Information about schools attracts about 5% of visits. One important transaction concerns the provision of free school meals, which matters to many parents in difficult times. From the school’s point of view it is also important to claim the benefit as it generates payment of the pupil premium, which lasts as long as the child is at the school, even if the entitlement ceases.
All councils except shire districts and districts in Northern Ireland (206 councils in all).
Most councils handle this task reasonably well, with 44% achieving our standard. The main area of weakness is a lack of information about how long the application process might take.
Check ‘coverage’ to see if your council has been surveyed. Go to councils page and select your council. Look for link to task report under 2016-17 results
NB Question highlighted in red is an ‘essential question’ that must be answered correctly for the council to meet the standard for this task. Questions highlighted in blue affect star ranking
|Questions to be answered "Yes"|
|• Does the home page lead me directly to information about school meals?||73%|
|• Is there explicit mention of free school meals?||71%|
|• Does it explain who qualifies for free school meals?||66%|
|• Is it clear how to claim free school meals?||69%|
|• Can I apply online to claim free school meals||38%|
|• If yes, is it clear what information is required before starting the application?||20%|
|• Does it tell me what happens after applying, and how long the process is likely to take?||12%|
|• Does a Google search lead me to the task?||99%|
|• Does a site search return the correct result listed in the first five results?||96%|
|• Is there an entry in the A to Z index?||70%|
|• Does this site use a third party service?||4%|
|• Would you recommend that other councils look at this implementation as an example of good practice?||10%|
|Out of date information, answered 'No'|
|• Did you come across any out-of-date information about this task?||16%|
|How effectively is this council promoting this as a task?|
|• How effectively is this council promoting this as a task?||2.0|
|Overall, how do you rate the journey plus task completion?|
|• Overall, how do you rate the journey plus task completion?||1.8|
Finding the task
Completing the task
None of my allocation described what happened after the application, whether or not I should tell the school about my applications or what my child would have to do at school (e.g. use a swipe card). There was a lack of information about how long the application process would take.
Provide additional guidance about how long the process takes, what to tell the school and what instructions to give your child about what they do at school.
Good encouragement to apply online. The information provided is very clear and easy to follow. The introductory page on the form also provides a good explanation about what evidence might be required and when.
Very easy to find, and informative. An explanation of how long the process takes, e.g. when you can expect confirmation that your application has been accepted, would be helpful for people.
Fantastic – a clear, simple information page, with an online form right there on the page which will check your eligibility using just your NHS number, as far as I can see. It appears Derbyshire is part of a pilot to do this, but in any case it is a good example of how you can present a range of information simply and clearly in one place.
Good clear information, simply explained.
Very well structured information. The only thing I couldn’t find was how long the process may take.
Very comprehensive content yet easy to read. Could perhaps be better signposted from the education landing page.
Easy to find and useful information, good online form and clear about how I go about applying.
We assessed this task primarily via the home page.