The Department only sends information automatically to schools in England in exceptional cases having stopped regular paper mailings in December 2004. Discussions with head teachers and detailed research showed that schools wanted to be able to choose the information and guidance they needed, when they needed them.
Instead the Department implemented a new model communications approach that combines e-mail, internet, an online ordering system, Teachers TV, and Teachers Magazine—all help signpost legislation and guidance as well as presenting information in a user friendly way. This has been well received by schools and puts them in control of what they receive, when they receive it and the number of paper-based copies they require.
The Department now issues a fortnightly email to all schools highlighting key information of importance including legislation and guidance. In addition to this, the Department's communications directorate offers information and support to schools via a range of channels including:
Teachers Magazine and Governors Newsletter
Issued six times a year and distributed to teachers and governors homes and to schools.
TeacherNet, Standards Site and GovernorNet
Online information, resources and help for people who work in schools. Work is currently being taken forward to bring these sites into a single new website for schools—"SchoolsWeb".
A new innovative digital television channel launched in February 2005—the first of its kind. Teachers' TV is editorially independent of the Department and provides support, good practice from around the system. It also offers content of interest and value to broader communities including parents and others in the children's work force.
All of our work on communications (online ordering, Teachers Magazine, Governors Newsletter, Teachers TV, e-mail communications, and SchoolsWeb) build on the guiding principles that our communications must be accessible, add value, aim to reduce burdens, drive improved standards, and contribute where possible to greater efficiency.
An annual report is presented to Parliament each year, listing the documents sent from the Department and its agencies to all schools.