Top Things to Consider On Your First Day Using Arbor

This article will guide you through some of the tops things you might need to consider on your first day of using Arbor!

  1. Staff login issues (including logging in as a Guardian, having no email, having no Business Role, and how to use the deep search in Arbor)
  2. We have duplicate profiles or historic staff showing as current staff
  3. Why aren’t my Nursery students appearing in their registers?
  4. Help! We need to take a Meal Register in Arbor
  5. I’m having trouble changing Guardian Information
  6. I need to download a Class List Summary
  7. Taking attendance, following up on absentees, restricting teacher marks, and editing imported marks
  8. Keys areas of information to check after migration
  9. How to set up integrations with your partner apps
  10. How can I allow TAs and other staff to take attendance in Arbor?

1. Staff login issues (including logging in as a guardian, having no email, having no business role, and how to use the deep search in Arbor)

There are a number of reasons that staff at your school might not be able to log into Arbor for the first time. The most common reasons are listed below, and we’ve also popped in some handy instructions on how you can resolve the issues!

The staff member doesn’t have an email address in Arbor
  • To enable staff to log in, they should have a work email address set as their Default email in Arbor. Email addresses are used as the username to log in to Arbor, so if a member of staff is struggling to log into the system, it may be that they don’t have their work email address in Arbor.
  • You can check this by navigating to the Contact Details section of the staff member's profile. If they don’t have an email address, you can add one in by clicking on the green +add button in the contact details section. 
  • There is also the option to bulk update staff email addresses in Arbor. Click here to view the help article to show you how to do this.
The staff member doesn’t have a Business Role in Arbor
  • Business Roles determine the level of access staff have in Arbor, and each role is made up of different permissions. Without a business role, you do not have permission to access anything on Arbor. To add in a Business Role, navigate to the staff profile, and down to the Current Business Roles table, and click the +add button.
  • If you use the contract section of your previous MIS, during the migration process, a Business Role will be assigned to each staff member based on their contract. If you do not use the contract side of your previous MIS, the system will not be able to allocate a suitable role to staff members. However, if a user has been marked as Teacher, TA, or HLTA in their previous MIS they will be given a basic contract and assigned the corresponding Business Role. This is why it is important to go through your Arbor system and check that staff members do have a Business Role and that it is correct.
  • Even if you use contracts on your previous MIS, it is still a good rule of thumb to check the Business Roles of your staff members and make sure you are happy with the Role and Permissions set to users.
  • This article shows how to check and alter Business Roles and Permissions (including how to download a list of roles and their relevant permissions). 
The staff member’s email address is also in a Guardian profile in Arbor
  • If a staff member is asked to verify a student's date of birth on login, then you know they are logging in as a guardian rather than a staff member.
  • To fix this, remove the staff work email address from the guardian account.
  • It may be that you have to use the master search to find the historic guardian profile with the email address in, for example, if the student left 4 years ago but the work email address is still in the child's guardian profile.
  • To use the master search, you can click on the small arrow which appears next to the search bar when you type in a name. You’ll then be taken to the search results page, and if you select All Results from the left-hand menu, you’ll be able to see historic profiles. Here is an article that explains more about this feature.

2. We have duplicate profiles, or historic staff members showing as current staff

You may have noticed that you have duplicate profiles in your Arbor system, or that old staff members that have left the school are showing in your Current Staff List since your migration to Arbor. Here is how to resolve these issues.

How to resolve duplicate profiles and why it’s important
  • It’s important to make sure you don’t have any duplicate Staff, Guardian, or Student profiles, as this may cause login issues, or mean that staff are logging into the wrong profile and are not able to complete actions required of them, such as taking registers.
  • You can resolve staff and guardian duplicate profiles by going to School > Data > Data Quality Dashboard > Suspected Duplicate Profiles. You can then choose from the options available, such as merging profiles, deleting, or keeping them separate.
  • To resolve duplicate student profiles, please get in touch with Arbor Support after reading this article. 
Historic staff members are showing in the current staff list

If a staff member had an ongoing/un-ended contract in your previous MIS, they may have migrated across into Arbor and been assigned a Business Role, meaning they will show in the current staff members list. To resolve this, you should navigate to their profile, and either delete or end their Business Role. You can do this by clicking onto the Business Role in the Current Business Role table, and clicking Edit > Delete or adding an end date. You should also check that their Contract End Date is in the system from the Contracts section of their profile.

3. Why aren’t my Nursery students appearing in their registers?

Arbor uses attendance patterns for the Nursery Registers. If a student does not have an attendance pattern, they will not appear on the register, and you will need to follow the below steps before they will show on the register.

  • Regular Attendance Patterns - To check or set an attendance pattern please follow this article.
  • Irregular Attendance Patterns - If you do not use regular attendance patterns, for instance, students may do some mornings and afternoons but not all of them, then you will need to set up irregular attendance patterns. Please follow this article.

4. Help! We need to take a Meal Register in Arbor

If you need to use Arbor to take a Meal Register, the Meals need to be set up in Arbor first. It is especially important to get this set up before Day 1 if you can so that teachers are able to add in the Meal Choice for a student when they are taking a register on the first day of your school using Arbor. If the Meals section of Arbor is not set up, teachers will not be able to take a Meal Register.

How do I set up Meals? - This article goes through the set up of meals step by step.


Using another system for payments? - If you are using another system for parents to pay for meals outside of Arbor, you still need to set up prices in the meal section of Arbor but you can set the price for each provision as £0 so it does not show as invoiced on Arbor.

5. I’m having trouble changing Guardian Information

Changing Guardian Information needs to be done via the guardians own profile, which can sometimes be confusing as most people will naturally go to the students profile, click on the guardian’s information, and expect to be able to change the data via the slide over that appears, however, this is not possible, and here you’re only able to edit the Guardian/Student Relationship here. You need to go one step further and click on the guardian's name or picture to take you to their profile, and then you can edit the information you need from here. You could also search for the guardian's name in the search bar to go directly to their profile.

6. I need to download a Class List Summary

When you first move to Arbor, you might want to know where you can find a class list summary to download and print off. You can do this easily from the enrolment section in Arbor. 

Just to go Students > Enrolment > Registration Forms > Download Student List

This article will walk you through the options you’ll need to select.

7. Taking attendance, following up on absentees, restricting teacher marks, and editing imported marks

One of the most important things you’ll need to do on the first day of using Arbor is to take Attendance! Below are some key actions you might want to consider.

How do Teachers and the Admin Staff take attendance?
  • Teachers take attendance differently from Administrators, so it is worthwhile knowing the difference.
  • Teachers access the register by clicking on the relevant lesson in their Arbor Calendar on the homepage. Then clicking Take Register. Click here to see the guide.
  • Administrators take attendance by going to the Attendance Dashboard which is where they can see all registers for all classes. Click here for the guide. 


    If Administrators are taking attendance for all classes, instead of going into each register separately, it may be worthwhile using the Bulk Edit Marks or Bulk Edit Marks (Beta) options in the attendance section, as these make adding attendance in bulk a lot quicker. Click here for a guide on how to do this.

How to edit marks that have been imported from your previous MIS

Statutory marks are imported from your previous MIS. As they have not been input into Arbor manually (as you would when taking register in Arbor) they can only be edited in the area called Edit Imported Marks. To access this area, go to Students > Attendance > Admin > Edit Imported Marks. This area enables you to change marks that were given to a student on your previous MIS, for example, you may notice that a student has an ‘N’ code, you would change this in the edit imported marks section to the reason code. For more details on how to edit imported marks, please see this guide.


Please note, you are not able to use the Edit Imported Marks section if the mark is missing. To add in marks for students that do not have any, you will need to add these to an Arbor register. This guide above also details how to do this. 

Restricting attendance marks for teachers

As a default, Teachers have the ability to use all absence codes in Arbor(which are taken from the DfE). However, once you are live on Arbor, you can restrict this down so they can only put in Present, Late, and Absent (No Reason). Restricting the Available Attendance Marks in this guide shows how to do this.

How to follow up on absentees 

In Arbor, there is a specific place in the Attendance section that can be used to see and follow up with guardians of students that have been marked as absent. At a couple of clicks, you can send SMS messages straight out to guardians to find out why their child has not come to school. You can also log telephone calls in the area and log planned absences for students that will be away from school for a period of time. You can find more details here.

8. Keys areas of information to check after migration

Now you’ve got access to your Arbor system, there are a few key areas that can help you check the data in Arbor to make sure you’re happy with the information we have migrated across and that all your data is nice and tidy.

Data migration report
  • The Data Migration Report is pulled together in Arbor using the information we have migrated from your previous MIS. You can check things like student numbers, demographics, medical conditions, business roles, etc. It is a very important document that needs to be checked and signed off as soon as possible, as this helps us to be sure your data has migrated over correctly. This needs to be checked and signed off within the first 2 weeks of going live with Arbor as it is important for you to let us know of any discrepancies with your data as soon as possible so we can look into why this has happened as a priority.
  • Your own Data Migration Report can be found here: School > Data > Data Migration Report 
  • Once you have clicked on Download QA Report a Sign-off button will appear. Once you have checked the document and are happy with the data, make sure to click on the Sign-off button.
Data retention in Arbor

There is a minimum retention period that records of students and staff should be kept by the school. Once that is met they should be deleted. This is set by the ‘Limitation Act 1980’ so it is extremely important to keep your data tidy. If you have not done this on your previous MIS it becomes even more important to do on Arbor as soon as possible. Fortunately, it is really easy to resolve in Arbor! This article describes how to manage this.

Data quality dashboard
  • The Data Quality Dashboard is a page that gathers information on any issues or errors with your data. It is also a bulk update area where you can check, input, and edit information in bulk. For example, assigning UPNs, editing telephone numbers, updating basic information about students and staff. It also has a section for the School Workforce Census. Simply put, it is an area to make sure your data is correct in Arbor and to edit it in bulk.
  • You can navigate to the dashboard by going to School > Data > Data Quality Dashboard.
DMS/linked documents (SIMS migrations only) 
  • If you used the linked documents section of your SIMS system and uploaded a backup of this (the document management server) to Arbor, we will have imported this into your Arbor system. However, it is important that you check that this has been imported and that you can see linked documents in Arbor as part of your data checks after migration.
  • You can normally find the linked documents being stored on Arbor in the Pastoral Notes section on a student profile, or, if they are to do with Behaviour, they will appear in the Behaviour Section (also on the student profile). 
  • For staff, documents will only migrate if they are attached to the contract.

9. How to set up integrations with your partner apps

Partner Apps are any other systems that a school uses as well as their MIS. These could be behavior systems, communication systems, assessment systems, etc. 

Arbor can integrate with different systems in a number of ways, so it is important that you have got in touch with your partner apps to let them know you’ve switched MIS to Arbor. Once you have got in touch with the provider, they may then be able to integrate with your Arbor system, and automatically update changes made to certain areas of Arbor in their own system. If the integration has not been completed there will be no sync and the data on a third party will soon go out of date! 

As part of the onboarding process, you will have discussed your partner apps on your Kick-Off Call and listed them in your implementation workbook so that your Project Coordinator will have detailed the integration we have with your partner apps in your workbook. If you have not done it already, please make sure you contact your partner applications and let them know you are now using Arbor. 

There are multiple ways of integrating with third parties, but it does depend on the third party. Some integrations require data to pass through another third party (i.e. GroupCall, Wonde etc) before it goes to them, others have direct integration with Arbor, some do not have any direct integration at all and need to be manually updated via CTF or the Custom Report Writer tool. You will find the details of the integration on your Implementation Workbook.

You can see a list of relevant guides for these here.

10. How can I allow TAs and other staff to take attendance in Arbor?

As standard, Teaching Assistants don't have the permissions in Arbor to take registers, but there are a couple of ways you can change this in Arbor so that they're able to take attendance, along with any other staff you would like to assign this permission to. Please refer to this guide to see the different ways you can do this.

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