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.

You can see the hierarchy of which attendance marks are taken as the 'best mark' here: Attendance codes and how they count towards statutory attendance



Lessons must be scheduled to overlap with 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.

  • Today's behavioural incidents
  • Today's negative behavioural incidents
  • Today's positive behavioural incidents
  • Today's detentions
  • Today's points
  • Sex
  • Native language(s)
  • EAL
  • SEN
  • Medical conditions
  • SEN Status
  • SEN need(s)
  • Pupil Premium Eligible
  • Access Arrangements - current Access Arrangements set for the student (excluding In-house Access Arrangements).
  • Pinned notes - this will display pastoral notes, behaviour notes, SEN notes and safeguarding notes. We do not display 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 Students > Attendance. Then go to Admin > Take Register Settings from the left-hand menu.




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

Top Tip: We prioritise displaying absent above other marks in past week registers. So if a student has an absence mark for Monday in any lesson, intervention or internal exclusion, we’ll show a cross.



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 in registers. To help you manage this, you can choose whether teachers (when taking the register):

  • can input any absence code
  • can only input a pre-selected mark or the N code when a planned absence is logged for the student
  • can only input a pre-selected mark when a planned absence is logged for the student

This feature is great for preventing teachers from accidentally entering incorrect absence marks! If you make this change, don't forget to let your teaching staff know! 

Important note for editing planned absence marks in My Classroom

These settings will not apply to My Classroom. Even if the student has a planned absence, you can override the mark to N, present or late if your school restricts attendance marks, or any code if your school does not restrict marks.

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, go to Students > Attendance > Admin > Take Register Settings. Here you'll see two settings:

  • Restrict absence marks - Turn this to Yes to have teachers only be able to select from N or a pre-filled absence code in registers when a student is absent. Admin staff can still use any mark in registers.
  • Prevent absences from being overwritten - Turn this to Yes to have teachers and admin staff only be able to use the pre-filled absence code in registers when a student is absent. You are also given a warning when changing the mark from absent to present or late. Please note that if both settings are on, this setting takes precedence. 



To change the preference to Yes, click into the box then click Save Changes.


Taking attendance when Restrict absence marks is on 

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 certain marks in registers. Teachers can 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 N marks so you know which guardians to contact, you can use the Absentees by date page.



Taking attendance when Prevent absences from being overwritten is on 

With this setting on, nobody can change absence codes from within the register (even if you have the Student: Attendance: Administer All Students permission). There are many other areas you can change marks from, such as the Bulk Edit Marks pages, or by amending a planned absence

  • When opening the register for the first time, if the student does not already have a planned absence logged, you can select any absence code
  • If they have a planned absence, you cannot change the absence code to a different absence code from within the register.



Teachers are given a warning when changing the mark from absent to present or late.


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