Create an Attendance or Absence letter and templates

In Arbor, you can set up communication templates to automatically write your email, SMS or Letter for you. You can see how to use these here: Using Email/SMS/Letter communication templates




You will not be able to include Merge Fields for students' attendance by default. You will need to set up this Merge Field, and tell the system how this should be calculated e.g. for the last term or year etc.

To do this, you'll need to set up a custom report, and use that to create your mail merge or communication template. You can see how to do this here: Creating a Mail Merge using data from a Custom Report Writer report

Top Tips:

  • Top Tip: When creating letter templates you don't need to add a merge field for the address, as these are automatically included in letter headers by default. Adding this would mean the addressee details show twice.
  • You don't need to do this for unexplained absences, such as N codes! We have a dedicated page that you can follow up with parents regarding these here: Following up on absences with guardians (N codes or any other marks)
  • Don't forget that if your school uses the Parent Portal and Parent App, parents can already view their child's attendance percentages!
  • Add a filter to your report if you only want to communicate with students with a certain % attendance, such as below 90%.



Unauthorised absences and email templates

There are a few ways that you can do this in Arbor! As mentioned above, if you would like to send out communications on unauthorised absence marks, you can manually do this using our article Following up on absences with guardians (N codes or any other marks).

However, you can also set up a report to automatically run every week like our attendance concern report! You will need follow the steps in our article Creating bespoke reports in the Custom Report Writer to do this. Alongside any other information/columns you would like to include in the report, you will need to make the following tweaks:

  • The report will need to be regarding Students
  • The report Date Range should be set to Previous Week (if running the report on a Monday) or to Current Week (if running the report on a Friday afternoon). 
  • The custom report you would need to create would need to have a filter set up for Lesson Attendance (specific marks).
  • In the slide over when creating the filter, you would need to choose all of the specific unauthorised marks you would want to contact parents about, or decide what counts as low absence (e.g. below 90% attendance).

You can then use this report to create a mail merge to notify parents of any unauthorised or unexplained attendance marks that the student has had during the week! Our article Creating a Mail Merge using data from a Custom Report Writer report has instructions on how to create this, including how to use any fields from the custom report as a merge field in the email itself. 

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