Begin - Introduction to Communications in Arbor

Begin, Build, Boost

You're at Begin, the first step in your school's journey to getting the most out of communications in Arbor!




  • 00:00 - Check your school details
  • 03:30 - Permitted Senders Setup
  • 06:00 - Templates
  • 09:00 - Sending Mail Merge emails
  • 13:30 - Communication Drafts and Sent Messages
  • 14:20 - Letters and Layouts
  • 22:50 - SMS Credits and SMS Settings
  • 26:30 - Sending Mail Merge SMS
  • 28:20 - In-app message Settings
  • 31:20 - Sending Mail Merge In-app messages
  • 32:30 - Labels
  • 37:00 - Notices
  • 40:00 - Communications Log


What features are included in my package?

We have loads of different features that you can use to communicate with students, guardians and staff. To find out how to upgrade your package, get in touch with your Account Manager.





Other requirements

Send and schedule email, SMS, in-app messages and letters

See communication types below

Log ad hoc meetings or phone calls


Set up communication templates


Custom communication templates and recipient lists


Ask Arbor

Have Switched on Ask Arbor



What are the different communication types?

We know schools need to be able to communicate with staff, guardians and students, so there are a number of communication types available through Arbor depending on your needs. 


Arbor acts as an email management platform, allowing you to both send and receive emails.

  • Staff members (depending on their permissions and access) can send emails to staff, students and/or guardians.
  • Recipients (staff, guardians and students) would receive the email in their email host e.g. Outlook, as there isn't a dedicated personal 'inbox' for people to access in Arbor.
  • Any recipient can reply to the email, and this reply will either show in the sender's email host inbox or in Arbor depending on your settings: What happens when someone replies to an email?
  • You need to have routed your inbox into Arbor to have emails sent to your school appear in Arbor: Rerouting the school's emails into Arbor


Top Tip: Just like on a phone contract, SMS or texts cost a certain amount to send. You must have purchased credits to send SMS - the larger the credit bundle, the cheaper each credit becomes.

Similar to email, Arbor acts as an SMS sending platform, allowing you to both send and receive texts.

  • Staff members (depending on their permissions and access) can send SMS to staff, students and/or guardians.
  • Recipients (staff, guardians and students) would receive the SMS to their mobile phone.
  • Staff, students or guardians can reply to SMS sent out and these will show in the Communications Log. New SMS that are not replies will not show in the Communications Log.

In-app message

These are messages that primary guardians can read through the Parent Portal and Parent App, so you'll need to switch this on for guardians to be able to read them.

Top Tip: If you've not yet switched on the Parent Portal and Parent App, why not check out our Begin, Build, Boost journey!


You can generate letters in Arbor, to then print out and manually hand out.

What are the differences between SMS, Email, letters and in-app messages?

  Email SMS Letter In-app message
Prerequisites None 

You must have purchased credits.

None Switch on the Parent Portal and Parent App as guardians can only read them through there.
Price Free Not free - Price dependant on the bundle purchased Free to generate, printing cost will depend on your settings Free
Pre-set editable templates


Yes No No
Set up new templates


Yes Yes Yes
Notification of replies No Yes - via notification No Yes - via email or notification
Send from Yourself, other staff or the school, depending on your settings Yourself Yourself Yourself
Send to Staff, students or guardians Staff, students or guardians Staff, students or guardians Primary guardians only
Distribute through Arbor Yes Yes No - print and send these Yes
View sent/read receipts Sent Sent No Sent and read
Send links Yes No - only text (may convert URLs to clickable links) No Yes
Send attachments Yes No No No
Send formatted text Yes No Yes No


Other things you can log

You can also:


How do we get started?

To get set up, click the button below to jump to the next step in your journey.

Build - Set up ready to send Communications

Do you offer training?

Our Customer Education specialists can offer in-depth support on how to use the areas covered in Begin Build Boost, and beyond for other areas of Arbor. Depending on the area, there are Foundation sessions, more in-depth consultations or a bespoke session.

To discuss what would best suit your school's needs, please contact your Account Manager.  

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