Set up Arbor to manage Behaviour from day 1

We know there's a lot to prepare before your school goes live with a brand new MIS. So we've created this article to help you get everything ready to hit the ground running with managing behaviour through Arbor on day 1.

Below we'll cover the minimum steps you'll need to complete for managing behaviour, plus optional features you can leave until a later time. If you would like a comprehensive guide to setting up behaviour on Arbor click here.

The behaviour essentials

If you want your staff to be able to record behaviour incidents from day one, there are a few basics you will need to check and add information for.

Please note that the data we can migrate is dependent on the MIS you are currently using and the way the data is stored. Please check with our onboarding team to make sure that the guidance below applies to your school.


When we migrate your school's data to Arbor, we import records of past Behaviour Incidents (including the staff and students involved), behaviour notes, and records of past Fixed-term and Permanent Exclusions.

There's no setup required to continue to record Fixed-term and Permanent Exclusions, you can see how to record new ones here: Creating a Fixed Period Exclusion (suspension) and Recording and viewing Permanent Exclusions and reviews



Setting up to be able to record incidents

To record a behaviour incident there are minimal setup requirements - just two steps.

  1. A check of your behaviour type
  2. A check of severity

When an incident is logged, you need to select the behaviour type that occurred during the incident. Although we do migrate over Behaviour Types, we recommend checking over the list that has migrated. 

Go to Students > Behaviour > Setup and go to the Types tab. You can add new types, or archive ones you no longer want to use by following the instructions here: Managing Behaviour Types



In Arbor, we use a ranking system for behaviour incidents depending on how major the incident is - we call these 'severities'. Assigning each behaviour type a severity means that you can set up automatic actions later on (see the additional features section below).

When migrating your behaviour data, all positive behaviours are imported as +1 and all negative behaviours are imported as -1.

We recommend changing your behaviour types to the right severity (between -5 and +5) before you start recording behaviour. This is because changing the severity will not retrospectively update past behaviour incidents already recorded. This also means that when you do begin to build your incident workflows they will start working right away!

On the Students > Behaviour > Setup > Types tab, click the type you want to edit.



Detentions and Internal Exclusions

To be able to add students to detentions, you must first have set them up and scheduled detention timetable slots. You can see how to do this here: Setting up detentions



To add students to internal exclusions (sometimes called isolation), you must first have set them up and scheduled internal exclusion timetable slots. You can see how to do this here: Setting up Internal Exclusions



Additional features

Behaviour workflows

We have additional features in Arbor to help you manage behaviour at scale by recording and following up with incidents automatically and consistently. You can choose to implement them at a later date to get the most out of Arbor. You can automate these things when an incident is logged:

  • Sending an email or SMS to the student's guardian(s) or teachers
  • Notifying member of staff that an incident has occurred
  • Auto-close the incident once the automatic actions have been taken
  • Automatically escalate to a higher level incident when behaviour is repeated
  • Add or deduct behaviour points



You can also automate your policy for detentions and internal exclusions to choose who should be allowed to allocate them and in what circumstances: Setting up Behaviour in Arbor



Behaviour points

Set up point award scales to track positive or negative behaviour: Managing Behaviour Points

Please see our guidance here if you wish to log behaviour points from your previous system: How can we log Historic behaviour points?

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