Problems publishing School Profiles

04 Jan 2012

Since the 2005 Education Act, schools have been required to publish their school profile. Although change is on the way, this remains a statutory requirement on all governing bodies. But it seems the Department for Education is frustrating schools that are trying to do what the law requires.

Caddington Village School in Bedfordshire believes the school profile is a 'useful reporting tool'. Its chair of governors, Mike Smith, believes it is 'less onerous than the old-style Annual General Meetings' and is a helpful summary of a school's achievements.

But when the school tried to fulfil its legal duty by publishing the profile it was unable to access the necessary template which is usually available at the Department for Education's website.  It seems access to the template has been suspended.

In response to an enquiry from Mr Smith, the Department explained that access had been 'revoked' whilst the school profile is under government review.  In September 2011 the government said it planned to end the requirement to publish the school profile as it 'had not proved to be the most effective way of capturing the information parents wanted to know' . Only about 1 in 5 schools appeared to have been updating their school profiles.

However, as Mike Smith says, it seems odd to prevent schools publishing their profiles when they wish to do so and while it remains a legal requirement. 

It does seem strange that the government should wish to restrict the information governors are providing to  parents.

Is anyone else out there having similar problems?



User Comments

Andrew fielder - 04 Jan 2012

School profile

The fact that 80% of schools didn't fill this form tells us all we need to know, it's a waste of time. It was devised by the labour gov at the height of its ambitions to create as much useless bureaucracy and form filling as possible. An even more startling fact than 20% of schools actually bothering to fill it in is that only about half a dozen or so parents ever bothered to look at any anyway! I admire the present gov for deleting it. Let's stop wasting time fulfilling pointless bureaucratic tasks and get on with the business of running our schools.

Steve Heal - 05 Jan 2012

statutory responsibilities

I have just tried to edit my school profile and can't log in either. There's a message about the website being under development. Good news. Thank you Mike.

What's worrying about this story is the 20% figure: it identifies the workload issues that exist for headteachers. Only one in five has managed to do something that is a statutory requirement. It's not that 80% of us knew we could get away without doing it. For most heads it was one more item on the long list of things they haven't had time to do.
And as one of the goodie-goodie 20%, I now wish I had done something more useful!

Andrew Hobbs - 06 Jan 2012

School Profile

The danger of classifying anything that we don't want to do as a 'pointless bureaucratic task' is that we lose sight of why a particular requirement was originally introduced. In this case it was to encourage the accountability of governors to parents and the community about the running of the school. Surely something which should be core to 'the business of running of schools'. At a time when there are increasing concerns within the wider educational community and beyond about the loss of local accountability through the aggressive implementation of the revised academies programme, this remains a key question. I am not going to defend school profiles, especially when they are bland PR exercises that provide no useful purpose to anyone. However, when they are developed to become shared narratives of the local context which invite and build engagement with parents and other local partners then they offer exciting potential for democratic engagement and accountability. More details about how this can be achieved is available through our website -

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