Can we add a new staff absence type or category?

It is not possible for schools to add their own staff absence types. This is because absence types need to map back to one of the values on the list of agreed absence types, outlined in CBDS (the DfE's common data set), to be reported in the Workforce Census.

You can see the mapping here: Staff absence types with DfE code mapping

Which absence type should we use?

When recording an absence for staff, you will need to select the most appropriate absence category, for example, an Authorised or Unauthorised Absence. Please contact the DfE to confirm which absence category to use.

Covid-related staff absences, and recording staff as working from home please see this guidance: COVID-19: Staff absences

Can we record extra information?

When recording a staff absence, you can add extra information into the Narrative box. You can then export your data out of Arbor into Excel or Google Sheets to do further analysis if needed.

Will you be adding more absence types in the future?

We know that schools like to report on staff absence using additional values not covered in the DfE's dataset, such as Sickness half pay or Sickness zero pay.

We are open to adding additional absence types or categories, as long as they can be mapped back to an agreed value in the DfE's dataset.

If you would like us to consider adding more staff absence types or categories in Arbor, please add your feedback here, including what the values should map back to in the DfE's common dataset: Staff HR Admin. Please note that this does not guarantee that this change will be implemented.

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