Applicants - Adding, enrolling and sending communications

You can use Arbor to manage your admissions process. This includes adding applicants to your system, tracking numbers, logging which students have been offered a place or who have been rejected, logging who has accepted their place or withdrawn, record any admissions appeals and finally enrol your students into their year groups, registration forms, and houses for next year.

This article will talk you through each step, and when this should be done. Just click the + to expand each step!


You can now send Mail Merges to guardians of applicants or applicants directly!

Take a look at Step 4 below for how to do this.


Applicants starting in September

Step 1 - Set up your intake season

Before you can add applicants, you'll need to do two things:

  • Add the next academic year to your site
  • Create an intake season to add your applicants into.

Take a look at this article to see how. 


Step 2 - Add your Applicants into Arbor

Most guardians will apply for a place at your school before:

  • 31st October for Secondaries
  • 15th January for Primaries

When they do, you'll be able to use one of our three easy methods (shown in this article) to add these students as Applicants to your site. You should only complete one process for each student.

  • Uploading an ATF
  • Manually adding Applicants
  • Using our Applicant Spreadsheet 

Registration Forms and Year Groups in the Applicant Spreadsheet

Please note that you will not be able to put an expected year group and registration form for each applicant into the Applicant Spreadsheet. This is because the year groups and registration forms have not yet been set up as part of the new school year setup process. This part of Arbor will become available on May 1st, along with the supporting guidance.


Step 3 - Accept or reject candidates ready for Offers day

Once you have the finalised lists of students that have been accepted into your school for September, you can log that they have been accepted or rejected in Arbor before offers day.

Just go to Students > All Students > Applicants, select the intake season, then go to Applicants on the left-hand side. From here you can simply select the students to update, then click the blue pencil icon to either Make Offers or Reject applications.

Please note that only students that have not been enrolled yet can be rejected.


Step 4 - Send out offers or generate other communication types

Official school offers days are:

  • 2nd March for Secondaries
  • 16th April for Primaries

On these days, your school will be releasing offers to students and their guardians! You might want to send guardians an email offering their child a place at your school.


Sending communications to applicants or their guardians via a Mail Merge

You can easily generate letters or send SMSs, emails or in-app messages to applicants or their guardians. Just go to School > Communications > Select communications type > New Mail Merge.

In the To field, type in the name of the intake season. Select whether to email applicants or guardians of applicants who have:

  • Been newly created 
  • Had their offer rejected (so you can let them know they have been rejected)
  • Been offered a place (so you can officially offer them the place)
  • Withdrawn their application
  • Accepted their place (so you send communications to the students who will be joining in September)



Take a look at these articles for more details on sending a Mail Merge email or creating a template to use in an email.


Emailing guardians from the Applicants page

To send an email right from the Applicants page. Just select all the students you’ve made an offer to, then click the blue pencil icon to Email Guardians.



You can then send all the applicants’ guardians a Mail Merge email if they’ve got an email address logged on their guardian profile. Take a look at these articles for more details on sending a Mail Merge email or creating a template to use in an email.


Step 5 - Log accepted or withdrawn offers

Once you’ve sent out official offers, the acceptance messages will start pouring in!

To accept offers in Arbor from the same Applicants page, select the students to update, then click the blue pencil icon to Accept Offers or Withdraw students who have not accepted your offer.



Applicants that have withdrawn will have this as their status.


Step 6 - Record any Admissions Appeals

From May, you’ll be able to record any admissions appeals from students you have rejected applications for.

From the Applicants page, just click on the student’s name, click the More information button, then click the Lodge Appeal button to get started. Take a look at this article for full instructions.

The numbers of Admissions Appeals are collected in the Spring Census, so if you log them now you won’t need to manually add in these numbers to your Census next Spring!


Step 7 - Enrolling the students ready for September

You won’t be able to add your new students to year groups, registration forms or houses and officially enrol them until you’ve begun the New School Year Setup process. This part of Arbor opens on May 1st.

You'll need to complete parts 1, 2 and 3 of Step 3 (shown in the screenshot below) to copy over your year groups and registration forms for next year.



You'll then be able to give your applicants a year group and reg form, and then enrol them in bulk from Students > All Students > Applicants.

If you haven't already done so, tick all the students you want to enrol and click the blue pencil icon to select Make offers. Then repeat this and select Accept offers



To assign the students to a registration form and year group, tick all the students you want to add to the same year group and click the blue pencil icon to select Assign applicants to year group. Then repeat this and select Assign applicants to registration form. Neither of these two steps officially enrols them in your school.

The final step is to add the future enrolment for the students starting in September. Tick all the students you want to enrol and click the blue pencil icon to select Enrol studentsYou'll then need to enrol them into any additional classes, or if they are nursery students you may need to give them attendance patterns so they appear on the right registers.



Applicants starting mid-way through the year

If you have applicants starting mid-way through the year, for example, if you have a new cohort of Nursery students starting in January, just follow steps 1-6 shown in the above section (where applicable). 

Then in the Applicants section, select the students to enrol, then click the blue pencil icon. First select which year group they will be in, then select which registration form they will be in, then click Enrol students.

The students are then enrolled in your school. You'll then need to enrol them into their actual classes, or if they are nursery students set up regular or irregular attendance patterns so they appear on the right registers.


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