- The can help schools plan and manage their school communications, and build stronger connections with their school community.
- The Toolkit includes tips and advice on the channels of communication, the benefits of communications, web accessibility, using student photos and videos, managing media issues, sponsorship and advertising, using social media, planning events, maintaining websites and more.
- The Toolkit also includes information about other resources such as the Writing Style Guide for Schools.
School Communications Toolkit
Planning communications for a school audience
This page provides an overview of the:
- audiences that schools can consider in regards to communicating with their school community.
This page provides an overview of the:
- logistical considerations for school newsletters.
This topic contains the following requirements for schools:
- Under copyright rules, schools must own an image, or have permission from the photographer, to use images in their newsletter. This Toolkit provides sites where you can find images that comply with this policy or refer to for further information.
- Schools must undertake the following actions to ensure they maintain the privacy of students and their families when publishing their newsletters:
School websites are a useful source of information for parents, students and staff. It is generally the first place people will look for information on the school. The School Communications Toolkit provides advice on how schools can most effectively use their website.
- Schools need to ensure that their websites conform to all accessibility guidelines and comply with the and the . This means that:
- where linked documents have to be used (for example, a registration form that must be printed), a PDF document must also be available in a more accessible version like Word
- schools must ensure that videos have transcripts
- images must have descriptions called ‘alt text’ so it is captured by the screen reader software. For help see the
- content must be easy to read and accessible — this can be done by using plain English to describe things and writing for the reading level of a fourteen year old or younger.
- Content, files, attachments and links on the school website must be checked thoroughly to avoid mistakenly publishing personal or sensitive information such as lists of student health conditions, attendance records or mobile phone lists.
- If such information is published by mistake, remove it immediately. Schools can contact the Department’s Privacy team on or for further advice.
- Schools may consider using Google analytics to see which pages are most visited so they can provide content that is most engaging and relevant for their school community.
- As most people now use their smartphones and tablets to access websites, they prefer bite-sized information. Schools need to consider making their websites mobile-responsive.
- Clear and simple headings with key search terms will make it easier for people to find information they need. Avoid repeating same content, which result in lower searches.
- Schools are strongly encouraged to make sure they update their websites regularly so it is relevant and credible.
This page provides:
- an overview of different types of social media available
- advice and information to assist with setting up a profile for your school
- information about the risks associated with using social media.
Parent information kit
This page provides advice on what schools could include in their parent information kit to be distributed at the start of the year. It has information on the following suggested topics:
- about our school
- guidance for parents
- activities and recognition
- student expectations.
Communicating with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities
This page provides advice to schools on communicating with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities.
It also provides a link to a page with free translation services for schools (to be used for specific communications purposes).
Photos and videos
This page provides technical tips taking photography/films at schools and sharing the footage.
- For policy information regarding consent for students to be pictured/filmed, please refer to the .
- The (staff login required) provides template consent forms and a local school policy template as required by the above policy.
This page also has information regarding requests for third parties (such as film makers) to film at your school.
- In these circumstances, it is up to the principal to decide if they want to allow this or not.
- Schools can receive payment for the licensed use of school facilities for filming. Depending on the type of filming, a licence to use the school may be approved by the school council, the Minister for Education or nominated officers in the Victorian School Building Authority. For more information, refer to:
This page contains information about:
- working with the media on a good news story
- how to prepare for an interview
- responding to media enquiries.
Note: If your school is experiencing an incident that might draw media attention, or you have already been contacted by journalists about a crisis, contact your Senior Education Improvement Leader (SEIL) and the Media Unit to discuss options as a first step.
This page contains advice about:
- How to create an effective advertisement for your school
- Where schools can advertise
This page provides an outline of the content you should put in an event invitation and information for inviting special guests such as the Secretary or Minister.
This page provides contact details and list of the topics that the Department’s Communications Division can help you with:
- dealing with the media
- the School Update weekly e-Newsletter to schools
- social media
- the intranet
- the Department’s public website
- graphic design
- video production
Reviewed 12 November 2021