Suspending classes and lessons

When a class or year group is scheduled to be doing something other than their normal lesson (e.g. study leave a school trip, work experience, an internal exam etc), you need to free up staff and rooms. You may refer to this process as collapsing the timetable.

You don't need to delete the lessons - you can do this in Arbor by suspending the lessons! Suspended lesson registers are automatically opened at the lesson start time to pull in any existing planned absence marks.


You'll need the School: Teaching: Administer permission to suspend lessons. If you don't have the permission, you'll need to ask your admin team to give you permission using these instructions.

How to suspend a lesson

Go to School > Timetable > School Timetable > Lesson Timetable (List).

Top Tip: Click into the filters to select a specific data and student group, such as a year group if they're all on a trip, or year 11 for exams.



Suspending lessons

Tick the boxes next to the classes to suspend, then click the Bulk action button and select Suspend lessons.



In the slide over, you'll see a confirm button, and a list of any classes it isn't possible to suspend lessons for due to them being in the past. To suspend the future lessons, click Save Changes.

The lessons will then show with a tick in the suspended column on the page - you may need to re-filter to find the relevant day.



If all of the lessons are in the past, the button will not be clickable, as you can only suspend lessons in the future.



Where will suspended lessons show and not show?

Any lessons you have suspended:

  • Will no longer show in student calendars or timetables, so you won't have clashing events in the timetable if for example students are on a trip
  • Will no longer show in staff calendars or timetables, so the staff assigned to the lesson will be available for cover
  • Will not contribute to staff hours
  • Will no longer show in the room calendar, so the room will be available
  • Will still show on the Incomplete Registers page, but won't show for teachers on their Homepage To Do list or on the My Items > My Incomplete Registers page if there are missing student marks.
  • Will still show in Attendance Administration pages, such as Daily Attendance and Absentees. This is because the lesson and attendance marks for the lesson still exist.

How does this work with cover?

Any lessons you have suspended will no longer show in staff calendars or timetables, so the staff assigned to the lesson will be available for cover

  • Staff assigned to suspended lessons will be available for cover.
  • Staff members who have a staff absence will no longer generate a cover requirement for the suspended lesson.
  • If the lesson suspension is later removed and the staff member still has their staff absence, the cover requirement will be triggered again, and the cover arrangement will need to be re-added. 

Remove lesson suspensions

Tick the boxes next to the classes to un-suspend, then use the bulk actions to select Remove Lesson Suspensions.



This will make the lessons show in student and staff calendars and timetables again, as well as changing whether the staff are available for cover and the room is available.

Please note that you cannot un-suspend lessons that have already started.

The register will not be automatically opened.



Attendance for suspended lessons

Usually, someone (either a teacher or admin) needs to manually open a register to add attendance marks or to pull in pre-filled planned absence marks.

Suspending a lesson does not remove the attendance marks for the lesson. This is because students will need to have an attendance mark that contributes to their statutory roll call mark. For example, if lessons were removed, students wouldn't have a statutory roll call mark because trips don't contribute towards statutory attendance.

However, it does mean that the register is automatically opened by us at the start time of the lesson.

This means that if you want the register to be automatically filled with attendance marks (for example V marks if the students are going on a trip), you just need to add a planned absence for these students. You can see how to do this here: Logging planned absences

You can also still go into the register to add or edit marks as required, or edit the marks for several registers at once using the Bulk Edit Marks pages.

Viewing suspended lessons

Go to School > Timetable > School Timetable > Lesson Timetable (List). Here you can see a column showing whether a particular lesson has been suspended.



You can click into this and click More Information to see the Lesson Dashboard.



  • On the Lesson Dashboard and in the register, you'll see that the lesson is suspended.
  • You can also see the register in Attendance Administration pages, such as Attendance > Daily Attendance, because the lesson and attendance marks for the lesson still exist.





What happens if we change the lesson start time?

If you edit the start time of the lesson after you've suspended the lesson, the register will automatically open at the original start time of the lesson, not the new one.

Can we suspend any other event types?

This functionality is currently only available for lessons.

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