How to be prepared for anything this term with Arbor MIS

Maddie Kilminster - 7 September, 2020

Category : Blog

How to be prepared for anything this term with Arbor MIS

As we enter an Autumn Term with lots of new regulations and routines, we’re working closely with school staff to make sure they’ve got the tools they need to react to anything that’s thrown at them, without missing a thing.  To support you with your big new challenges this term – from new DfE reporting,

As we enter an Autumn Term with lots of new regulations and routines, we’re working closely with school staff to make sure they’ve got the tools they need to react to anything that’s thrown at them, without missing a thing. 

To support you with your big new challenges this term – from new DfE reporting, to social distancing, to monitoring your vulnerable students – we’ve added some new features to Arbor which take the hassle out of your essential admin.

Whatever the next few months bring, here are some of the ways Arbor can help you focus on what matters – supporting your students:

1. Track attendance & absence without the stress
2. Look out for your vulnerable students
3. Report to the DfE with peace of mind
4. Create flexible timetables that work for everyone
5. Communicate with everyone from one place
6. Pivot your plans when you need to

Let’s break that down …

1. Track attendance & absence without the stress

 With students adjusting to full-time school, joining new classes and following new timetables, managing attendance is going to be a little more complex this term. 

In Arbor, School Office Staff can instantly pull together the attendance data they need, spot patterns and follow up with guardians straight from built-in attendance dashboards. 

Plus, we’ve created a range of new codes to make it simple to record attendance and absence in line with the new DfE guidelines:

  • SI – Self-isolating due to exposure to Covid-19 
  • Sym – Suspected case of Covid-19 
  • Cov – Confirmed case of Covid-19

These codes automatically map to the DfE “I” and “X” codes, so your CTFs and census returns will always be accurate.

You can also record staff absence categories to help you keep accurate, detailed records: 

  • Suspected case of Covid-19 and self-isolating 
  • Confirmed case of Covid-19
  • Self-isolating due to underlying health conditions
  • Member of their household is sick
  • Travelled somewhere that puts them at risk 

Staff absences are flagged in Arbor to everyone who needs to know, making arranging cover simple.

2. Look out for your vulnerable students

After a long time away from school, students in some vulnerable categories will need extra support to recover and catch up. To provide the best care for these students, School Leaders will need to keep a close eye on their progress across attainment, behaviour and attainment.  

Arbor makes it easy to pull reports on your key vulnerable demographic groups in a few clicks, or you can schedule reports to notify key staff members regularly. Compare each groups’ performance with the school average, spot trends and set up interventions to help them get back on track. 

3. Report to the DfE with peace of mind 

To save you time completing the DfE’s Daily Form, Arbor’s Covid-19 Dashboard crunches the numbers for you, giving you everything you need to submit the form each morning. 

We’ve just updated the Dashboard with the latest categories the DfE is tracking, including students with an EHC plan, a social worker and confirmed or suspected cases of Covid-19. Click on each category for a breakdown by year group and a full list of students.

For a MAT-level overview, you can use Arbor’s Group MIS to get data at your fingertips about all your students and staff. Monitor attendance patterns, student & staff absence, track key disadvantaged and vulnerable groups and manage Covid-19 related issues centrally.

4. Create flexible timetables that work for everyone

Depending on your space, staff numbers, and the needs of your students, you’ll need to set up your new timetable in your own unique way. That’s why we’ve built flexibility into Arbor to help you schedule your classes however you need to. 

  • Create bubbles: Once you’ve divided your students into cohorts, you can easily edit your existing timetables and add extra slots for the same lesson, add or change the Teacher, and stagger the start and finish times
  • Stagger registration: If you need some students to arrive at school at different times, it’s easy to adjust your Statutory Roll Call times in Arbor
  • Check for clashes: Make sure your new timetable works for everyone with Arbor’s handy dashboard alerting you to any clashes or gaps you need to resolve
  • Design it your way: Thanks to our integration with TimeTabler, you can create your timetable there then import it straight into Arbor

Find out how Wykham Park Academy is planning their timetabling and social distancing this term here.

5. Communicate with everyone from one place

Forget switching between systems or uploading/downloading contact lists, in Arbor you can follow up with parents, students or other staff members as soon as you spot something important, from wherever you are in the system. Simply choose the method that’s best for your message – from an email, an SMS, a mail merge letter or an Arbor App alert.

Click here to see how Arbor’s communications allowed The Parks Academies Trust to improve the way they contacted hard-to-reach students during the crisis.

6. Pivot your plans when you need to 

If your school goes into local lockdown, and you have to move back to partial school closures, remote working and virtual learning, Arbor can help you make sure you’re fully prepared to make that transition a smooth one.

Because Arbor is cloud-based, you can manage your school with more flexibility, accessing what you need to do your job from wherever you’re working. 

Plus, if the DfE brings out any new guidelines, we make updates to the system as soon as we can (sometimes even on the same day!) to help you keep up to date.

We’re here to help

During this difficult term, don’t forget the Arbor Team is here to support you with any questions you have.

  • Check out the Help Centre – We’ve put together a page dedicated to everything you need to know about reopening your school with Arbor
  • Join us live – We’re hosting a range of webinars this term, both sessions with tips and tricks for Arbor users, and sessions open to everyone to learn more about Arbor. Check out what’s coming up here
  • Join the community – If you’re an Arbor user, join the Arbor Community of fellow schools where you can share advice, best practice and learn from each other
  • Get in touch: Our Support Team are here from 8:00am-5:00pm every day on email, phone and webchat

Choose a better way to work 

Interested in finding out how Arbor’s cloud-based MIS can help you work more easily and collaboratively this term? Book a demo today, or join one of our webinars

tellmemore@arbor-education.com | 0208 050 1028

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