What are the Parent Portal and Parent App?

Far too often we’ve seen schools struggle with a mixture of asking parents to check letters, payment systems, booking systems, and report cards. We know that it’s not always possible for parents to access a computer, making it hard for them to keep up-to-date with all the information they need. This causes a lot of manual work for schools and makes it hard for parents to keep on top of everything.

Say goodbye to paper slips and emails - the Parent Portal and Parent App let parents register their child for a club or trip, book parents evening slots, and manage payments all from their phone or computer. Parents can also check in on their child’s attendance, behaviour and progress.

Plus, your school can communicate with parents for free using our In-App Messaging feature. Take a look at this article to learn more about using In-app messages.

How can the Parent Portal and Parent App help you?

  • Compile all your apps into one place
  • Stay in touch with parents
  • Share important updates
  • Have parents get in contact with you
  • Manage payments


What is the Parent Portal?

The Parent Portal is our version of Arbor accessible to guardians on a laptop or computer.

What is the Parent App?

Please note that only parents who have a guardian profile added to their school site can use the Parent App. School staff and teachers cannot log in.

The Parent App is the mobile version of our Parent Portal, for use on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Parents can download the Parent App for free from either the Play store for Android phones or the App Store for IOS.

Parents and Guardians have the same login and account details to the Parent App and the Parent Portal.

If your school has switched on the Parent Portal, guardians can download the App and begin using it straight away. They will need to log in using the same username (email) and password.

To see how you can benefit from using the Parent App, read our blog post.


What do parents have access to?

Parents don't need to set up a profile for themselves. This is automatically created when the schools creates the Guardian Profile for the parent. 

Parents just need to go to the login page and set a password to log in.

What Parents can see:

  • The student’s address and home phone number if they live with the student
  • Any student details they are marked down as a Primary Guardian for
  • Any features switched on in the Parent Portal Settings page
  • Bookings to clubs and trips, but not who signed the child up (school or another guardian)
  • Payment history, including which parent logged a top up
  • Positive and negative incidents logged (depending on setup)

What Parents can’t see:

  • The student’s address and home phone number if they don’t live with the student
  • Another Guardian’s address or contact details - they can only see their name
  • Who logged a phone call or the call notes
  • Documents attached to the Student record
  • Notes pinned on the student profile
  • Who issued a Detention
  • Any Communications sent to them unless they are via In-App Messaging
  • School notices
  • Individual Education Plan (IEP)
  • Neutral behaviour incidents

You can see further details of what can be customised here: Parent Portal and Parent App Settings

Who should parents and guardians go to for help?

Please see our guidance here: Can Arbor Support help parents directly?


Things to consider before you get started

When are you going to be switching on the Parent Portal?

  • Do you have a time that would be best to switch the Parent Portal on?
  • Do you have lots of different apps at the moment that you need to
  • Do your parents already have lots of things they need to sign up for?
  • Do you have the time to roll this out now?

Are you going to need a task force? Is the work manageable for one person or do you need a team? Who will you need support from at the school to complete:

  • Checking emails
  • Contacting guardians
  • Advertising
  • Planning your switch on

How are you going to advertise the Parent Portal? Get parents on board by planning a good content strategy to make sure parents keep coming back and logging in! Run a social media campaign, display posters or send emails. Don’t forget to plan when you will be switching the Parent Portal on and which areas you want parents to see!

  • Posters
  • Social media
  • Emails, letters
  • Drop-in sessions
  • Parents evening on the Parent Portal


What's next?

The Parent App and Parent Portal are available as part of the Comms and Perform MIS packages. To find out how to upgrade your package, get in touch with your Account Manager.

If you're already on Comms or Perform but have not yet begun using Parent Portal, you’re almost ready to go! You’ll just need to set up the Parent Portal in Arbor first. Find out how by reading our help article.

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