Create and use Custom Groups

Custom groups (sometimes referred to as user-defined groups in other systems) can be used to manage groups of students, guardians or staff for specific purposes, such as filtering on our built-in reporting pages or easily contacting them.

You can set up an Alert for a custom group, so that whenever someone joins or leaves, a person you specify will be notified in the Alerts on their homepage or via email.

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For example, you may want to create a custom group for Vulnerable students. You can use Custom reports in: 

  • Custom Report Writer - Use filters to include or exclude students in certain custom groups
  • Assessments - Filter our Analysis pages by custom group
  • Attendance - Filter the Bulk Edit Marks pages to view and update attendance marks
  • Trips, clubs or School Shop to take payments for a certain group of students, such as applicants starting next year
  • Many more places! 

Permissions

  • Custom Group: Administer - set up new custom groups, manage alert settings and manage the people in the custom group
  • Custom Group: View - receive custom group Alerts (if specified in the setup) and view basic information about the custom group

If you don't have the permission, you'll need to ask your admin team to give you permission using these instructions.

Creating a Custom Group

The way you'll need to set up your custom group varies depending on whether it's for current students, future joiners, or for activities taking placer next academic year.

For current students this year

Go to School > School Structure > Custom Groups or Students > Enrolment > Ad Hoc > Custom Groups. Select the current academic year and click the Add New Custom Group button.

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In the slide over, add a group name, and choose who will be included in your custom groups. Then click Create Custom Group.

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For applicants and admissions this year, or trips, clubs or School Shop for next year

This feature is useful when you want to take payments for a trip happening next year, or print labels or Data Collection Sheets for applicants. You don't need to set these up for communications - see how to use our out-of the box segments here.

Go to School > School Structure > Custom Groups or Students > Enrolment > Ad Hoc > Custom Groups. Select the current academic year and click the Add New Custom Group button.

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Want to select students who will be joining your school next year? Change the student drop-down to All. When adding students later on, the dates need to be for the current academic year, not next year.

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You will then be taken to the Custom Group Overview.

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Enrolling Students

Adding Students Manually

If you have specific students you need to add to a custom group, you can add them manually by selecting them.

Adding students manually

From the Members tab, click +Add in the Current and Future Members section.

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Choose the students to enrol in this group, and the date range they will be enrolled in this group for, then click Add Members.

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Top Tip: Press your Ctrl+A (Windows) or Cmd+A (Mac) keys to select all students, then just click any students you don't want to add to the group - great for excluding just a few students when reporting! 

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The students you have added will then appear in the Current and Future Members section.

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Automatically Enrolling Students

If all the students you want to add to your custom group have similar characteristics, such as being in a certain demographic or having a certain % attendance, you can automatically add them using membership criteria.

Adding students using automatic membership criteria

Adding automatic memberships to Custom Groups of students allows you to set up a Custom Group that can change regularly. For example, Year 1 students with greater than 80% attendance this week.

Please note: Applying an automatic enrollment will override and remove any students added into the group manually.

Once you have created the Custom Group you can select and set the membership criteria. Click the 'Setup' tab and go to the 'Automatic Membership Criteria' section.

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Using the drop-down list, select criteria for automatic membership. In this example, I want to include students with a specific percentage of Unauthorised Absence marks. Then click Add Membership Criterion. 

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In the slide over that appears, add the dates the criteria will apply, and any relevant filter conditions. In the example, students will be added to the group if they had more than 15% Unauthorised Absence last term. Then click Add Membership Criterion.

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Any new members will then display in the Members tab.

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To delete an automatic enrolment, go back to the Setup tab and select the tick box next to the criteria, then click the blue pencil icon.

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Setting up Alerts for Custom Groups

Top Tip: We recommend setting up alerts for custom groups after adding members to a custom group (manually or using automatic criteria). This is so staff are not sent a large number of alerts when loading members into the group.

Setting up the alerts

To set up alerts, go to the Setup tab and click into Custom group alerts.

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Choose whether to alert staff about:

  • Joiners
  • Leavers
  • Joiners and leavers
  • None - revert your settings to Not set up

Choose which staff to alert. You can select multiple from:

  • Role in relation to student e.g. Head of Year - staff must be linked to the student in this role, not just given the business role.
  • Specific staff members

Choose how to alert. You can select one or both from:

  • Email - this will be sent to the default email address on the staff members' profile
  • Homepage alert

If you select none for any of the options, there will be no Alerts.

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The alerts will then be set up - you can click on it to see more information or to edit the details.

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Getting the alerts

Top Tip: Staff will only receive alerts for students who have joined or left the group after the alerts were set up.

Staff who were chosen to be alerted will be emailed from the school's email address. You can see what email address this is from the Contact Details section in School > School Details.

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Staff who were chosen to be alerted via the homepage will see this in the Alerts section.

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Click on the alert to view the information about the custom group. Please note that if you don't have the Custom Group: Administer permission, you won't be able to click into the Alert Setup details.

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Moving a student between custom groups

For Manually Enrolled students

If a student needs to be moved from one group to another group, go to the Members tab.

Tick the boxes next to the relevant students and then click the blue pencil icon and select Transfer students.

You can also remove students from the group in this way.

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In the slide over, select the group you wish to transfer the students to, then click Transfer member. They will then appear in the member's list for the other group, provided the other group uses manual enrolments.

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For Automatically Enrolled students

You cannot directly move automatically enrolled students from one group to another. Instead, you will have to remove the automatic enrollment from one group, then add it to the other group. 

To remove an automatic enrolment, go to the Setup tab.

Click the boxes next to the criteria you would like to remove, then click the blue pencil con. 

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After confirming the changes, your students enrolled as part of the membership criteria you have deleted will no longer be members of the group.

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2 comments
  • It is also possible to enrol students into a custom group from the custom report writer, by selecting the students and then 'Add to custom report'.

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  • Hi James, not just from the Custom Report Writer. In most places where you can see boxes next to student's names, you can add them to a custom group from there!

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