Creating supply teachers, cover teachers or agency staff

If you want your supply teachers to be able to log into Arbor and take attendance or take other actions, you've got a few options for how to manage this:

  • Create an individual staff profile for each supply teacher (Recommended)
  • Create supply teacher accounts for your supply teachers to use - please note that we do not recommend this for data protection purposes.


  • Staff Profile: All Staff: Basic HR Administration - Create a new member of staff 
  • User Accounts: Administer - Change the password for accounts

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


Option 1 - Creating individual staff profiles (recommended approach)

We always recommend creating a staff profile for each individual user. This allows you to manage permissions and access to Arbor on an individual basis.

Add the staff member

Follow the instructions in this article: How do I Add a New Staff Member and create a new staff profile? 

Make sure you give them a business role to allow them to access the registers to take attendance - we recommend the Supply Teacher business role.

Top Tip: Add an end date for their business role if they are covering for a temporary period to remove their access after this date. 



Do we need to include the staff member in the Workforce Census?

The DfE advises on page 11 of their School workforce census: business and technical specification, that you do not need to include these staff contracts in your census:

  • temporary staff with service of less than 28 days, who are not expected to complete service of 28 days or more by census day
  • casual staff without contracts, employed on an ad hoc basis.

If you need to exclude staff, you can see how to do this here: Excluding staff or contracts from the Workforce Census

You may need to include these staff in the headcount numbers on census day: On the day staffing information

Recording a contract

If the staff member does not fall into the above categories for exclusion, you will need to record a Contract on their staff profile.

For agency staff, even though they are not employed directly by the school, the DfE still requires submission of salary information. You will need to either:

  • record their daily rate, and give them a salary of £0.
  • add their salary, and do not add a daily rate.

What do we do when their contract is over?

When their contract is over, please use these instructions to end their access, employment and their contract: End a staff member's employment


Option 2 - Creating special 'supply' staff profiles (not recommended)

The second option is to create one or multiple supply teacher accounts for your short-term supply teachers to use. However, if you choose this option there are a few things to be aware of:

  • The supply teacher account will always have an active business role or permissions, so anyone with the password and username will be able to log in and make changes. As such, we advise that the supply teacher using the account sets their own password when they log in for the first time and that you change the password to the account after each use and only give out the password to the next supply teacher. See the section at the end of this article for instructions.
  • If all your supply teachers only use one supply account, this can become confusing for cover responsibilities and timetabling. As such, we advise you to set up more than one supply account so a supply teacher can have their own account for the duration they are with you.

Adding a dummy profile

To add a supply teacher account, go to School > All Staff > Add New Staff Member. Add in any details you want to include, then choose the relevant business role (we recommend Supply Teacher) and click Create Staff Member.




Excluding from the Workforce Census

As this staff member comprises multiple people, you should not report this in the census.

Go to the Contracts section on the left-hand side of their Staff Profile. Click the Include in school workforce census field, and in the slide over, untick the box then click Save Changes.

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Changing the dummy profile's password

To change the password for the account, go to their Staff Profile and click into the User Details section.

In the slide over, click the Change Password button.



Type in the new password, then click Change password. You can then share this new password with your new supply teacher.



Giving access to more registers

Once you set them up, you'll then be able to select the staff member when assigning cover for the absent staff member, and they will be able to see the class on their dashboard under My Items > My Cover.

Once set up, if you want them to access more lessons than they have been assigned as cover for, take a look at this article.


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