Preparing your school webpage: FAQ

School Reporters working in a radio studio Image copyright BBC School Report
Image caption Students may also have ideas about the layout for your webpage

School Report gives students a real audience, by linking to their work from the BBC website.

Schools are asked to create a dedicated page on their school website and send the web address (or URL) to and we will link to it from the map of participating schools.

You can use the official School Report graphics, which can be found at the foot of this page.

Then, on School Report News Day on 16 March 2017, schools can upload their reports to their websites.

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about setting up web pages.

Where should I start?

If you're not technically minded, don't worry! The best thing to do is to speak early on to your school's IT department or the people who look after the school website.

You need to create a dedicated School Report web page on the school website so that people can find the students' work. It has to be accessible to the public, so don't use internal websites (or intranets) or pages that need a password.

Until your pupils' reports are ready, the page should contain a "holding" or "come back later" message. You can copy and paste this:

Students from this school will be making the news for real on 16 March 2017 as they take part in BBC News School Report. We aim to publish the news by 1600 GMT on News Day, so please save this page as a favourite and return to it later.

Have a click through to examples from our School Report map if you want an idea of how other schools have gone about it.

Once the page is live, email the web address (URL) to the School Report team via so we can link to your webpage.

When should I create the page?

As soon as possible! It saves a lot of hassle in the busy run-up to News Day when you and the School Reporters would probably rather be focusing on getting great interviews than sorting out technical issues.

As soon as your page is ready, the School Report team can link to your website from the map of participating schools. - as long as both pieces of School Report paperwork have been returned!

Once live, some schools use the page to reflect what's happening in the build-up to the News Day, for example adding team photos and encouraging pupils to post news reporting ideas.

Can I use the school homepage?

No. It is important to create a dedicated web page, so the BBC can link directly to the students' journalistic work. The fewer the clicks, the more likely you are to retain the audience.

Also, after the News Day, the homepage of a school website will inevitably change, but creating a dedicated page means there is a permanent record of their work.

Can I use the same page as last year?

Yes. If your school has participated in School Report in previous years, you can use the existing web page, but remember to label it clearly.

Remember, you risk losing people's attention if they think your web page is out of date. A simple message at the top of the page can be helpful, such as the example mentioned above.

We can't publish stories on our school website, what should we do?

If you can't publish School Report content on your school website, all is not lost!

You could look at hosting stories on another website that you consider appropriate and that is in line with your school's policy. See if your local council or academy sponsor could help host your content.

Some schools have used websites such as Makewaves, a website designed to host video and audio material for educational purposes.

You could create a web page using a number of different programmes, with many people using software such as Microsoft Expression or Adobe Dreamweaver.

If you do use a site other than your school site, check the terms and conditions to make sure it is suitable for 11 to 16-year-olds and that there are no advertisements on the site.

Image copyright BBC School Report
Image caption The golden rule-of-thumb is to use first names only

What guidelines should I follow?

The golden rule is to use first names only. For child protection reasons, the BBC cannot link to a page which contains the surnames of anyone younger than 18. This also applies to blog entries and comments posted on the page.

Refer to the School Report guidelines on staying safe and legal which highlight some of the issues anyone should consider when publishing content which features children. This page also offers guidance about media law issues such as copyright, libel and contempt of court as well as editorial issues such as taste and decency.

Be aware that the BBC website is very popular. By virtue of a link from the BBC, students will have a large audience but people will also be able to access other pages on the school website.

How can I make the page look good?

At the bottom of this page, there are some School Report graphics you can use on your dedicated web page. However, they can only be used by schools who have completed their paperwork, and within the context of the project.

It is also a good idea to incorporate the design of your school website to create a uniform look.

It is best to avoid a design which relies on large pictures as it will make pages slow to download and could put off potential viewers. However, you might like to add photographs of students taking part in School Report or the school logo.

Can I use video-sharing websites?

Our agreement with the head teacher of every school taking part explicitly states that the school, not the BBC, is responsible for the school website. Teachers need to decide on the most suitable way of hosting content according to their school's social media, internet safety and child protection policies.

For this reason, we are happy to link to school websites which use YouTube (or similar video-sharing websites) to embed content, provided the school website complies with our guidelines in all other ways. We will not, however, link directly to YouTube.

Some schools have used websites such as Makewaves, a website designed to host video and audio material for educational purposes.

Can I link to social media websites?

Providing the school website complies with our guidelines in all other ways, we are happy to link to school websites containing links to social media.

Generally though, we do not recommend including links to social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter from your school website, as they are designed to be used by children aged 13 or over. There is a risk of students experiencing cyberbullying via such sites.

If your school website contains an automated Twitter feed, you may want to look into deactivating it or at least monitoring it during the busy time around News Day.

Why do we need a School Report webpage?

A dedicated page means the audience can find students' work easily and quickly. It also provides a permanent archive of students' reports and makes it clear that the reports are new and not from previous years. The page can also help avoid any potential child protection issues.

School Report images for you to use

Right click the images, and select Save Picture As.

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