Send email communications from the MAT MIS to keep staff, parents and students engaged and informed across your trust. Target your emails to specific students, guardians or staff members, or target groups of people such as whole 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.
We're always looking for ways we can improve to suit our MAT MIS users' needs. If you have any feedback or would like to be able to send other communication types in the future, please submit your thoughts to our product team here: MAT MIS Communications
To send emails and view the emails sent from within the MAT MIS, you'll need to have the Group: Group Communications: Administer permission. If you don't have permission, you'll need to ask an administrator to give you permission following these instructions.
What you'll need before getting started
To make sure you're able to send emails to everyone you need to, there's a couple of things you should check:
- Check you have purchased the feature - Email is not available on our MAT Essentials Tier. Want to upgrade or find out what package you’re on? Just get in contact with your Account Manager.
- Check contact details - Make sure everyone you'll want to send emails from (on your MAT MIS site) and to (on your MAT 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.
- Check data sharing - 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.
- Check your MAT MIS email - Make sure you've added a default email address for your MAT MIS in Administration > Group Details to allow you to send on behalf of your trust.
- Prevent emails from going to junk - 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.
You can also ask your schools to set their own short name from School > School Details to use this name in emails from you to them.
Where can we send emails from?
Mail Merge 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 be sent to the wrong recipient list.
Select who to send the emails from 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:
- Individual staff members on the MAT MIS
- All your MAT MIS staff using the All Staff (Group) option
- All Current Staff (staff with an active business role and email address) for all schools or specific schools using the All Staff (All Schools) option
- Staff members across all your schools with a specific business role e.g. Headteacher (staff with an active business role and email address)
To send to all staff across your MAT, select both All Staff (Group) and All Staff (All Schools). Please note that if a staff member is set up on multiple sites with different email addresses, they will get one email per email address.
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 using the Mail Merge option - you would need to either use the bulk actions option (shown below), or log into a school site to do this.
Using bulk actions to send an email
Use the bulk actions on a range of student and staff tables across the MAT MIS to send emails to specific students, guardians or staff.
For students, you'll find the bulk action in:
- The Students tab when drilling into your attendance and persistent absence KPIs. You can see more details here.
- Ungrouped Custom Report Writer Reports about Students.
For staff, you'll find the bulk action in:
- Staff Absences - more details here
- Single Central Record (SCR) and Census Positions - more details here
- Ungrouped Custom Report Writer Reports about Staff.
You'll be taken to the email generator, with the To box pre-filled with the recipients you selected. You won't be able to edit the recipients.
Writing up and sending the email
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'.
Click Discard Draft to delete your draft and be taken to the Drafts page. If you want to create a new draft without discarding this one, click New Mail Merge from the left-hand menu.
If you want to make changes but aren't yet ready to send out the message, just click the Save Draft button.
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.
Accessing and using your email drafts
To see sent your drafts, go to Administration > Communications > Email Drafts. Here you'll see a list of the drafts you have created, in chronological order with the most recently edited at the top. If no subject has been entered, the Subject field will be blank.
Click into a draft in the list to continue working on the draft. All the fields will fill with whatever you chose before saving the draft, including any attachments. From here you can edit your draft and send it out or save an updated version.
If you've accidentally created a draft by visiting the New Mail Merge page, or want to delete a draft if it is no longer needed, just go to the drafts page and click on the draft.
Scroll down to the bottom of the new page, and click Discard draft. You'll be returned to the Drafts page where you can see the draft has been deleted.
Seeing a log of 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 MAT 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)