This article covers importing a timetable if:
- You've recently moved to Arbor and need to set up your classes
- You need to replace an incorrect timetable that has already been imported for next year
- You need to completely change your timetable part-way through the year if you do not want to do this in Arbor
To see how to import your timetable for next year (once you've promoted your students into their year groups and registration forms), please see our New School Year Setup guidance.
Make the changes you want in TimeTabler, making sure that the first day of your timetable file is the day after the last date the slots will run to in Arbor. First, check all start and end dates are correct in the TimeTabler export - there can be no overlap of dates. Make sure the days of the week are defined in the TimeTabler files.
Because you shouldn't edit the times of your timetable slots as this can impact your school’s statutory attendance, and you can't delete slots if you’ve begun to take attendance, you’ll need to end your current timetable slots.
- Go to Timetable > Timetable Administration > Timetable Slots. Click the boxes next to the slots you want to end or click the box next to the blue pencil icon to select all the slots.
- Click the blue pencil icon to select Edit Effective Dates.
- In the slide over, set the Effective date as the first day of your academic year. Change the end date to the last day the lessons should run at that time, then scroll down to the bottom of the slide over to confirm the changes and save them.
Once the timetable slots have been ended, wait at least 20mins before importing the new timetable. This is so all future lessons in the background will have been deleted. Check there are no lessons scheduled after the end date for a few example courses from School > Programmes > Courses.
Importing your new TimeTabler file
Go to School > Timetable > Timetable Administration > Import Timetable.
Arbor allows you to import a timetable file from TimeTabler. Once you have generated your TimeTabler file, upload it to Arbor and you will then enter the TimeTabler File Import Wizard.
Click +Add to import a new TimeTabler file.
After you have uploaded your TimeTabler file, you will enter the TimeTabler File Import Wizard.
Academic Year: Arbor will recognise the academic year stated within your timetable file and look to see if there is a corresponding academic year that already exists on Arbor. If there isn’t, the import process will ask you to select a date range for the new academic year you want to set up. This would occur when you are importing a timetable for a new upcoming academic year. Otherwise, if you are importing a new timetable for the current academic year, the academic year will remain the same and not be editable.
Days per Cycle: The import process also recognises and outputs the ‘Days per cycle’ from your TimeTabler file. e.g. 10 days per cycle means that you have an alternating timetable every other week. If the ‘Days per cycle’ from the file does not match what already exists on your Arbor system, you will be asked to confirm exactly what you want the days per cycle to be.
Year Groups: Arbor will show you all year groups contained within the TimeTabler file. If we recognise an existing year group on Arbor, you will have the option to ‘Map’ the year group from the file, to the existing year group on Arbor. If we do not recognise an existing similar year group on Arbor, you are able to ‘Import’ the year group, which will create it as a brand new year group on Arbor. You also have the option to ‘Skip’ import for any year groups but with this option, all registration forms and courses and classes within the TimeTabler file, that should be linked to the relevant year group, will need to be manually linked after the entire import process is complete.
Registration Forms: Arbor will show you all registration forms contained within the TimeTabler file. If we recognise an existing registration form on Arbor, you will have the option to ‘Map’ the registration form from the file, to the existing registration form on Arbor. If we do not recognise an existing similar registration form on Arbor, you are able to ‘Import’ the registration form, which will create it as a brand registration form on Arbor. You also have the option to ‘Skip’ import for any registration forms but with this option, all courses and classes within the timeTabler file, that should be linked to the relevant registration form, will need to be manually linked after the entire import process is complete.
- Skip - does not create that property for your timetable
- Map - links the property you are importing, with an existing property on Arbor
- Import - creates a new property on Arbor
Sites: Arbor will show you all sites contained within the TimeTabler file. If we recognise existing sites on Arbor, with similar names to the sites within the file, you will have the option to ‘Map’ these. If we do not recognise existing similar sites on Arbor, you are able to ‘Import’ sites, which will create them as brand new sites on Arbor. You also have the option to ‘Skip’ imports for any sites but with this option, rooms that you would like to import from within the file, will not automatically be mapped to the correct site, and you will need to manually link sites to rooms, after the entire import process is complete.
Rooms: Similar to ‘Sites,’ Arbor will show you all rooms contained within the TimeTabler file and you will have the option to ‘Map,’ ‘Import’ or ‘Skip’ each one. Skipping any rooms means that lessons on your timetable will not have those rooms assigned, and you will need to assign rooms manually after the import process is complete.
Teachers: Similar to step 1 and step 2, Arbor will show you all teachers that are contained within the TimeTabler file and you will have the option to ‘Map,’ ‘Import’ or ‘Skip’ each one. Skipping any teachers means that lessons on your timetable will not have those teachers assigned, and you will need to assign teachers manually after the import process is complete. For any teachers you ‘Import,’ a new teacher profile will be created on Arbor. As such, it is important that you don’t import teachers if they should in fact be mapped to an existing teacher.
Subjects: Arbor will show you all subjects that are contained within the TimeTabler file and you will have the option to ‘Map,’ or ‘Skip’ each one. For each subject, you can map against a subject from a default list of subjects that Arbor generates for all schools in the UK. If you ‘Skip’ any subject, courses and classes will still appear on your timetable, but you will not be able to filter school or staff timetable outputs by the skipped subject.
Staff Setup: If new Teachers were imported in STEP 3, you are required to add an email address and business role to the new teachers you are importing. This is to ensure that all new teachers are set up properly on Arbor. You cannot complete the import wizard without completing this step.
Once you have imported, mapped or skipped all fields in your TimeTabler file, you will have the chance to review all errors, updates and timetable slots, before publishing your final timetable. Click on the ‘Finish’ button of the import wizard.
You will see a grid where the file status has switched from 'In Progress' to 'Completed'. Use this grid to view all errors and Arbor updates that have occurred as a result of your imported file. You can also go to view your timetable slots.
If there are any errors, click on the 'Errors' cell in order to view them. If any errors exist, check if the TimeTabler file has the correct data regarding the error, fix it and try to import the file again.
If there is no missing data from TimeTabler and you're still getting these errors, please get in touch with us.
Error types include:
- Academic year is missing from TimeTabler XML file.
- Missing site name in TimeTabler XML file
- Missing room code in TimeTabler XML file.
- Missing room name in TimeTabler XML file
- Teacher name is in invalid format in TimeTabler XML file
- Missing subject name in TimeTabler XML file
- Missing subject code in TimeTabler XML file
- Missing year group name from TimeTabler XML file
- Missing registration form short name from TimeTabler XML file
- Room cannot be found for lesson
- Subject cannot be found for lesson
- Day cannot be found for lesson
- Period cannot be found for lesson
- Lesson end time cannot be determined
Click on the Updates field to view all new properties that have been created on Arbor as a result of the imported TimeTabler file. You can click on each property and you will be taken to the page on Arbor where that property exists.
Click anywhere else on a row of the grid, to view imported timetable slots for the imported file.
Your timetable slots from the TimeTabler file you have imported will be flagged as Provisional and will not appear on any timetable outputs such as the school timetable until they are scheduled.
Review each timetable slot one-by-one and make sure that everything is correct then select the timetable slot(s) you are happy with using the checkbox and click Schedule. These timetable slots will be moved to the Scheduled tab as they are now live on your system.
Importing a new TimeTabler file mid-year
You can import a new timetable from TimeTabler at any time. When you import a new TimeTabler file, Arbor will check for which academic year the file is for. If it is for the existing academic year, then the import TimeTabler file wizard will look to see which timetable slots have changed and for which effective dates. New timetable slots will be created for new courses/classes within the TimeTabler file, and existing courses/classes will have their effective dates extended if all that has changed is the time period.
If you have imported your timetable for next year and want to replace this with a new timetable, you'll need to delete the slots you have already set up from Timetable > Timetable Administration > Timetable Slots. Just change the academic year to next year in the filters, then click the box next to the blue pencil icon, then click the blue pencil icon to select Delete.
Effective dates: these are the dates within an academic year that a timetable slot is active for. For example, you may decide that your timetable slots for a new timetable that you import at the start of the academic year, have effective dates from September 1st 2016 - July 22nd 2017. (You will set the effective date when using TimeTabler itself and it will exist as property within your TimeTabler file) You then generate a new timetable file at the end of winter term from TimeTabler, with effective dates from January 1st 2016 - July 22nd. After the import of the new TimeTabler file, all new courses and classes from the file will be created as new lessons on Arbor, and any timetable slots from the file that match with existing timetable slots on Arbor, will be mapped but their effective dates will be updated.
Can I import a TimeTabler file early?
You cannot import a TimeTabler file that covers two academic years. If you would like to create a timetable that becomes effective towards the end of the summer term, and which remains effective at the start of the next academic year, you must import two different TimeTabler files.
One file will have effective dates covering a portion of the current academic year, whilst the second TimeTabler file must be imported with dates covering the new academic year, even if the contents of the timetable are exactly the same.