Send email communications from the Group MIS to keep staff, parents and students engaged and informed across your trust. Target your emails to specific schools, year groups or staff business roles, save time with merge fields, customise fonts and formatting and check they’ve been delivered in your email history.
As this is a new feature, we're always looking for ways we can improve it to suit our Group MIS users' needs. If you have any feedback or would like to be able to send other communication types in the future, please submit it to our product team here: Group MIS Communications
To send emails and view the emails sent from within the Group MIS, you'll need to have the Group: Group Communications: Administer permission.
Your administrators and senior management team will have this permission by default. If you need to give someone the ability to manage communications, you'll need to give them a business role that includes permission:
- CEO, CFO or COO
- Business Manager
- Head Teacher
- HR Administrator, Administration Assistant or Attendance Officer
- Senior Management Team
Please note that if your trust has taken over management of the permissions for your business roles, we will not have automatically added the permission to your staff. You will need to add this permission to your business roles.
Before you get started
To make sure you're able to send emails to everyone you need to, there's a couple of things you should check.
Make sure everyone you'll want to send emails from (on your Group MIS site) and to (on your Group MIS site and school MIS sites) have email addresses.
On school sites, you can update emails from School > Data > Data Quality Dashboard > Contact details or use our Bulk import student, guardian or staff email addresses feature.
Make sure all of your schools have accepted the Data Sharing Agreement - you won't be able to send emails to users at a school who haven't accepted the Data Sharing Agreement.
Make sure you've added a default email address for your Group MIS in Administration > Group Details to allow you to send on behalf of your trust.
If you have enabled the email spoofing protection features of DKIM and DMARC on your domain, this may cause emails sent using Arbor to appear in parents' junk folders (Often parents using Gmail or Hotmail services). Setting up DMARC or adding an SPF Record will help prevent this.
Sending a new email
To create a new email go to Administration > Communications > New Mail Merge Email.
Important note: Do not work on multiple emails in more than one tab, only work on then send one email at a time. If you work on multiple emails at once, they may not be sent to the wrong recipient list.
Select who to send the emails as by clicking the drop-down menu in the 'From' field. You can choose to send as yourself, or on behalf of the Group (this is why it's important to set a group email address). It isn't possible to send on behalf of other people.
Select recipients by clicking the 'To' drop-down menu. Here you can select who you will send your email to. Top Tip: Can't select anyone in the 'To' box? Clear your current email draft by clicking the Discard Draft button at the bottom of the page.
You can choose to send an email to:
- All or individual staff members on the Group MIS
- Staff members across all your schools with a specific business role e.g. Headteacher (staff with an active business role and email address)
- All Current Staff (staff with an active business role and email address) for all schools or specific schools
For each specific school, you can also send to:
- All currently enrolled students
- All currently enrolled students in a particular year group
- All currently enrolled students' primary guardians
- Primary guardians of currently enrolled students in a particular year group
For guardians, if a guardian has several students at the same school, they will be sent one email covering information for all their children at that school. Only guardians who have not been unsubscribed from receiving communications will receive the email.
It isn't possible to send to individual staff members on school sites, students or guardians, or to a school's default email address - you would need to log into a school site to do this. If you would like us to work on this feature in the future, please submit your feedback to our product team here: Group MIS Communications
Enter your 'Subject' in the appropriate box, followed by the body of your message in the message field. Use Merge Fields to customise each email with the recipients' details.
The email signature will automatically populate using the school's logo if added to Administration > Group Details.
Any attachments can be uploaded to the email by dragging and dropping them into the Attachments area or clicking to upload. Top Tip: If you've been working on a different email, make sure you've removed any attachments linked here to prevent sending them to to the wrong people.
At the bottom of the page, you can click 'Save Draft' if you wish to send your email out later, or 'Proceed'.
After clicking proceed, you can see who the email will be sent to (anyone who has an email address). If we can't find any email addresses to send to, you'll see a red banner and you won't be able to click Send.
At the bottom of the page before sending you’ll see the total number of messages you’re about to send.
Once you are happy with the way the email looks, click the green Send button at the bottom of the page. Emails cannot be recalled, so be sure you've checked the message, recipients and attachments thoroughly.
The email will then be sent in the background. You'll get a notification once it's finished sending. As you may be sending thousands of emails at once, it may take some time for the emails to be sent.
Seeing past sent emails
Please note that any emails sent will not appear in the Communication Logs on School MIS sites.
To see sent emails in the Group MIS, go to Administration > Communications > Mail Merge Email History.
More information can be viewed by selecting one of the emails. This will display the email, a full list of its recipients and whether each email has sent or failed.
- Delivered (shown in dark green) - Delivered to the recipient's email server
- Sent (shown in light green) - We’ve sent the email but haven’t received confirmation of delivery, or confirmation of failure yet
- Failed (shown in orange) - The email address is valid and we’ve tried to send a message to it, but it has failed for an unknown reason (such as high spam filters)
- Failed (shown in red) - There is a problem with the email address so we haven’t been able to send the message at all (e.g. there is no email address)