New School Year Setup Step 1 - Academic Calendar


This step is required, but you can return to it once completed to make further edits.

How long will it take?

This step takes around 30 minutes to complete if you have all your dates to hand.



  • School: Academic Structure: Administer - amend the academic year or term dates.
  • School: Calendar: Administer - add or amend holidays.

If you don't have permission, you'll need to ask an administrator to give you permission following these instructions.

Add the intake season

Go to School > School Structure > School Year Setup. Click on the first step to create your Academic Calendar for the next year.

  • If you’ve already been using Arbor to manage your applicants for September’s cohort, you can skip to the next step.
  • If you haven’t been using Arbor to manage applicants, you’ll need to add the next academic year. Do this by following these instructions.



Once you have added a year, you will be able to see the rest of the New School Year Setup.



Set up the Academic Calendar

The next step is to set up and check your academic calendar. Click 1. Academic Calendar to begin.

You can then complete the setup of your Academic calendar by setting up terms, and adding holidays. Make sure the academic year dates also cover the summer holidays, which are considered part of the academic year. 



Adding terms

In the Terms section, click +Add to add a new term.

Term dates should span the full term. Do not set up 6 half terms, because this will cause an error message when you try to add half-term holidays. Half Term holiday are instead added within the Holidays section, below Terms.



Once you have added all your term dates, the left-hand side of the screen will highlight any gaps in data.

You can fill these gaps by adding in all your holidays (Half terms, Christmas and Easter break etc) in the Holiday section.



Adding Holidays

Make sure you include all of your holiday dates to ensure there are no attendance registers created on these dates. You do not have to include weekends.

Add in all your half terms, vacation dates and public holidays. Holidays to be set up in the UK include Christmas, Easter, and summer breaks, any inset or training days, any public holidays or religious days. Click +Add to add a new holiday.



You should only use the Holiday Type of Half-Term for the actual half-term breaks (October, February and May). This is to ensure you can use the Half-Termly assessment period for assessments, among other things.



If you have a remaining gap at the start of the academic year (due to starting the calendar as advised on 1st September), you can fill this with a holiday type of Vacation, as it is the final part of the summer vacation.



Mark as complete

The below screenshot shows a completed set up with all relevant holidays, training days etc. added, there are now no gaps in the dates, and all dates have been accounted for.

Don’t worry if you haven’t yet added in your inset days - you can return to this step at a later date once you know when these will be.

For now, click Mark Academic Calendar as Complete.




To make any further changes to the academic calendar you must click the red Return to incomplete button, then make your edits.

You must click the Mark calendar as Complete button again to save any changes made and enable you to continue editing the next sections.




Check you’ve set up your calendar correctly

Go to School > School Structure > School Year Setup > 1. Academic Calendar. In the example below, you can see that the Autumn term is set to end on the 22nd December, but because the Christmas break holiday is set to start on the 22nd December, this overrides the term dates. There will be no registers on the 22nd of December.



To fix this, make sure that your vacations do not overlap with your term dates.

To do this, click on the date you would like to amend. In the example, I need to change the start date for Christmas Break to reflect the first date there should be no registers for. The holiday should be scheduled to start on the 25th (Arbor automatically discounts weekends).

You must click the Mark calendar as Complete button again to save your changes and enable you to continue editing the next sections.




Can I reset this step?

Yes, it is possible to reset a step in the School Year Setup. While there is not a dedicated button to reset a step, you can follow our article here to do this: Can I reset a step in the New Year Setup?   

Can I amend the year dates?

Because the academic year already has enrolments, only the name can be changed by you. This is done to prevent inadvertent changes to dates, as it would affect enrolment dates across the system.

If you need to amend the start or end dates, this will need to be changed for you. To have the dates changed, you can:

  • Contact the Support Team if supported by Arbor
  • Contact your Support Partner if not supported by Arbor  

Please note that this can cause room changes to revert.

I'm getting an error
Can I download and print the calendar?

Once you've marked your calendar as complete, click the Download Term Card button.



This will download as a PDF to your computer.




What's next?

The next step in the New School Year Setup Process is to Off-Roll Leavers.

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