You can find the main contact details at the top of the page which is very useful. Another great thing about this website is the navigation bar which makes finding information even easier. The ‘About Us’ page includes information about school, its values and other useful information. The main information concerning students and parents can be found under ‘General Information’ and ‘Parents and Carers’ pages.
All children are divided into classes that are named after different animals which is a very nice way to engage with students. Illustrations of all animals can be found on the homepage and those illustrations direct you to the blogs of each class. Each blog features information regarding latest events and news about classes.
Another extraordinary school and another great looking primary school website. Congratulations to Highbury School!

The new Ofsted website requirements and you – what you need to do next

Category: Ofsted,Support

Published: September 18, 2015

As of this month, new Ofsted guidelines on school websites have gone into force, but it’s a bit confusing what these actually are. We’ve written this blog post to help demystify the changes a bit, and it should be helpful whether or not you’re a School Jotter user.
The main focus of the new requirements is governor disclosure. Basically, you now have to put information on who your governors are, what they do etc onto your website on a publicly accessible page – previously, this was recommended but not compulsory information. So here’s what you’ll need:

  • Name: You’ll need to have the names of your governors – photos can also help, but aren’t compulsory
  • Category: What type of governor are they?
  • Which body appoints them: Who appointed them to their position as governor
  • Their term of office: When will they be serving until? Is it a time-limited or a more permanent position?
  • Committees: The names of any gubernatorial committees they serve on
  • Their positions of responsibility: For example, if they’re the Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary etc – what position do they hold?
  • Voting rights: What things can they vote on and how this will influence the school?

Additionally, in order to make sure that any potential conflicts of interest are laid bare, the following information needs to be disclosed to the public:

  • Any relevant business interests: Who they work for – are they part of a company who might benefit from school contracts?
  • Details of positions at other schools: Do they govern any other schools? If not, this doesn’t need to be filled in.
  • Any relationships at the school: If a governor has a relationship to another governor or member of staff at the school, you’ll need to put it down here. This includes spouses, partners and relatives.

Of course, these are just the new requirements – there’s still plenty of existing ones! Take a look at our Ofsted checklist for more information – you can print it out and tick off the areas you’re compliant in to give you a better idea of how you’re doing. Alternatively, perhaps you’d be interested in a free healthcheck by one of our website consultants – you don’t need to be with School Jotter, we’re here to help you!

INFOGRAPHIC: What to expect when you’re expecting a School Jotter website

Published: September 9, 2015

One of the most common questions our consultants get asked is “what’s your delivery process like and how long is it going to take?” This is something you should be asking all school website providers really, as it’ll inform how they’re going to be delivering your product. We’ve produced an infographic here to help explain some of what you might expect to experience over the School Jotter delivery cycle.

Click here for a free, no-obligation, no-payment-information-needed trial of School Jotter

School Jotter Of The Week: Fernvale Primary School

Published: July 4, 2014

With School Jotter website designs, every school can have a website design that’s completely personal and bespoke to them.
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