Managing the February-March 2023 strikes in Arbor

The NEU has announced upcoming strike action taking place on 7 days across February and March 2023.

Action will take place on the following days, meaning each school will be affected on a maximum of four dates:

  • 1 February: All schools in England and Wales
  • 14 February: All schools in Wales
  • 28 February: North and north-west England, Yorkshire and Humber
  • 1 March: East Midlands, West Midlands, and the NEU's eastern region
  • 2 March: South-east and south-west England, and London
  • 15 March: All schools in England and Wales
  • 16 March: All schools in England and Wales

Please see our guidance below for how to manage this in Arbor.

For general details on managing strikes in schools, please see the DfE's guidance here: Handling strike action in schools

Our team at our parent company The Key Group have also created a free resource to help you navigate the impact of the strikes - you can find it on their website here: Industrial action FAQs

 

Managing staff

Recording staff absences

You'll need to record if any staff are absent from your school on strike days for the Workforce Census.

First, decide how to record the staff absences. The DfE advises to use the Absence category of Unauthorised absence. You can either use:

  • the Unauthorised absence Absence category
  • the Strike Absence category - this option maps back to Unauthorised absence in the Workforce census, but is useful if you want to specifically report on industrial action

It is not possible to create your own Absence category.

You can see how to record staff absences here: Add a staff absence

Assigning cover

  1. Any classes that no longer have a teacher will be flagged as needing cover.
  2. Make sure you have added any cover teachers to Arbor: Creating supply teachers or cover teachers in Arbor
  3. You can then assign them to cover the classes: How to assign cover
  4. They'll then be able to take the class - you can see how they can do this here: How a teacher can take attendance and the meal register

 

Managing student attendance

In this case, we recommend you should not add a holiday into your Academic Calendar. This is because:

  • you may be open for some students so need to take attendance for them
  • adding a holiday marks students with the # attendance code, but the DfE advises to use the Y code

Students who are still attending

You may wish to set up a class for students who are still attending on strike days, rather than marking them directly in the normal register.

  1. You can identify any students who will still be attending (such as those who are Vulnerable or children of Key Workers). 
  2. You may wish to set up a class for students these students who are still attending on strike days, rather than marking them directly in the normal register. You can see how to create the class here - we recommend scheduling them as one-off lessons: Set up Course, Class, Registration and Lesson registers
  3. Teachers will then be able to take the class in the same way as a normal day's lesson - you can see how they can do this here: How a teacher can take attendance and the meal register

Top Tip: These students can be marked absent alongside the other students in their normal register, because only the Best Mark will be used as the student's statutory attendance mark.

Taking attendance for students who won't be attending

For the students who will be off, you can add in a planned absence with the right pre-fill attendance code (likely the Y code) to pull through to the registers: Adding and viewing Planned Absences and future pre-fill marks

On the day of the partial closure, you'll need to open the registers for the planned absence marks to pull through, as this will not update marks automatically. Go to Students > Attendance, click into that class' register and click the Open Register button to open it and pull through the marks. You can then edit any marks from the Bulk Edit Marks pages if needed.

open_Arbor_attendance_register.png

 

Other areas

Meals

Once attendance has been taken, any students who are absent will pull through as Absent on the Meal Register, but you can update any student meal choices as needed: How can I change the meal choice for students for one day?

Clubs, trips and wraparound care

If you didn't add a closure into your academic calendar, your clubs, trips and wraparound care events that take place on that day won't be removed. You'll just need to make any refunds or cancellations for sessions that are no longer taking place by following these instructions: 

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