COVID-19: Guidance for schools for March - May

The DfE has now released further guidance for schools to help manage a phased return for schools from June 1st for Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 and from 15th June for Year 10, Year 12 and post-16 year groups. To see how to record attendance for students, and use our new Covid-19 Dashboard to generate the numbers required for the DfE’s spreadsheet and follow up with absentees, take a look at our article: Guidance for wider school opening from 1st June

 

In response to concerns around COVID-19, we've included all our resources for schools in this article.

Guidance from the DfE:

  • The DfE has released new guidance on supplying vouchers for Free School Meals. You can read their full guidance here, and see how to generate a contact details report here.
  • For guidance on which pupils should remain in education, based on whether their guardians are Key Workers, you can read the DfE's full guidance here, and see how to identify these guardians in Arbor here.
  • For guidance on how schools should take attendance from 23rd March, see here
  • For guidance on what the virus is, how to help prevent it from spreading and what to do if someone is a confirmed case, take a look at the DfE's COVID-19: guidance for educational settings

DfE Helpline

For further questions about the Coronavirus, phone 0800 046 8687 Monday - Friday 8am - 6pm

 

Based on the guidance from the DfE and best practise, we've outlined:

For your reference, you can see any changes we've made in this version history:

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Taking Attendance

The DfE has released new guidance on how schools should take attendance from 23rd March 2020, which can be found here. In summary:

  • Schools should stop taking their normal attendance registers in Arbor

  • Schools should complete the spreadsheet on the page linked above to record attendance for all children at your school

  • Information from the spreadsheet should then be submitted via the DfE’s online form here by 12 noon each day: https://services.signin.education.gov.uk/

We advise marking all registers in Arbor using the # code. Please do not amend your academic calendar, as this will cause issues with reporting on staff absences. If you have amended your academic calendar, click here to see how to amend it back.

 

New - Autofill attendance marks

You can now easily set Arbor to automatically fill all of your attendance marks for today and in the future with the # code. If you have the Attendance: Administer permission, just go to Students > Attendance > Daily Attendance and click the orange button to turn this on. 

  • When you click the orange button, Arbor will automatically set all attendance marks to '#' each night until this setting is turned off. 
  • If you turn it on today, it will also update all your registers for today with the # code.
  • As this process happens overnight for registers that took place the previous day, the registers for tomorrow won't yet be filled with the # code.
  • We will only set registers to the # code from the day you turn this on, onwards. We will not change any marks from the day before you click this button or prior. However, you can manually add the # Code for previous days if you wish, just see the guidance below.

Please note: This will overwrite any existing attendance marks, planned absences and absence notes for today and in the future.

This will not affect clubs or trips, but will affect the following events that contribute to roll-call marks:

  • registration periods
  • lessons
  • internal exclusions
  • interventions 

There's no need to open your registers manually (which you would need to if you're using the Bulk Edit Marks page to change attendance codes).

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To manually add the # code for previous days, select the Roll Call session in the filters at the top of the page. Then click the box next to the blue pencil icon to select all registers. Click the blue pencil icon to fill them all with the # code. This bulk action may take a bit of time, so come back and check a bit later if it doesn't happen instantly.

You'll need to repeat this for each AM and PM session for the days before you clicked to activate the button.

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If you ever want to turn this feature off, just click the same button again, which will be red.

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School Demographics Reports

Following the Government's announcement that all schools will close on Friday 20th March 2020 to all students except those within certain demographics, we've created some out-of-the-box custom groups that then feed into one central custom report. You can use these, and our other demographics reports to create your student list of attendees.

Looking for reports to use on your Group MIS site? Take a look at this article.

Our out-of-the-box custom groups and report for vulnerable students

To help you identify students who may need to attend your school during this time, we've created some out-of-the-box custom groups that then feed into one central custom report.

We've created 5 custom groups which are now automatically available on your MIS. These custom groups have been created based on which student groups are classed as vulnerable by the DfE. However, if you identify more students you'd like to identify in your reporting, you can set up a new custom group.

 

Our custom groups

If you have the School: Action: Custom Group: View/Administer permission, just go to Students > Enrolment > Ad Hoc > Custom Groups, and you'll be able to see the new custom groups:

  • EHCP Students - All students with a SEN status with an Education, Health and Care Plan.
  • Has Social Worker (CiN) - All students who's Child Protection Status is Child in Need.
  • Has Social Worker (LAC) - All students who are marked as Looked After (In Care).
  • Students with Critical Worker Parents/Guardians - All students who have at least one primary guardian who is a Key Worker.
  • Vulnerable (Child Protection Status) - All students who's Child Protection Status is Child protection plan, Monitoring, or Child in need.

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Our custom report

We've added a new custom report that will show any student at your school who is in one of the custom groups above.

To see the report, you'll need to be a custom report writer Superuser. You'll see it in the All Active Reports section.

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Not a Superuser? You'll need to be given the Custom Report Writer: Superuser Access permission, or ask your school's superusers to share the report with you using the Share button.

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Want to include any other custom groups in your Custom Report Writer Report? Just click to edit your report, and click the blue pencil icon on the current filter.

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In the slide over, select the other custom groups you'd like to include, then click Save, and Save and View your report.

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FSM Students template report for Supermarket Vouchers

The DfE has released new guidance on supplying vouchers for Free School Meals. You can read their full guidance here.

We have created a Custom Report Writer Template to help schools identify and generate an email list that can be used to arrange supermarket vouchers to the parents/guardians of free school meal eligible students. 

You can access this report by going to School > Custom Report Writer > Create New Report and from the Create Report from Template drop-down select Free School Meal Students' Primary Guardian information for Supermarket Vouchers then click Create Report from Template.

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You will be asked to select your date range, click the drop-down menu to select Today then click Next.

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Then on the next page, scroll to the bottom and select Skip Setup Wizard.

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Then all you need to here is click Save & View Report.  

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The report shows all 1st Priority Primary Guardians for pupils that are currently eligible for Free School Meals and live with that guardian.

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Please note

If you have multiple Primary Guardians listed as 1st Priority Contact there will be duplicated students in this report which you will need to manually remove. If you are wanting to only send one voucher per family then this also need to be taken into account and the report to be changed as required.

If you are sending this information to a supermarket you need to remove all the student data contained in columns A-D. We have named these columns “…. delete before sending”.

This advice may change depending on DfE recommendations.

Creating a list of students still attending

Adding students from our out-of-the-box custom report 

You can easily add students to a custom group right from our out-of-the-box custom report shown in the above section! On the report page, just click the boxes next to the students you want to add, then click the blue pencil icon to select Add to Custom Group.

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In the slide over, choose whether to add them to an existing group, or create a new group with these students.

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Adding students to a custom group using a User-defined field

You can also add students to a custom group who aren't pulled into our vulnerable student reports. If you have the School: General Admin: Administer permission, you can set up the user-defined field in System > User Defined Fields and click Add User Defined Field

In the slide over, set the fields as shown below (you can change the Field name if needed) then click Create

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To add this field to students who will still be attending, click into the User-defined field and bulk update the fields.

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Once you've added done this for all students who will be attending, you can set up a custom group. 

If you have the School: Action: Custom Group: View/Administer permission, just go to Students > Enrolment > Ad Hoc > Custom Groups, and click to add a new custom group. In the Setup tab, add Automatic membership criteria for attending during the closure.

Alternatively, you can click into a custom group you've already set up.

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In the slide over, you can then set the fields as shown below, then click Add Membership Criterion.

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You'll be able to see your students who will continue to attend in the Members tab.

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More out-of-the-box demographic reports

Child Protection StudentsTo view your Child Protection students go to Students > Demographics > Child Protection Students.

SEN Students - The SEN Statuses page in Students > Demographics > Students with SEN will show you the number of students who have a particular SEN Status at your school.

FSM - In Students > Demographics > Free School Meal Students you can see a list of all the students who are eligible to free school meals

Key workers - Use our identifier on guardian profiles or edit this field in bulk from Students > Parent & Guardians > Bulk Update > Is Key Worker.

 

 

How should we record Coronavirus-related absences?

Student absences

Please note: The DfE has advised schools stop taking attendance as of 23rd March 2020, and to fill out a speadsheet to submit instead. You can see their full guidance and get the spreadsheet here

 

Staff Absences and working from home

Staff absences

The DfE have advised that staff absences should be recorded as: 

  1. Sickness if they are a confirmed case or a suspected case
  2. Other paid authorised absence if they are isolating

If you have any further questions about how to record staff absences, please contact the DfE on the helpline number shown above.

Once you have confirmation of the type of absence you will need to record, see our article on adding a Staff Absence for how to add the absence. In Arbor, you should record absences as shown below:

  • If the staff member is self-isolating due to underlying health conditions, a member of their household is sick, or if they’ve been somewhere that puts them at riskAbsence Category: Self-isolating, Sickness category: Leave blank, Sickness sub-category: Leave blank
  • If the school is closedAbsence Category: Exceptional circumstances/school is closed, Sickness category: Leave blank, Sickness sub-category: Leave blank
  • If the staff member is a suspected case and they are self-isolatingAbsence Category: Sickness (Self-Certified), Sickness category: Cough, cold, flu, viral infection, Sickness sub-category: Coronavirus - COVID 19 (Symptoms)
  • If the staff member is a confirmed caseAbsence Category: Sickness (Medical Certified), Sickness category: Cough, cold, flu, viral infection, Sickness sub-category: Coronavirus - COVID 19 (Confirmed)

For example, for suspected cases:

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Working from home

If you want to record that a staff member is working from home, you can use our new 'Working from home' event type. This will mean the event shows in their calendar and they won't be shown as available when selecting staff for cover, and won't appear as free on the Timetable > Free Staff Finder page.

To see more details on managing events, including what permissions are needed, take a look at this article.

To add a period of working from home for multiple staff, you can do this right from your Arbor Dashboard with the right permissions - just click Quick Actions > Create event.

create_event.png

 

In the slide over, you'll see the new event type of Working from home, as well as a box where you can add multiple participants who will be working from home.

new_school_event.png

 

If you want to add a period of working from home for a single staff member, go to their Staff Profile and click the Calendar option from the left-hand menu. Click the slot when you want the working from home period to begin.

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When adding the working from home event, you can choose to either create a one-off event or choose certain times the event will occur each day. We'd recommend the second option, as it allows you to schedule the event during term time only, and remove a single day's event from a participant's calendar if they come into the school for one day.

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To see which of your staff are working from home, you can go to School > Timetable > All Events (List). Click the filters at the top of the page to untick every box except School events.

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Recording student, staff and guardian details

You can use our out-of-the-box features to record medical conditions for students and staff and record whether staff are Key Workers to help keep track of which students and guardians are impacted by these events. You can also check staff email addresses to make sure you can contact them.

If you want to record additional details for students, staff or guardians that you don't see here, you can set up a User Defined Field to show on their profile. Take a look at this article for how to set one up - as an example you could set up one for whether students have access to a computer at home.

Looking for reports to use on your Group MIS site? Take a look at this article.

Student or Staff Medical Conditions

If you have students or staff who have symptoms of Coronavirus, or who are confirmed cases, you can record this on their profile. Please note: you'll need to have the Staff Profile: All Staff: Basic HR Administration permission to do this for staff, and Student Profile: Admin: Administer All Students permission to do this for students.

To add the medical condition, go to their profile and scroll down to the Medical section. Click +Add.

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In the pop-up, select Medical Condition, then fill out the slide over that appears. To add that they have symptoms or are a confirmed case, search 'covid'. Add in the rest of the details, then scroll down and click the green button to Create medical condition.

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To see a list of students with this medical condition and how many students in total are affected, we've created a Custom Report Writer template you can import into your site.

  1. Click here to download your report template. This will save the file to your computer.  Do not open the file!
  2. Head to School > Custom Report Writer then click the Create New Report button.  
  3. Select the button at the bottom of the page to Import a Report. 
  4. Click Browse to select the template file from your computer, then click Upload.

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Guardians who are Key Workers

If you want to identify which guardians are Key Workers, you can use our out-of-the-box identifier.

 

Just go to the Guardian profile to set them as a Key Worker in the Identity section.

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You can also complete this action in bulk from Students > Parent & Guardians > Bulk Update > Is Key Worker. Just select the guardians to set or unset, then click the blue pencil icon.

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To use this field to produce a list of your students where both guardians are a Key Worker,   click here to download your report template.

To use this field to produce a list of your students where at least one guardian is a Key Worker, click here to download your report template.

This will save the file to your computer.  Do not open the file!

  1. Head to School > Custom Report Writer then click the Create New Report button.  
  2. Select the button at the bottom of the page to Import a Report. 
  3. Click Browse to select the template file from your computer, then click Upload.

key_worker_custom_report.png

Check Staff email addresses

We've added a new column called Email Address (All), that you can use in the Custom Report Writer to report on staff email addresses - useful for checking which email addresses they have, and which is the default. Please note: you'll need the Staff Profile: Contact Details: Administer permission to view the details and make changes where needed.

To make it even easier, we've created a template you can import into your site with all the columns already added!

  1. Click here to download your report template.  This will save the file to your computer.   Do not open the file!
  2. Head to School > Custom Report Writer then click the Create New Report button.  
  3. Select the button at the bottom of the page to Import a Report. 
  4. Click Browse to select the template file from your computer, then click Upload.

In the example below, you can see that Adele's Main email address is her work one. The main email is the default email address and is the one staff can use to log in with. Adrian does not have any email addresses logged, so I'd need to go to his staff profile to add one.

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Bulk import student, guardian or staff email addresses

We know our schools are needing to contact students, parents and members of staff via email more right now than ever before. To help make sure you've got the right type of email address up to date in Arbor, we’ve added the ability to bulk import student, guardian or staff email addresses!

Just download our spreadsheet, fill out the emails and email types, and upload it back into Arbor. It can be used to add new email addresses and change the email username used to log in to Arbor.

For more details, take a look at our full guidance in this article!

bulk_import.png

 

 

Students from other institutions

During this time, if your school is remaining partially open, you may need to provide schooling for students from other institutions. Schools should try to provide the receiving school with any relevant welfare and child protection information. 

If possible, we would suggest managing these students outside of Arbor. There is no need to add these students to your MIS site.

Management of this information should be the same as any school data. Make sure only the right people have access and protect the information using standard safeguarding practises, such as password protecting external documents.

If you would like to record these details in Arbor, the best way to do this would be to add them as an applicant. This will allow you to remove them from your site if needed.

We suggest these are the main details you should record for these students:

Adding students from other institutions as applicants

Please note: you'll need the Student Profile: Admissions: Administer All Students permission to create and delete applicants.

  1. Before you can add applicants, you'll need to add the next academic year to your site and create an intake season. Take a look at this article to see how. 
  2. Use one of our three easy methods (shown in this article) to add these students as Applicants to your site.
  3. Once you have added the students as applicants, do not enrol them

This will allow you to search for the student in the search box to visit their student profile and view or add more information about them.

applicant_in_search_box.png

 

If you no longer want to keep these records in Arbor, go to Students > All Students > Applicants and select the intake season. On the Applicants page, click the student to delete, then click Edit in the slide over. 

On the new slide over, scroll down and click the red Delete Application and Student button to delete the student.

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How to report on Y Code Absences

Please note: As the DfE have advised schools to stop taking attendance in the normal way as of 23rd March 2020, these reports will only display data until Friday 20th March.

There's a few different methods of reporting on Y codes, so we've included all the instructions below.

Looking for reports to use on your Group MIS site? Take a look at this article.

Out-of-the-box reporting

The best place in the Attendance module to view a list of Y code marks is the Students > Attendance > Admin > Raw Attendance Marks page. You can select the date range and the Y code in the filters at the top of the page.

Because the Y code is not technically an absence code, it counts under the 'administrative codes' section of the DfE attendance documentation (see more here: Attendance codes and how they count towards statutory attendance). That means that it does not contribute to your school's attendance, and you won't be able to filter for it in the Attendance > Absentees section of Arbor. 

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Seeing your true percentage and number present statistics

The percentage present figure shown on your Arbor dashboard will not take into account any students who have been marked with a non-contributing attendance code, such as the Y code.

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If you want to report on what percentage of your pupils are currently physically in school, you can use the Attendance > Statistics page. Just click the filters at the top to tick the box for Roll Call/Statutory Percentage Marks Present and Number Students Present.

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Importing your Custom Report Writer total Y code report

We've also created a Custom Report template for you to report on your Y code absences looking at today's date.

Step 1: Click here to download your report template. This will save the file to your computer.  Do not open the file!

Step 2: Head to School > Custom Report Writer then click the Create New Report button.  

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Step 3: Select the button at the bottom of the page to Import a Report. 

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Step 4: Click Browse to select the template file from your computer, then click Upload

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You will then be able to see your report saved to your Arbor. 

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Y code Custom Groups

Please note, this option will pull in students who have had a Y code mark at any point today, even if it has been amended to a different mark.

To create a custom group for students with the Y code today (or any time period), set up a new custom group from Students > Enrolment > Custom Groups. In the Automatic Membership Criteria section add criteria for Statutory Roll Call (Specific Marks).

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In the slide over, you can then set the date range to 'Today' (or another time period), and choose the Y code mark to pull in those students.

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You can even add more criteria to exclude those who had a Y code yesterday, to only report on new students with a Y code today.

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