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Schools need an online strategy

07/10/2016 Joanna

Schools should be investing in improving their digital strategies, new research has shown.

The study, which was conducted by Web Foundry, showed that more than 36 per cent of parents would be happier and engage more with their child's school if it improved its online approach.

The research collected information from 1,000 parents of UK school children in order to establish their opinions on the quality of school websites.

Results from this research highlighted the need for improvement, with 20 per cent unhappy with the layout and design of school websites, and a further 20 per cent saying that information on school websites isn't updated regularly enough.

In fact, while 93 per cent of parents use their school's website, just 36 per cent were happy with the usability, which is concluded to be a contribution to why just 17 per cent are using them on a weekly basis.

However, for schools, making changes might not be as easy as some might think. Gerard Flowers, headteacher of St Francis Xavier's College, said: "The amount of information which needs to be conveyed - often in a rapidly changing form - makes the smooth appearance of the website hard to maintain. It seems there is a compromise to be made between ease of access to lists of information and a clear, corporate image."

In addition to this, with an increasing number of people accessing the internet via mobile devices, it's more important than ever that school websites are optimised for mobile phones and tablets.

The research suggested that mobile apps could also be beneficial to schools. 79 per cent of parents said they would use a mobile app for their child's school. Specifically, they would want it to include alerts about the school calendar and reminders about parent evenings, school trips and other upcoming events.

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