2019/2020 Product Updates Roundup 14 - COVID-19: How we've improved Arbor to help support you

The Headlines

COVID-19 updates

We’ve released many new features this week to help schools continue to thrive during this challenging time, which you can see in our central article.

  • New staff absence types of Self-isolating, Sickness (Self-Certified) for those with Coronavirus symptoms, and Sickness (Medical Certified) for confirmed cases
  • A new school event type of Working From Home
  • Medical conditions for Coronavirus (symptoms) and Coronavirus (confirmed) for students and staff
  • Record, bulk update and report on guardians who are key workers and their children at school and group level
  • Option to auto-fill registers with # codes at the end of each day
  • Out-of-the-box custom groups for EHCP, students with social workers, key worker’s children and child protection students
  • Out-of-the-box reports for Critical Workers, EHCP, Social Worker or Vulnerable Students on the School MIS and Staff Absences and Students with SEN or Key Worker Parents on the Group MIS
  • Report on all staff email addresses in the Custom Report Writer




  • Bulk set Final and Aspirational targets using the bulk action on the Summative Tracking > Mark Entry > Baselines & Targets page - just remember to select to display them in the filters.
  • Show baselines on the Summative Tracking > Analysis > Grade Distribution page by selecting this option in the filters.
  • Analyse the gap between demographics on the Summative Tracking > Analysis > Statistics page by choosing to group by Demographic vs Inverse vs Gap in the filters.




  • 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 and email usernames using our spreadsheet! Take a look at our full guidance in this article!
  • To easily send lesson resources, messages and links to parents/guardians and students when they’re at home, teachers can now send emails, texts or letters right from the Lesson Dashboard. See more details here.



Coming Soon...

User-Defined Fields

Later today, we’ll release the ability to bulk update user-defined fields, and we’re also working on an importer! 

Custom Report Writer

Not only have we already added loads of new base reports (including Pastoral, SEN, Child Protection and Safeguarding notes), we’ve got more on the way!

For the Group MIS, we’ll also be adding Assessment Measures fields, options for creating reports for BI tools, and you’ll also be able to add summary rows.

Anything else?

  • We’ll be enabling parents to initiate in-app messages and notifying you when you’re running low on SMS credits.
  • The Attendance over Time chart is coming soon for courses and lesson dashboards.
  • We’ll soon retire the Bulk Entry by Qualification page, but we’ll add a filter to the Entries by Student Group page to allow you to see your external candidates there.


We publish a roundup of our releases every other Friday in the Updates section of our Help Centre.

You can also see what else we’re working on using our Roadmap.

If you want to propose your own improvement idea sign up to the Arbor Community and check out our post Submit Product Feedback here! Or to see what has been submitted for the community to vote on click here.

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