Top Things to Consider Before Go Live (Secondary)

Arbor’s data migration takes the hard work out of moving MIS! During the migration, we map millions of data sets to your new MIS, however. it’s really important you thoroughly check your data.

  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 members showing as current staff
  3. Roll Call and Registers
  4. Timetables
  5. Examinations
  6. Keys areas of information to check after migration
  7. Programmes of Study (Post-16 Only)
  8. Setting up integrations with your partner apps
  9. Taking attendance, following up on absentees, restricting teacher marks and editing imported marks

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 a work email address in Arbor.
  • You can check this by navigating to the Contact Details section of the staff members profile. If they don’t have an email address, you can add one 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 your 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 business 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, just remove the staff work email address from the guardian account.
  • It may be that you have to use the global search functionality 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 global 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, where 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 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 student duplicate 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. Roll Call and Registers

If you have created separate timetable slots for your registration sessions, this will have migrated to Arbor with your timetable. If you don’t timetable registration sessions, or if these are added as non-contact events, you will need to schedule your registration sessions.

• You can check these by going to School > Timetable > Timetable Administration > Timetable Slots. Using the ‘sort’ feature on the table, you should be able to quickly see that you have registration times, or if you need to change the time of a slot you can get help here

• You will also want to check your roll call times to make sure statutory attendance is collected between the right times - get help here on this. 

4. Timetables

We recommend checking your timetables prior to taking attendance to make sure everything is ready for your students and staff

You can get a good overview of all of your timetabled courses and classes by going to School > Programmes > Courses > Table View. From here we recommend checking:

  • Number of courses
  • Numbers of students in courses
  • That courses have an academic lead (this person will have access to the register from their calendar)

On rare occasions 2 courses may have been merged together, so instead of each course having 32 students, you have one course with 64 students! If this has happened to your school site, please contact us asap to get this resolved.

Top Tip

Due to the way databases such as SIMS stores timetabling data, watch out for classes taught by two teachers during the same timetable slot. If you have lessons with one class taught by two teachers during the same timetable slot, this creates two separate slots on Arbor that will need to be merged post-migration

The easiest way to resolve this is to add one of the teachers to one of the timetabled slots, then remove the redundant timetable slot. 


Make sure you do not have any timetable clashes! This can easily be checked in the ‘Clashes’ section: School > Timetable > Clashes. Get help here to find out how!

5. Examinations

We recommend checking your exams data as soon as possible, to make sure everything is set up correctly: Student > Examinations.

Entries and Offerings

If you’re migrating to Arbor mid-exams season, whilst we migrate as much of your exams entries and offerings as possible, due to the nature of how these are stored in your current MIS it can impact migration. Once your new Arbor site has been released, we recommend checking your entries and offerings and if there are any discrepancies with what you had in your previous MIS please contact our support team.  


If you’ve migrated to Arbor between exam season and results day you can either:

  • process your results in your previous MIS.
  • add the record of the results to Arbor afterwards if you need to - see here for how!

6. Keys areas of information to check after migration

Now you’ve got access to your Arbor system, there are a few key areas which 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. This article describes how to manage this.

Data quality dashboard
  • The Data Quality Dashboard is a page which 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. It is an area to make sure your data is correct in Arbor and to edit it in bulk, including assigning UPNs, editing telephone numbers, updating basic information about students and staff, and preparing data for the Workforce Census.
  • You can navigate to the dashboard by going to School > Data > Data Quality Dashboard.
DMS Documents - (SIMS only)
  • If you used the linked documents section of your SIMS system, and uploaded a backup of this 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, alternatively, 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.

7. Programmes of Study (Post-16 Only)

If you are a Post-16 school, you will need to check the Programmes section on Arbor to make sure everything is set up correctly: Students > Enrolment > Programmes.

  • In Programmes you should be able to see all your programme instances. Please do double check that each programme has 2 separate instances inside (1 for Year 12 and 1 for Year 13) and if they are 2 years in length (for example A-Levels) then make sure each of these instances is 2 years long.
  • To learn more about Programmes of Study on Arbor, click here.

8. Setting up integrations with your partner apps

Partner Apps are any other systems that a school uses as well as their MIS. These could be behaviour 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 you moving to Arbor, you will have discussed your partner apps with your Partnership Manager. Once the onboarding process had started, please make sure you contact your partner applications and let them know you are now using Arbor as soon as possible. 

There are multiple ways of integrating with partner apps, but it does depend on the partner. Some integrations require data to pass through another third party like GroupCall or Wonde 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 here.

9. 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 take attendance! Here are some key actions you might want to consider.

How do teachers take attendance, and how do the Admin Team 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 their 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 pages in the attendance section, as these make adding attendance in bulk a lot quicker. Click here for a guide on 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. Get help here 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.

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