Getting started with your Onboarding to Arbor - MAT and Central Teams

Welcome to Arbor! 

We are very pleased to have you onboard and our team are looking forward to making Arbor a success in your schools! 

No doubt you will have lots of questions at this stage about what is next/what happens when and how you will be supported. Rest assured we have a tried and tested process in place and will fully support you throughout your journey. We have successfully implemented thousands of schools and MATs of various sizes! Click here to read just a few of our testimonials. 

Before we get in touch this article will provide an overview of whats next and fill some of the gaps before we get in touch.

When will my Programme Manager be in touch?

If you have secondary schools in your MAT Your Programme Manager will begin to work with your trust 12 weeks before your schools send their final back up. If you are a primary only trust this will be 6 weeks before the final back up date. For school specific timelines you can refer to our guide for primary schools or guide for secondary schools.

Considerations for migration timelines

Sometimes other factors are considered e.g. migrating from ScholarPack, Pupil Asset or if you require a specialised migration.

Planning and Preparation

We will begin conversations with your central team/Project Lead before we get in touch with the schools. Your Programme Manager will work closely with your MAT, to understand how they are organised and how they operate as an organisation. This allows us to find out what is important to you and your central team, what are your objectives and vision for the schools. We will then share this information with our Primary onboarding team/Secondary Project Managers to plan with your schools accordingly. We will also use this time to share best practice with you to ensure a successful transition to Arbor!


If your schools are keen to get going or just want to know what is coming next please feel free to send them the support guides below (they will be shared directly from us when their onboarding begins)

How Arbor will support your schools

We have thousands of searchable articles. Once schools are live on Arbor we also run free seasonal webinars to join, (e.g exams, new school year setup, census, parental engagement).

If schools are keen to get a head start they can access Arbor HQ where schools can share best practice with other schools and share tips and tricks with each other! 

Kick Off Call

The first step is to invite your central team to a Kick Off call. At this stage you don't yet need to get your schools involved. This will be a short call (up to 1 hour) to cover the following

  • Introduce ourselves to you as your Programme Manager 
  • Talk about our onboarding teams that can support both you and your schools throughout you onboarding
  • Confirm roles and responsibilities within your central team and your team at Arbor to ensure successful onboarding to Arbor
  • Confirm Key Dates and discuss next steps

After this initial meeting we will invite you to a more in depth ‘Discovery’ meeting. 


Your ‘Discovery’ meeting will be used to fully plan and prepare your successful move to Arbor, we will cover:

  • Planning your move and Preparing for a whole school change to ensure schools are successful moving to Arbor
  • Trust Objectives and Vision
  • Overview of Arbor’s school onboarding timelines
  • Data Migration and Third Party Applications
  • Review of services and training purchased (how schools book their training and what your central team will need/when)
  • Guide you with our experience of best practice for MAT’s 
  • Our approach to risk and change management

This is a half day session and again we would like you to invite your trust central team. Once both these meetings have taken place we will allocate our teams to get in touch with your schools to start planning with them directly. They will have view of all the plans that has been discussed thus far with your central team.

If you want to get your schools excited about their move to Arbor you can start sharing online training resources and videos. 


Onboarding Timelines

We have different onboarding timelines depending on what phase of schools are involved (e.g Primary only, Secondary only, mixed phased, special schools, manual migrations and entire new site setups). Your Programme manager will be able to explain the timelines in detail when we hold your discovery session. Our standard timelines are included below so you can understand what will happen with your schools and when. 

Primary Schools and Standard Special Schools

Your Primary/Special schools will be supported by our primary onboarding team during their onboarding. You can see the detailed timeline below of how we will be supporting your schools during their onboarding. Schools will receive weekly communications to ensure they stay on track and are fully supported in preparing for their move to Arbor!

Primary onboarding timeline.png  

Secondary Schools

Your secondary schools will be directly supported with one of our experienced Project Managers. Schools will be provided with our full guide for secondaries once we start working with them.

You can see a timeline of events below. Schools will have a weekly status call with the Project Manager to ensure they are supported and on track with their preparations.

Secondary onboarding timeline.png

Manual or Specialised Migrations

If you are migrating from a non standard MIS or need to setup a school from scratch we have you covered! You school will receive guidance to help them plan for a successful start on Arbor.



Data checking

Completing a data cleanse in your current MIS ahead of your move to Arbor is one of the most important actions a school can take to ensure the migration goes as smoothly as possible. 

To give you an idea of how long your schools will need to dedicate to data checking (both prior to go live and after go live) see below table:


Its a great time to do a data cleanse and these tasks enable us to map your data to the correct area of Arbor. If you data is not recorded correctly in your current system, you may have a problem once your data has been moved to Arbor. We will migrate any duplicates or incorrectly recorded data so its important to get this right! 

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