Accessibility statements for schools and academies

On 23 September 2020 new regulations came into force aimed at improving website accessibility for public bodies. Whilst schools and academies are not covered by all the accessibility requirements, they must still publish an Accessibility Statement and meet some aspects of the regulations.

For schools, this means that the content on your website that people need to use in order to use your services must be accessible. This could include content such as registration and application forms, term dates or uniform details.

You must also be aware of the use of PDFs and documents on your website. It is difficult to make documents like these accessible, so the best option is usually to make this content available on an accessible web page.

What is an Accessibility Statement?

You need to publish a webpage explaining to users how accessible your website is and detail any aspects that are not accessible to all users. The accessibility statement must be written in plain English, as most users will not be experts.

What should it include?

Your statement needs to cover:

  • whether your website or mobile app is ‘fully’, ‘partially’ or ‘not’ compliant with accessibility standards
  • if it’s not fully compliant, which parts of your website or mobile app do not currently meet accessibility standards and why (for example, because they are exempt, or it would be a disproportionate burden to fix things)
  • how people can get alternatives to content that’s not accessible to them
  • how to contact you to report accessibility problems - and a link to the website that they can use if they’re not happy with your response.

Can I use an online tool to create one?

Yes, but these may not cover everything you need to include in your statement. GOV.UK have published a sample statement, which is a better option, but to produce a fully compliant statement you do need to have an understanding of what makes a website accessible or not. Without this technical knowledge, it is unlikely that you will be able to explain this to your users.

How can the Web Support Team help me?

Now is a great time to review your web content for compliance web accessibility and the latest Ofsted standards. Our specialists can provide a detailed audit and repair action plan as well as offering an all-inclusive repair service that includes a fully drafted Accessibility Statement. Email for a chat or visit us on the Services2Schools WebShop.

What’s more, if you choose to upgrade to a new website you can be assured that the site we produce will fully meet the regulations. This means your site will be future proof should the government decide to fully include schools in the accessibility regulations.