Assigning Primary or Legal Guardian Status
When adding a new Guardian for a student, you can set them as a Primary or Legal Guardian by following these steps:
On a student profile, click the 'Add' button on the Family, Guardians and Contacts section.
On the Add New Guardian slideover menu, fill in the appropriate details for the guardian and tick/untick the Primary Guardian and Legal Guardian tickboxes as required. Click 'Add Guardian' to create the new guardian for the student.
All 3 options are ticked by default, so you must make sure that these are correct before adding the guardian.
You can easily update the Primary/Legal Guardian status for an existing guardian profile linked to a student. You can do this from the guardian's profile, or from the Authorised to Collect page.
On a student profile, scroll down to the Family Guardians and Contacts section, then click into the guardian record that you need to update.
On the Student/Guardian Relationship slideover menu that appears, click the orange 'Edit' button in the top-right.
On the Guardian Name to Student Name slideover menu that loads, simply tick or untick the Primary Guardian and Legal Guardian tickboxes as required, then click 'Save Changes' to finalise the update.
What is the difference?
When adding a new family member to a student, you can choose whether they are a Primary Guardian or a Legal Guardian.
A Legal Guardian is legally responsible for the child (either the natural parents or a court-appointed guardian). Even if there is a court order against that guardian, they may remain a legal guardian but would not necessarily need/want/be allowed to receive communication about that child. Parents would also remain legal guardians if the children are in care voluntarily.
A Primary Guardian has daily parental responsibilities for the child, they receive updates on the academic affairs of the child and communications from the school.
A guardian can be a Legal guardian without being a Primary Guardian, but they would not be a Primary Guardian without also being a Legal Guardian.
For example, if a child lives with their father, the father would be both a Primary and Legal guardian.
For example, if there is a court order against one of the child's parents, they may still live with thm but the parent should not receive details about their academic life. In this case, they would be a Legal Guardian but not a Primary guardian.
The child has parents who are separated. the parents have been granted dual custody, and the child spends around 50% of the time at each guardian's place of residence. In this case, both parents would be Legal and Primary Guardians.
What do these settings influence?
Parent Portal and The Arbor App
To be able to log into and use the Parent Portal or Arbor App, a Guardian should be a Primary Guardian (required) and a Legal Guardian (recommended). This is because these products display detailed information of the child's school life, behaviour, academic achievement, attendance and identity information.
When sending communications e.g. a mail merge email, you can select whether to send to Legal or Primary guardians.
A legal guardian will receive all communications addressed to the legal guardians.
As Primary Guardians should also be Legal Guardians, any communications addressed to Legal guardians will be sent to Primary Guardians as well.
From other areas of Arbor, communication will be sent to Primary guardians only, such as when following up with Absences in Students > Attendance > Absentees > Absentees by Date.