Managing data retention for your MIS data

Your school is responsible for defining and managing appropriate data retention policies for student and staff records. All data in Arbor is ultimately controlled by the school.

We make it easy in Arbor for you to remove any student or staff data that has passed the data retention period by flagging them on the data retention pages. This date is calculated using the time period suggested by the Limitation Act 1980.

However, your school may have reason to hold a record for a different period of time. The Department for Education has released a data protection toolkit that includes retention guidance you can refer to inform your school's policy.

For student data, the minimum retention period is the greater of

  1. 6 years after the student’s leaving date from the school, or
  2. if relating to a child, the 24th birthday of the child, or
  3. if relating to more than one child, the 24th birthday of the youngest child.

For staff data, the minimum retention period is 6 years after the employee’s contract end date.


Arbor will automatically flag records that have passed the automatically calculated data retention period. It is not possible to change this period in Arbor.

Just go to School > Users & Security > Data Retention > Student/Staff records.



Any data we have calculated you should delete will be in red text. To delete them, tick the boxes next to the staff or students you need to delete, then click Bulk action button.



In the slide over, click the delete button to permanently delete all records of the person on Arbor.



As the deletion of a student may take a little while, they might still show in the grid after you click the delete button.  In this case, you'll see they're being deleted in the Deletion in Progress column.



Please note, guardians will be deleted if all the students linked to a guardian are deleted. To delete guardians not linked to a student, take a look at this article.

For more details on how to manage your data retention in Arbor MIS, take a look at our video below.

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