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). The Guardian has input in the child's life, but the child may not live with this 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
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.
The child has an Aunt who lives in a different house who sometimes collects the child. The child does not live with them, so the Aunt 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 must be a Legal and Primary Guardian. This is because these products display detailed information of the child's school life, behaviour, academic achievement, attendance and identity information.
When sending communications from the Communications module, 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.