Prepare your school webpage FAQ

Create your School Report webpage 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.

WHY DO WE NEED A DEDICATED WEB PAGE?

  • Helps audience to easily and quickly find students' work
  • Provides a permanent archive of the reports
  • Helps avoid any potential child protection issues
  • Makes it clear that the reports are new and not from previous years

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

Then, on School Report News Day on 19 March 2015, schools can upload their reports to their websites.

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

And we've prepared answers to some FAQs about setting up web pages.

What should I do now?

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

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 19 March 2015 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.

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

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

When should I create the page?

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

Your school can appear as a link from the School Report map as soon as your page is ready.

As long as both pieces of School Report paperwork have been returned, the School Report team can link to the school website from the map of participating schools.

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

What guidelines should I follow?

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.

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.

Create your School Report webpage Putting your stories on a website gives them a potentially large audience

The safe and legal page also offers important 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.

You may want to check that the rest of the site is in line with your school internet and child protection policies. The related internet links on the right-hand site of this page, may be useful.

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.

Learn more about internet safety

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 (formerly known as Radiowaves), a website designed to host video and audio material for educational purposes.

The School Report team can offer some advice if you run into difficulties.

Can I link to social media 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.

Learn more about internet safety

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 containing links to social media, providing the school website complies with our guidelines in all other ways.

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

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.

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' 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.

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, for example:

Students from this school will be making the news for real on 19 March 2015 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.

Meanwhile, have a look at the news this school has produced in previous years below.

How can I make the page look good?

At the bottom of this page, there are some School Report graphics for you to 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.

Which software should I use?

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

You can become proficient in such programmes in a short space of time and create something that looks professional.

Increasingly though, schools are using their own content management systems which simplify much of the process, effectively giving you a template to which you can add your material. Check with your school's ICT experts about how your school webpages are put together.

My school doesn't have a website, what should I do?

There are several options for schools who don't have their own websites:

  • first of all, check with people in the school who look after any online presence your school has about whether it is possible to create a dedicated School Report page. It may be the case that there is a simple solution within the school.
  • if your local council runs simple "mini-websites" for all schools in your area, it is worth checking with the IT people responsible to see whether they can add a page for your content.
  • try contacting other local schools taking part in the project who do have websites to see if they would be interested in collaborating or hosting your content.
  • some schools have used Makewaves (formally known as Radiowaves), a website designed to host video and audio material for educational purposes.

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.

My site can't host video or audio, what should I do?

Some of the options outlined in the section above might be useful.

Some schools have used Makewaves (formally known as Radiowaves), a website designed to host video and audio material for educational purposes.

Avoid hosting content on social media sites. These sites should not be used by children under the age of 13.

As outlined above in the 'Can I use video-sharing websites?' section, 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.

School Report images for you to use

Right click the images, and select Save Picture As.

School Report banner
School Report logo

We also have a new School Report QR code available to use. This is essentially a type of barcode, which smartphones are able to scan and will take you straight to the School Report website:

School Report QR code

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School Report resources

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