Introduction to Arbor - Guide for new Attendance Officers

This guide and further training

This guide is part of our series of introduction guides for new users.

If you'd like further training, take a look at the services we offer here: Customer Education and Training Services. Then contact your Account Manager if supported by Arbor, or your Support Partner if not supported by Arbor.


Getting started and logging in

If you have not logged in to Arbor yet, welcome! Your school is now live and it’s time to log in.

We designed Arbor to open data up to everyone and automate repetitive tasks to save you time. The attendance area in Arbor has been specially built to allow teachers to take attendance, and to allow attendance officers like you to tidy up marks and analyse and report on your school’s attendance statistics.

This guide will give you an introduction to attendance and will teach you how to do the most important actions in an Attendance Officer’s day-to-day life.

To log in, launch an internet browser - we recommend Google Chrome, and go to your school's URL e.g. http://[exampleschoolname] Follow the instructions in the Logging in for the first time section of this article: Log in and out of the School MIS as staff

If this does not work, get in contact with someone else in your school’s office team who will be able to send you a reset password email and follow our troubleshooting guidance in this article.

My Homepage

This is the first screen that you will see when you log in to your school's Arbor site.

my homepage.png

  1. Top menus and site links
  2. Search
  3. Favourites
  4. My Calendar
  5. To do
  6. Alerts
  7. School notices
  8. Key performance indicators (KPIs)

Take a look here for a full breakdown of how you can use each section: My Homepage - your personalised Arbor Homepage

Why does my view look different to teachers?

If you have no teaching or pastoral responsibilities, your homepage will look different to other staff at your school:

  • You won’t see incomplete attendance registers in your To Do section.
  • You won’t get most alerts as you aren’t linked to specific students.
  • You won’t see the My Students tab, but you can drill down into your whole school KPIs.

How attendance works in Arbor

Now you’ve logged in and had a look around your site, it’s important to get familiar with the attendance pages, and take a look at your school’s settings. Go to Students > Attendance in the top navigation bar.

When can attendance be taken?

First, we recommend you check your school’s lesson times and roll call times are so you’ll know when attendance is being taken and when to follow-up with marks.

Your school will have decided what your morning and afternoon Roll Call times are when they set up your school’s site. The Roll Call times dictate when statutory attendance is taken and usually fall within your AM and PM registration periods. You’ll need to ask your Arbor Champion or admin staff what your school's roll-call times are.



Any attendance marks falling within the Roll Call times will count towards the statutory roll call mark, and Arbor will automatically take the best mark as a child’s statutory attendance mark. You can see how this works here: Roll Call times

For more information on the attendance marks available, and the hierarchy for what counts as the best mark, take a look at this article.

You can see when lessons are scheduled to take place on each day by going to School > Timetable > School Timetable > Lesson Timetable (List). Here you can see all the scheduled classes for the week in chronological order.



In the example above, you can see that registration at my school begins at 8:00 am. This means that statutory attendance for the morning will be taken from 8:00 am.

The registers themselves will be available to open up to one hour before the session is timetabled to start (in this example, 7:00 am). However, we always advise teachers to wait until they need to take attendance to open the register. Before this, the button to open the register will be greyed out.

Check your register settings

You’ll also want to make sure your registers will have the settings your school needs before your teachers take attendance. You can choose whether to show the past week or today’s attendance in registers and choose to restrict the absence attendance marks available for teachers to use: Check your lesson settings

When a teacher is taking attendance (click here to see how they can do this), or you’re editing the register, you can see an info panel on the right-hand side showing their attendance so far that day or week.

When you choose to restrict the attendance marks, you can select to only allow teachers to be able to select “N - Reason for absence not yet provided” or a pre-filled planned absence mark.



Managing Attendance

Seeing and inputting today’s attendance

When you go to Students > Attendance, the first page you see will be the Daily Attendance page. On this page, you can see all the registers for the current morning or afternoon along with any marks already input: Seeing all of today's AM or PM registers on the attendance dashboard

At the top of the page, you can use the filters to select past time slots to view or choose to only view registers for one type of event e.g. interventions.



Click the green button to download an emergency evacuation register as a PDF that you can print out. You can see more information about the format of this here: Printing an Emergency Evacuation Register

You can click each register to access the Lesson Dashboard for the class or open the register. For more information see:



Ensuring registers are completed

Go to Incomplete Registers from the menu on the left-hand side to see incomplete registers and send reminders to teachers to complete them. You can see more information here: Completing incomplete attendance registers



Marking students absent before attendance is taken

Planned absences are used to log when a student will be absent from school and can be used to choose a pre-fill mark that will automatically populate in the registers. You can see how to use planned absences here: Adding and viewing Planned Absences and future pre-fill marks



Following up with student absences

To follow up with any unexplained student absences from the attendance dashboard for today go to Absentees > Absentees by date from the left-hand menu.

Use the filters at the top of the page to narrow down to only display certain marks (such as the Ncode), then take actions to follow up with guardians or change the marks. You can see how to do this here: Following up on absences with guardians



Following up with lates

To see students and how late they were, go to Students > Attendance > Latecomers. On this page, you can see all of the students who were late today. You can also use the filters to report on students who are persistently late and view late statistics for student groups. You can see full guidance here: Analysing latecomers

Log a behaviour incident or take further actions using the bulk actions. Top Tip: If your school has automatic behaviour workflows set up, you can use these to automatically assign detentions or notify staff or guardians.



Editing attendance marks

You can edit individual attendance marks from most of Arbor’s attendance pages, and from the Student Profile by clicking Attendance > Marks (By Date) on the left-hand side.



You can edit past attendance marks from our bulk pages: Bulk editing attendance marks

Top Tip: To edit marks historic statutory marks imported from your school's previous MIS, you’ll need to use the Imported Marks page instead.



Use the Roll Call Marks page to view statutory AM and PM attendance marks for all students in your school for up to 10 days. Drill down into different student groups and take further actions such as adding students to an intervention or editing a student’s mark. You can see more details on how this page works here: How to use the Roll Call Marks attendance page


Reporting on Attendance

Top Tip: To report on attendance for a certain group of students, or all but a few students, use Custom Groups! Report on them anywhere with a Students filter.



Spotting trends in student absences

On the left-hand side of the page, you can access various pages which allow you to spot trends of absence:

  • Absentees by date - All students absent on a specific date (shown in the Following up with student absences section)
  • Broken Weeks - Students with at least one unauthorised absence, broken down by week.
  • Continuous Absence - Students who have had at least 1 day of consecutive absence from the selected date. Click the column header to sort by the greatest number of absences.
  • Correlated/Siblings - Pairs of students who often have absences at the same time.
  • Persistent Absentees - Students with the highest absences during the academic year.

Once you’ve spotted these trends, you can take action to prevent these trends from continuing. You can use the bulk actions on the left-hand side of these pages to follow up with guardians or take further actions, such as enrolling the students into an intervention.


Creating attendance statistics reports

The Statistics page is an extremely powerful page you can use to create almost any type of attendance report. Please note: If you want to schedule this report to be sent out, you’ll need to instead set up a custom report (see the next section for how to do this).

By using the filters at the top of the page, you can create a report of any student group’s attendance and compare it to other student groups. Take a look at this article to see how to create some example reports: Viewing statistics for attendance



You may also want to create a 100% attendance report. You can see how to generate this from a few different pages here, depending on your needs: Creating a 100% attendance report

For many custom reports, you can send follow-up communications right from the report using the Send Mail Merge button. You can insert a column from the custom report right into the body text using the Merge Fields option.



Export and print registers and marks

On the Reports page, you can generate these printable reports:

  1. Attendance Certificates in bulk or an Attendance Certificate for single students
  2. A Statutory Marks Report
  3. A Weekly Printable Register or Printable lesson registers
  4. An export of Marks Week by Week for a specific date range

Take a look here for how to generate all these printouts: Print weekly registers, attendance reports and certificates



Top Tips

How to make the most of Arbor

Take a look at our resources for tips and tricks for using Arbor:

Don't have the level of access you need?

In Arbor, access to different pages, and the ability to action different tasks on pages (such as clicking a button) are based on what permissions you have.

Please see this article for how to gain access: I don't have access and need more permissions

How you can get further help

Go to the Help Centre at or click Help Centre in the top right of your Arbor site to open it in a new tab. Here you can find FAQs, guides, video tutorials, and free online training, so you can learn however suits you best.

Take a look at this section of the Help Centre for how to get started, including what to do if Arbor isn’t working, and how to get in touch if you need further help: Using Arbor, the Help Centre and the Community


Where can I give feedback?

The Arbor Roadmap shows you what we’re working on now, what’s coming up next, and those shiny new features and enhancements we’re looking to release a bit further down the road. If you have feedback you can see how to submit this here: Our Product Roadmap and how to submit feedback

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