Using Email, SMS, Letter, In-app message communication templates

In Arbor there are two types of communication templates:

  • Preset templates - These templates are used by the system when sending out pre-set messages, such as following up with students who are absent. They cannot be used when sending a mail merge communication.
  • Templates your school have set up - These templates can be set up by you. Once you set up templates, you'll be able to click the Load Template button when creating a mail merge communication to load in one of the templates you've created. Please note that templates cannot be used when sending communications directly from student, parent or guardian profiles.
  • Detention and Behaviour Incident templates - These can only be used in Incident Workflows.



You'll need the School: Communications: Administer permission to access this page. If you don't have the permission, you'll need to ask your admin team to give you permission using these instructions.

Editing a preset template

You can tweak the preset templates used for features that send out messages like Attendance Follow-Up, Guardian Welcome to Arbor, Behaviour Incident Workflows and Sending exam timetables. Go to School > Communication > Templates and select the template you would like to edit.



You can edit the template text and merge fields, or revert the template to the default.

Top Tip: When creating letter templates you don't need to add a merge field for the address, as these are automatically included in letter headers by default. Adding this would mean the addressee details show twice.



Creating a new template

With this feature, you can create Custom Templates for Emails, SMS and Letters.

To create a new template go to School > Communication > Templates and select whether you want to create an Email, SMS, Letter or In-app message template.

Top Tip: The order here is not alphabetical, but the order they were created in.



Click +Add, and choose whether to set up a new template, base your template on a Custom Report from the Custom Report Writer, or use detention or Behaviour Incident information.

Please note that:

  • you can only set up a new template without data for in-app messages.
  • you cannot use Detention or Incident data for letters.



You will then be directed to the main Email, SMS, Letter or In-app message template page. Add a Template name. Create the template you wish to use and save the template.

Using the editor, the default font is PT Sans with a size of 14. It isn't possible to set this centrally, so you would need to amend it for each new draft or template. When returning to a draft, the settings already selected will remain applied, and won't revert to the default.



Use the template (if not a Detention or Behaviour Incident template) when setting up a communication.

Top Tip: The order here is not alphabetical, but the order they were created in.



Custom Report Writer Templates

You can link Communication templates to Custom Report data. Create a report in the Custom Report Writer, then go to School > Communications > Templates to create an Email, SMS or letter template using data from the report as merge field. Perfect for following up with parents about low attendance marks!

For more details on how to set up templates from custom report writer, click here.

Top Tip: If you want others to use your email/letter/SMS templates created from custom reports, you'll need to share your report with anyone who needs access to the template.


Was this article helpful?
2 out of 14 found this helpful
I'm still stuck!


  • How do we change the wording on the 'Follow up via Primary guardian via email' which is accessed via the Accounts follow up email section?

    We want to amend the template for this permanently so we do not have to keep amending the email every time we sent it chasing meal debts.


  • Hi Sarah, great question! I'm afraid it isn't possible to edit this communication message permanently.


Article is closed for comments.