You know, the trouble with an online presence and social media is that it is so time-consuming with such little apparent gain. And for schools to be expected to maintain a respectable presence on the web, but not really for any commercial gain, can be a big ask. A school after all isn’t really selling any products or providing any financial services. The independent school, I suppose would be trying to attract paying customers with a schmick-as-possible web page, but the run-of-the-mill Government school doesn’t really have the same motivation.
So what is the value of having an online site if you are a Government School. Any?
Well, it is a good way to communicate with parents and the school community. It can save phone calls to the teacher and the front office, and recent updates can be shared via the school website.
Flexischools is a great facility that allows parents to advise the school of absences, place orders for lunch, order a uniform, pay for an excursion and all those other admin tasks that are better to be done online and self-serve by the parent.
So, agreed. A great school website should be able to at least offer that!
But a school’s website should be more than that. And a lot of schools are missing out on using their website to their advantage. This is the place where the school culture is on display to the world. So the school website and all of its inter-connected social media should match the culture that the school is striving for on the ground.
If the online presence is full of teacher jargon, education guidelines and other mundane information, then does it really fully engage with its community and promote a connection? Your school people might be wanting to develop strong bonds with the local community, but is that what the webpage is reflecting?
Check you school webpage now, and see if it in sync with your school’s cultural aims.