Check your lesson settings - roll call, student context, restricting attendance marks and past attendance in registers

To make sure teachers can input the right marks and see the right information in registers, follow the guidance below to check your register settings, including when statutory attendance is taken.


Roll Call times

What are Roll Calls and how are Roll Call marks calculated?

Roll call marks are statutory (legal) attendance marks that the school has to submit to the Department for Education (DfE) as part of the School Census. A roll call is taken twice a day, once for AM and once for PM.

Please note: When we import marks from another MIS, we only import the Roll Call marks. Imported marks can be edited using these instructions. 

In Arbor, Roll Call marks are derived from the 'best attendance marks' taken between the school’s AM or PM roll call times. The 'best mark' can include lesson attendance, interventions and internal exclusion attendance marks. For example, if a student is attending an intervention during Roll Call time and is marked absent in their class register, they will be marked present in Roll Call as long as they are marked present in the intervention.



Lessons must be scheduled within Roll Call times for the attendance marks to be used in the 'best mark' calculation. If your lessons take place outside your Roll Call times, (e.g. Roll call Is 08:00-09:30, but the lesson starts at 10:00) the lesson mark will not contribute towards the statutory attendance mark.



How do I set up or edit Roll Calls?

Go to Students > Attendance > Admin > Roll call setup. Here you can see any roll call times you already have set up.



If you need to change your Roll Call times, we recommend adding a new roll call time rather than editing your existing one. This means the roll call times will only apply to registers from that date onwards and won't recalculate any past attendance.

  • You can add AM or PM Roll Call times by clicking the green buttons for either Morning or Afternoon. In the slide over, update the times and from when the roll calls will take effect. Once updated click on Add Roll Call Time.
  • You can edit a roll call time by clicking into the roll call time and clicking Edit.

Adding or editing roll call times is only possible between 2 pm and 5 pm. You won't be able to click the buttons outside of these hours.

You can see full instructions on setting up and managing Roll call times here: Adding or editing Roll Call times


Choose which contextual data appears on lesson dashboards

Choose which details to display

You can choose what information displays to teachers by default and what they can choose to show on the lesson dashboard.



To manage these settings, go to School > Programmes > Lesson Settings (you will need the School: General Admin: Administer permission). Any of the columns can be made to appear as default, appear as an option for the user, or not appear at all, depending on the priorities of your school.

The Pastoral notes column will display pastoral notes, SEN notes and safeguarding notes (regardless of whether they are pinned to the top of the student profile or not). We do not display behavioural notes or Child protection notes, or any other kind of pinnable note





Choose whether to display attendance for the past week or today in registers

In Arbor, you can choose which to display.

  • For secondaries, having a clear idea of what a student's day has been like so far can give you a real advantage in controlling behaviour and channelling learning.
  • For primaries, it may be more useful to see whether they have been present over the course of the week.
Switch from the default weekly view to today's marks

On registers, teachers can see an info panel showing their attendance so far that day or week. By default, it will show the week.



To switch between day or week view, go to School > Programmes > Lesson Settings.

lesson_settings_page.png show_attendance_marks.png



The week view will display in registers like this. Notice the days work backwards in time from right to left. 



The day view will display in registers like this.



Restricting the Available Attendance Marks

We know how important it is to ensure you’re recording the correct attendance marks. To help you manage this, you can choose whether teachers can input any absence code, or whether they can only input a pre-selected mark or the N code when taking a register. This feature is great for preventing teachers from accidentally entering incorrect absence marks! 

If you decide to turn this on, teaching staff will only be able to choose a pre-filled mark or “N - Reason for absence not yet provided”. If you make this change, don't forget to let your teaching staff know about this change! 

Restricting the available absence marks

Please note: To amend this setting, you'll need the Student: Attendance: Administer All Students permission. 

If you want to restrict absence attendance marks in registers to just the N code, go to Students > Attendance > Admin > Restrict Absence Marks

Click into the box saying Restrict absence marks available for use on Take Register.



Change the preference to Yes, then click Save Changes.


Taking attendance

If you're a user who regularly changes marks, you'll still be able to do this from the register! Anyone with the ability to restrict attendance marks (staff with the Student: Attendance: Administer All Students permission) will still be able to select any absence code within the register.




Your teachers will only be able to select the N code when marking a student as absent. If they have a pre-filled absence, the mark will default to the pre-fill mark or the teacher will be able to amend it to the N mark.




It's then much easier to follow up on absences, as you know all the marks you'll need to look for are the N marks! To see all your the N marks so you know which guardians to contact, you can use our Attendance > Absentees > Absentees by date page. Just click on the filters to only display only N marks (No reason) in your table! 


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