Migrating your Timetable

For a timetabler, changing MIS can be a daunting prospect! Depending on your school's migration date, you will need to decide how to manage bringing your timetable across.

Below you will find our recommendations for switching at different periods of the year, and depending on your current software.

Key terminology

This article below refers to things as they are in Arbor, so we've included a handy table to help you translate language between systems.

Description Arbor name TimeTabler name Nova T name Edval name
A group of students taught the same subject together Course (sometimes referred to as Module), called Academic unit in URLs Teaching Group Class Class List
The event the lesson takes place in, with details of when, with whom and where Timetable Slots (listed in the Classes & Lessons section of a course page Lesson Lesson Lesson
Something scheduled for something that isn't taught Timetable Slots, but for School Events not lessons Non-teaching activities (NTAs) Non-class code (NCC) Non-class, but these are named individually (meeting/duty/PPA)
The individually dated activity that is taking place, e.g. Year 7, Group A Maths on Tuesday 27th October, at 9-10am with Mrs C, in Room 101 Lesson/Class, called sessions in the background Lesson - dates are not needed in TimeTabler, just applied by Arbor after import Lesson Lesson
Groups where you want the same set of students to be enrolled into multiple subjects (e.g. these 30 students will be taught all humanities subjects together) Teaching Group or Registration Form - schools choose which on import Pure class activities e.g. 7A, but not usually specified Band (these can be split into further classes), but not usually specified Group (or Group Timetable). You have a class list for the group.


What do we need to do with our timetabling software?

Your current timetable in your old MIS will migrate to Arbor, but you'll also need to think about what software you'll use to make updates or build future timetables to import.

What will happen to our timetable in our current MIS?

When preparing for your final migration, the timetable that you have imported into your current MIS will transfer over, including future dates for any timetable slots that you have planned for. 

If you are currently using Nova T

Use Nova T to manage or create your timetable and import into SIMS before your final migration date.

Arbor does not integrate directly with Nova T for timetable imports and exports. We encourage you to think carefully about which timetabling software you will use alongside Arbor - either TimeTabler or Edval.

If you move to Edval, they can work with you to create your timetable using the Arbor API.

If you move to TimeTabler, you can either:

  • transfer your Nova T timetable to TimeTabler (if you have already created your timetable or wish to write it in Nova T). This can be done for you by MIST - please contact them for further details and support.
  • create your timetable in TimeTabler.
  • create your timetable in Nova T and export to SIMS before your migration to Arbor. The timetable will be migrated from SIMS into Arbor. Top Tip: You will still need to plan your move to use TimeTabler or Edval in the future.

Please contact TimeTabler or Edval for further support on moving to their systems.

If you are currently using TimeTabler

Use TimeTabler to manage or create your timetable and import into your old MIS before your final migration date. We'll migrate your current and future timetables into Arbor, as long as they're set up in your old MIS.

Alternatively, you can also import your timetable directly into Arbor once live. In this case, you will need to dedicate time to mapping your courses after migration.

If you are currently using Edval

Use Edval to manage or create your timetable and import into your old MIS before your final migration date. We'll migrate your current and future timetables, as long as they're set up in your old MIS.

Alternatively, you can also contact Edval to organise a timetable sync directly into Arbor once live. Please note that each sync sends your full timetable from Edval to Arbor, so you will need to dedicate time to bring this over.


What do we need to do when moving over at different times of the year?


If you've migrated your timetable from your previous MIS and need to import again, you'll need to do a mid-year import. As this will be your first imported timetable from TimeTabler or Edval, please bear in mind that:

  • you will need to end all your existing course timetable slots before importing
  • the mapping could take more than an hour to complete during your first import

Here are some more useful things to keep in mind about your courses: 

  • Mapping is simpler if your course names in your timetabling software match the names of your courses in Arbor.
  • Course names, teachers and rooms can be taken from Arbor when building a new timetable. You can see how to do this here for TimeTabler, or contact Edval for details on how this works for Edval.
  • Be aware that your course structure may have an impact on the matching process. If using Edval's conversion consultancy, course names may not be identical, so this may lead to a more time-consuming matching process where all the bottom-level courses need to be matched individually. If using TimeTabler’s conversion consultancy, course names will be the same as in Nova T, but your course structure may differ.

Planning for the next Academic Year

To ensure a successful import, consider which software suits your school best to use, and anticipate the volume and complexity of changes that you may need to make and when you are likely to make them

Carefully plan which staff members will need training and support. We recommend purchasing and completing training offered by TimeTabler or Edval to fully understand your new timetabling software before the new academic year begins.

Edval users

Ensure courses are created in Arbor before you build your new timetable.

  • If migrating over the Summer, you can manipulate the migrated timetable.
  • To plan your timetable for the next academic year, you should use the New School Year Setup process
TimeTabler users

If you have the same courses year on year, export this year’s courses via these instructions. This is especially useful if you want to build next year’s timetable before the New School Year Setup opens and if you want to import your course structure from TimeTabler.

If you are happy to wait for the the New School Year Setup to open, you'll be able to create next year’s timetable from the course list created in Arbor for next year or import your course structure from TimeTabler.

  • You'll build your timetable directly in TimeTabler, and then import courses to Arbor from your TimeTabler file.
  • Course Enrolments cannot be created until this step has been performed, but course matching is not needed using this method.


How do we make changes to our future timetable?

If your school is migrating over a holiday period, make sure your timetable has been prepared in advance and is ready for your final migration date.


If you are likely to begin next year’s GCSE courses before the end of the academic year, we strongly recommend making dummy courses for the new timetable. Further guidance can be found here.


Plan ahead for September, making changes and future plans to your timetable in your old MIS, or import your timetable from your timetabling software into your old MIS. This will be imported across to Arbor.

Please note that this process is currently not available if migrating from Progresso or Integris, so please contact the Arbor Support Team if supported by Arbor, or your Support Partner if not supported by Arbor.

When making significant changes to your timetable over the Summer, import your timetable into Arbor directly from either Edval or TimeTabler.

If you need to make small changes to your timetable:

  • You're using TimeTabler -  this can be managed directly within Arbor. These changes can then be exported from Arbor to TimeTabler.
  • You're using Edval - make the changes in Edval. You will then need to re-import your timetable.


Need more help?

If you have any further questions, please:

  • Use our timetabling guidance for importing your timetable, or editing it in Arbor.
  • Contact Edval or TimeTabler directly for support with using their systems, or if you would like to discuss your migration options.
Was this article helpful?
0 out of 1 found this helpful
I'm still stuck!



Article is closed for comments.