Management Information System (MIS) for schools
Expert ideas for a better working life at your school or trust
Arbor Community | Case Studies | IT Support
Category : Blog
Local Authority IT teams have been working with schools in new ways over the last few years. Joining forces with cloud-based MIS suppliers, many are now able to give their schools more choice of systems, whilst still providing the local support and advice that schools value. At Arbor, we work with a wide range of
Local Authority IT teams have been working with schools in new ways over the last few years. Joining forces with cloud-based MIS suppliers, many are now able to give their schools more choice of systems, whilst still providing the local support and advice that schools value.
At Arbor, we work with a wide range of local IT support teams and Local Authorities in all regions of the country. We run an established accreditation programme to certify our Partners to provide schools with training and support with Arbor MIS.
Hertfordshire (Herts for Learning) and The City of Bradford (E-ICT Team) are Local Authorities that we work especially closely with. Both teams are Arbor Accredited Partners and support a growing number of schools in their local areas. We recently spoke to them about their experience of working with us – check out their case studies below.
Whether you’re a Local Authority looking to provide more MIS options to your schools, or you’re a school who’d like to move to a cloud-based MIS with the continued support from your local IT team, these case studies will give you a feel for what a support partnership with Arbor looks like.
Why did you choose to partner with Arbor?
We have been aware for some time that the MIS market is beginning to fragment, as competition increases and more schools begin to look at moving to the cloud, not only for MIS but teaching and learning too. A few Hertfordshire schools had been using Arbor for some time and Herts for Learning weren’t able to support them at the time they migrated. As more schools started to approach us about providing them with support for a cloud MIS, it made sense to invest our resources into accreditation with Arbor as we had an established customer base and it meant that we could provide schools that want to retain HfL support with more choice. It helped that the Arbor ethos is a good fit with HfL.
How did the accreditation process go?
It was straightforward; we took the decision to start with a small, focused project team, given that we had a limited number of schools to support at the time. Since then, we have rolled out the training to the whole HfL support team, so that customers don’t see any difference in the high level of support for Arbor that they’ve come to expect from us.
The support from Arbor during the accreditation process was good, I think both sides learned a lot from it. We were able to feed back to the Arbor team about what worked and didn’t work for us, and that was taken on board.
How have you found working with Arbor so far?
The relationship we have developed with Arbor is really positive, we’re all working to the same goal ultimately – to improve outcomes for schools. Collaborative working and effective communication has been really key in getting the support we need, in order to be able to provide a great level of service for our schools.
How have your schools that use Arbor found it so far?
The positive feedback from our Arbor schools has been great. As a local support team, we have been able to provide the added value that Arbor are not able to – we provide some very specific guidance that reflects what the local authority requires from schools in Hertfordshire, which schools and the authority really value, as it saves every school re-inventing the wheel in their MIS.
We have also produced tools in Arbor, so that schools can continue to use HfL’s Easy Tracker assessment, part of our PA Plus subscription service which supports schools and academies analyse pupils’ attainment and progress from Early Years to Key Stage 2.
How do you hope to develop your relationship with Arbor in the future?
Working with partner organisations is a key part of HfL’s success and we sincerely hope to continue working closely and collaboratively for the benefit of the schools we support, both now and in the future.
Schools are now looking at moving to cloud-based systems and Arbor seems to be one of the preferred options with good feedback from schools already using it. From the demonstrations by other cloud-based systems, the majority of schools fed back that Arbor was the one that impressed them the most.
It was not rushed and easy to access all the information needed. It was a new way of learning for us as we’re used to a more classroom-based environment but all the information was there.
Very approachable and forward thinking. Arbor makes adjustments that are relevant and on time to make school life easier – they give prior notice with training, and documentation is available early enough to be able to advise schools when needed. We’ve had no problems at all in contacting Arbor for help when needed.
The fortnightly Product Update meetings are very useful and keep us abreast of any changes coming along. We are very impressed with the speed that changes are made to the system. The Team is helpful, friendly and professional.
It is particularly helpful that we have Dominique who works with Bradford so we have someone to contact directly. When we requested a training session on a particular area of Arbor recently, as we weren’t sure which route to go through with our schools, this was set-up very quickly and Dominique answered all our questions.
If you’re a school who’s thinking about switching MIS but would like to continue to work with your Local Authority for support, we’d love to speak to you. Get in touch with us on email@example.com
Similarly, if you work for a Local Authority and would like to find out more about the benefits of supporting your schools with Arbor MIS, get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org
Arbor Community | Arbor Updates
I feel like we’ve turned a corner in good news after what has been a fairly glum year, and I wanted to share ours to add to it! I’m delighted to announce that we’ve joined forces with The Key Group to help propel Arbor to the next level on our mission to transform the way
I feel like we’ve turned a corner in good news after what has been a fairly glum year, and I wanted to share ours to add to it! I’m delighted to announce that we’ve joined forces with The Key Group to help propel Arbor to the next level on our mission to transform the way schools work. I wanted to explain a bit more about why this is good news and how it changes our ambition for what we want to accomplish over the next few years.
We chose The Key as they share our values, support our mission, and can accelerate our growth with their network of over 16,000 school leaders and governors. At Arbor, we want to provide an experience that isn’t just slightly better than other MIS systems but which totally transforms the way schools work. This requires a step-up in terms of ambition and investment. We have chosen The Key as partners in this journey as they genuinely care about improving school outcomes, can accelerate our plans with their network of over 16,000 school leaders and governors, and will provide additional investment to enable us to make a measurable difference to even more schools, MATs and support partners!
We’re growing fast, and will now grow faster! Combined with ScholarPack, we are immediately the UK’s largest cloud-based MIS provider, and the most credible alternative to SIMS.
ScholarPack is the specialist Primary school MIS owned by The Key and used by over 1,500 schools – combined with Arbor this immediately makes us the largest cloud-based MIS in the UK! We’re also the fastest-growing, with 8 out of 10 schools who switch MIS choosing either Arbor or ScholarPack. Together we can challenge the monopoly SIMS has had on the sector, and create the most credible alternative MIS that offers outstanding value to schools.
Don’t worry, Arbor and ScholarPack will continue to be run separately for the foreseeable future, with investment into both platforms so schools can choose the solution that is right for them
There are no current plans to merge platforms, so customers of Arbor and ScholarPack will see increased investment into both systems. Schools will be able to choose between ScholarPack’s market-leading MIS for primary schools, or Arbor’s MIS that works across primary, secondary, specials and MATs, with no pressure to switch. I’d add to this that I’m not going anywhere and nor is Arbor’s team, so you’ll continue to work with the same people with the same values and passion. We enjoy our work, and we’re only just getting started!
In short, this means more investment into our product and platform, and a step-change in ambition to provide tools that transform the way you work for the better. Over the next few years we will use this to…
We are very focused on providing an incredible MIS, but for all the other tools and support partners you love to work with, we want to provide a completely seamless and smooth experience too. Imagine if all your tools and IT providers worked together in harmony. Well, you might not have to wait much longer!
Schools contain a sea of information, but too often staff end up drowning in endless charts with no real insight. Imagine logging on to your MIS as a teacher and seeing the three most important tasks that are stuck waiting for your approval, the five students who you should check in on today and why, as well as recommendations for interventions and praise. This will completely change how teaching staff see the MIS, making it an essential tool for daily school life.
Schools don’t just provide education, they cater to large and complex local communities. We want to bring support staff, students, guardians and external providers together using Arbor to help them communicate, coordinate and collaborate around each child’s progress through school, so everyone is kept informed and up-to-date.
I hope that gives you a bit more of an idea of what’s in store for Arbor over the next year. COVID has meant that schools are demanding a different way of working and this will lead to a rapid adoption in cloud-based MIS. As the cloud-based MIS designed to make a measurable difference to the way you work, Arbor is really well positioned to help, so I’m really excited about what the future holds.
I can’t wait to meet you online and hopefully soon in person to tell you more about it!
CEO and Co-Founder, Arbor Education
Arbor Community | Arbor Updates | IT Support
With all the challenges of Covid-19, now may seem like a difficult time to switch your Management Information System (MIS) – but what if you had an Arbor expert in your local area, who could support you every step of the way? Working with one of Arbor’s 30 accredited Support Partners located across the country
With all the challenges of Covid-19, now may seem like a difficult time to switch your Management Information System (MIS) – but what if you had an Arbor expert in your local area, who could support you every step of the way?
Working with one of Arbor’s 30 accredited Support Partners located across the country means you can start reaping the benefits of a cloud-based MIS right away with expert support, so you’re freed up to focus on what’s most important – running your school and keeping your community safe.
Your local Arbor Partner will organise a demonstration at a time that suits you and advise you on which of our three simple packages would suit your school best. Once you decide to switch, they’ll help you check and migrate your data, train your staff and be there to support you as you discover your new MIS.
All our Partners go through a detailed training and accreditation process to make sure they know Arbor inside out – and many of them can also support other aspects of technology at your school, from audiovisual equipment and laptops, to network and infrastructure.
Choosing to be supported by one of our Partners means you get the best of both worlds: a future-proof MIS that helps you work better, collaborate more easily and stay connected on the cloud; supported every step of the way by a knowledgeable, local team.
Our accredited Partners are located all across the country, so you’re never far away from an Arbor expert. We introduced you to our first 10 accredited Partners back in March, and we’ve been busy training up a new cohort, so we wanted to shine a light on the most recent additions to our growing Partner network.
See which Partner works in your area and get in touch about switching to Arbor today:
AdEPT Education – Nationwide
Established in 2003, AdEPT are a managed services and telecommunications provider offering award-winning technical solutions for over 12,000 organisations across the UK with a mission of ‘Uniting technology, inspiring people’.
In a world where there is simply too much technology to choose from, AdEPT use their expertise and strategic partnerships to ensure customers get the right solution to their individual requirements. As well as being an accredited Arbor support unit, they specialise in IT, communications and connectivity.
Agile Technical Solutions – East Anglia
Agile Technical Solutions provide all your hardware and software needs – just like having an in-house IT department, but without all the hassle. They are cost effective as an IT solution, particularly for schools. They always respond whatever the time of day and work hard to resolve problems as soon as possible. Agile understands what matters most to you; creating excellent and safe learning environments. To enable this, school ICT support needs to be secure, responsive and value for money.
Agilisys (Sefton Borough Council) – Sefton
For over 20 years, Agilisys have partnered with healthcare, local government and organisations throughout the public sector to unlock the potential of technology and transform services that improve lives. Through a partnership with Sefton Borough Council, Agilisys are delighted to provide accredited Arbor support to schools in Sefton and surrounds.
Bradford Metropolitan Borough Council E-ICT Team – Bradford
Technology plays an increasing role in education. The Bradford Education ICT team offer friendly and expert support and training so that your school can get the most from your hardware and software, both in the office and in the classroom. The team comprises dedicated ICT qualified trainers (who are members of the Learning Performance Institute) and MIS support officers.
Carbon Cloud – Kent
Carbon Cloud is a team of friendly, real people, all with over 20 years experience in the IT industry. They want to use their experiences and skills to make IT better for your business. They’ll explain new technologies and help you understand the cloud, but most of all, they’ll help make doing business easier. Carbon Cloud understands that IT is not a core function of your business – you just want it to work to allow you to focus on growing your business.
The team’s experience is wide and varied, ranging from Cloud computing platforms, like Azure, AWS and opensource technologies to Office 365 and the management of enterprise scale service desks.
Code Green (Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council) – Barnsley
Technology has revolutionised the way in which we work and is an integral part of everyday living. Code Green demonstrates ways to apply this technology effectively within education environments to bring a range of features and benefits.
Having supported schools for over 10 years, their specialism in technology for the education sector is second to none. Each and every employee of Code Green is dedicated to providing the most professional and efficient service possible to our customers.
Cygnet IT Services – Sutton
Cygnet has a team of Arbor accredited staff with extensive experience providing professional MIS support to schools and MATs. They have over 25 years’ experience working within the education sector, specifically in the Sutton area and surrounds, and their continued success and strong relationships within this space reflect the high calibre of support they provide. Above all else, the Cygnet team are friendly, understanding and always willing to go the extra mile to meet the needs of their customers.
Education Lincs – Lincolnshire
Established in 1998, Education Lincs prides itself on providing personable and tailored solutions to primary schools and academies around Lincolnshire and the surrounding areas. Having partnerships with trusted brands such as Google, Lenovo, Promethean and Arbor, we look to always offering the best products and services to each of our schools, whilst tailoring costs to meet the school’s budget requirements.
Holker IT (formerly PC Edutech) – North West
In just 10 years, Holker IT has become one of the UK’s leading suppliers of intelligent, flexible IT solutions and services. Solutions that recognise the critical importance of security and integrity of data to the daily operations of a school or MAT. Today Holker looks to the future, with world-class services such as our Holker Cloud solution, which migrates all systems and IT Services into the virtual Cloud environment, securely, to future proof your school and your data.
In July 2020, Holker IT acquired PC Edutech, experts in IT support for schools with over 11 years’ experience in the Education sector and full accreditation on Arbor MIS.
Integra Schools (South Gloucestershire Council) – Gloucestershire
Integra is a South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) division who trade with schools, local public sector organisations, local businesses and provide services to the council. They have extensive, proven experience of working in the education arena, knowledgeable and committed staff, and a deep shared public sector ethos. The Integra Schools team is committed to making a difference in schools and educational settings; their operational staff are regarded as members of the extended school family and their professional support staff are passionate about the work they do to support school leaders, teachers, support staff, parents, children and families.
Interm IT – South of England
At Interm IT, their family business values centre on providing schools with qualified, experienced, affordable, onsite IT technician support. Each school has a dedicated technician-consultant, who will visit at an agreed regular time, to proactively help keep your computer systems operational, not only to fix but also maintain, advise and progress. This ensures that you have faith to teach with a supported, reliable computer system.
Itech Support – Hertfordshire
Itech Support is an experienced team of IT Specialists, with a Head Office in Hertfordshire, dedicated to making your IT work for you. Their aim is to simplify technology by providing you with a single point of contact for all your IT requirements. They get to know and understand how your business works so they can best support you. Itech Support’s success has grown from offering unrivalled customer service mixed with exceptional technical expertise.
JC Comtech – East Anglia
Based in East Anglia and with over 15 years’ experience, JC Computer Technologies Ltd specialise in ICT support and consultancy for primary schools and Multi Academy Trusts. They don’t just come in, fix your ICT problems and leave. Their aim is to become part of the school team, working with you to ensure your ICT is working effectively, but also supporting you in using ICT to deliver the curriculum. With many years of specialist experience, a wealth of knowledge in their support team and their willingness to go the extra mile, JC always have your interests in all that they do.
Keystone MIS – Yorkshire
Keystone MIS are a Yorkshire based company who provide professional, impartial, comprehensive and affordable MIS support to Schools and Academies throughout the UK. They take a great deal of pride in the level of support they offer and have a long history of excellent customer relationships with a large number of local schools. They’re a friendly, approachable and knowledgeable team who are experts in handling children’s data and keeping up-to-date with current legislation, with core values built on customer service and high quality support.
Somerset Council Support Services for Education (SSE) – Somerset
The SSE MIS Support team is a fully accredited, well-established and respected team with expertise in both Arbor MIS and related ICT. The team has a wealth of experience working with Schools, Academies, Federations and MATS. Their aim is to reduce the burden on schools, by providing effective, tailored guidance and support to enable you to fulfil your statutory duties. They react swiftly to new DfE initiatives and work closely with educational colleagues to monitor and apply recommendations from current Ofsted thinking. The team will work closely with you to ensure you get the maximum value and benefit from your MIS system that meets your individual school needs.
School Care – Hampshire
If you teach ICT or manage a school network then you will know that building effective and reliable solutions for schools that support 21st Century educational initiatives is a demanding and skilled task. SchoolCare’s team is dedicated to seeking out the leading new ICT solutions for education and new opportunities to improve teaching & learning. From installations to MIS support, from digital signage to wireless systems and from special needs software to equipment disposal, SchoolCare is able to offer schools and colleges a complete service driving innovation in their ICT.
Services 4 Schools – Wolverhampton
Services 4 Schools offer a range of high-quality professional business support solutions, enabling schools to achieve and operate with excellence and efficiency. The S4S team of experts are available to assist school leaders and business managers with specialist advice, reassurance and hands-on operational support across all aspects of data and information management, HR, data protection, school payroll, finance and governance.
Their competitively priced MIS support is loved by schools. From training and guidance for new users, to specialist consultancy on key processes, S4S can advise your staff on how to get the best out of the systems that keep your schools working.
The SCAS Team – West Sussex
The SCAS Team provides a personal, friendly service enabling all schools to maximise the benefit of their Management Information System (MIS). Based in West Sussex, their team have extensive experience working in a range of roles within schools and completely understand and appreciate the challenging demands placed upon schools.
Trading with Schools (Bristol City Council) – Bristol
Trading with Schools supports schools in delivering a first class education for all learners. The Trading with Schools unit brings together services across Bristol council into one trading unit, to better support the changing needs and requirements of schools and educational settings.
Trading with Schools provides a vast knowledge base and a wealth of experience in meeting the complex business and training needs required to help schools and educational settings perform well. They can offer set packages as well as bespoke services to meet your individual requirements.
SCAS pride themselves on providing a prompt and reliable service to all school staff, enabling efficient use of your MIS and empowering school teams to enhance all aspects of school performance.
Vitalize IT – Nationwide
Vitalize was formed in 2009 with a simple mission – to help schools and colleges around the UK to transform teaching & learning using the power of digital learning platforms. All Vitalize trainers have worked in schools previously, and experienced first hand the impact that digital learning and cloud-based systems can have. With our expert support for G-suite for Education, Arbor MIS and other complementary tools, we can help you create a Digital Learning Strategy encompassing teachers, learners & parents.
If you’d like to find out more about how Arbor MIS could help your school work faster, smarter and collaborate more, join one of our free webinars to see the system in action. You can also get in touch with our team directly at email@example.com or call us on 0208 050 1028.
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With just over one week to go until ArborFest – our free virtual conference dedicated to schools and trusts – we wanted to tell you all about what’s on so you can book your place! From 12th-13th November, ArborFest is your chance to hear how fellow school staff have transformed the way they work with
With just over one week to go until ArborFest – our free virtual conference dedicated to schools and trusts – we wanted to tell you all about what’s on so you can book your place!
From 12th-13th November, ArborFest is your chance to hear how fellow school staff have transformed the way they work with Arbor MIS. You’ll discover best practice in all areas – from assessment, to reporting, to parental engagement. We’ll also give you a sneak peak of what’s coming up on our Product Roadmap.
If your school isn’t yet using Arbor, it’s a great opportunity to get a taste of what it’s like to be part of the UK’s fastest-growing MIS community, and to see first hand how our schools use Arbor day-to-day.
Here’s a look at what’s on and all the links you need to sign up – just click the title of the talk! Click here for the full programme.
Best practice and advice from schools and trusts using Arbor MIS
Arbor’s CEO James and Chief of Customer Success Sonia will welcome you to ArborFest and let you know all about the top sessions to look out for.
Find out how to use Arbor to get even greater insight into your students.
Find out how Arbor’s tools could help you communicate in a more dynamic way with your school community.
Hear about our new releases, and take part in workshops to shape the future of Arbor
Ever wondered how an EdTech product team works? Arbor’s Head of Product Hilary will reveal how we decide what to develop to help schools work better.
Discover two of our brand new features for Teaching Staff – an all-in-one classroom management tool and a personalised dashboard.
If you’re using Arbor MIS, this is your chance to tell us what you think about the design, usability and layout to help us improve the experience.
(For Arbor customers only)
MAT Feedback Forum: Teaching and Learning in Group MIS
If you’re a MAT Central Team using Arbor, this is your opportunity to tell us what you think of Arbor’s Group MIS to help us improve the experience.
Our Keynote Speaker, Rachel Coldicutt, expert on the relationship between social impact and tech, will show you how you can manage uncertainty and move on after Covid-19.
We’ll show you how you can quickly access the attendance data you need in a few clicks using Arbor’s out-of-the-box reporting.
Join former Headteacher, Jackie, to find the right approach to assessment and progress tracking for your primary school, and how to implement it in Arbor.
If you’re a primary school discovering Arbor for the first time, join this demo to see Arbor MIS in action.
Hear top tips from fellow Teachers for managing your class and keeping on top of your admin! We’ll also show you how Arbor helps reduce workload, plus our new teacher-focused features.
Join Arbor’s Assessments Lead, Chris, to find out how we’ve built school and MAT-level assessments in Arbor, and what’s on the horizon.
Join Martyn, Deputy Head at The Reach Free School, and Chris, Arbor’s Assessment Lead, to learn how you can get greater insight into student progress in Arbor.
If you’re a secondary school discovering Arbor for the first time, join this demo to see Arbor MIS in action.
If you’re an administrator at a trust using Arbor MIS, this is your chance to tell us what you think of Arbor’s Group MIS to help us improve the experience for trust Office Staff.
Join Stephen, Chris and Nataliia from Arbor to hear how we’re shaping Arbor to best support MATs over the long term.
Arbor’s Chief of Customer Success, Sonia, will walk you through the support we provide throughout your life with Arbor, to help drive long-term impact.
We’ll show you how Arbor makes the DfE Daily Form easy, plus how to keep track of student and staff sickness and absences.
Meet fellow Data Managers, Exams Officers, Admin Staff sharing top tips for managing exams in Arbor.
End your ArborFest experience with closing remarks from the Arbor Team. Hear about what’s coming next and how you can keep up-to-date with what we’ve got coming up. See you there!
If you’re discovering Arbor for the first time, join this demo to see Arbor’s Group MIS in action.
Discover our brand new toolkit for schools and trusts that are large, complex or want more control of their data and system infrastructure.
We really look forward to welcoming you at ArborFest this year. It’s a great opportunity not only to learn more about Arbor MIS but also to network with fellow school staff from across the country.
If you’d prefer to arrange a 1-on-1 demo of Arbor for your school, one of the team would love to speak to you. You can book that here.
Otherwise, see you online!
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We’re thrilled to announce the launch of Virtual ArborFest – the second instalment of our festival dedicated to schools and trusts using Arbor MIS. Only 1 month away, ArborFest is your chance to hear tips and tricks from fellow school staff using Arbor, as well as expert best practice from the Arbor Team. We’ll also
We’re thrilled to announce the launch of Virtual ArborFest – the second instalment of our festival dedicated to schools and trusts using Arbor MIS.
Only 1 month away, ArborFest is your chance to hear tips and tricks from fellow school staff using Arbor, as well as expert best practice from the Arbor Team. We’ll also give you a sneak peak of what’s coming up on our product roadmap.
Join us online on 12th-13th November for a two-day event with lots of talks, workshops and feedback forums to choose from. The best thing is ArborFest is completely free!
Click here to see the full programme and book your tickets
You’ll see that we’ve split ArborFest into three key themes, each with multiple talks inside it. Click the link above to see the full programme and book into the sessions you’d like to join:
For schools who are discovering Arbor for the first time, and don’t yet use our cloud-based MIS, we’re holding special sessions just for you so you can learn more about Arbor. Book your place here if you’re a primary school, secondary school or MAT.
We’re excited to announce a very special keynote speaker for ArborFest – Rachel Coldicutt. An expert on the relationship between social impact and tech, and former CEO of Doteveryone, Rachel will walk us through “The Glimmers Report” – a new, practical toolkit to help schools, trusts and other community organisations reflect on their rapid transformation, look ahead, and set new Key Performance Indicators.
Sign up for the keynote speech here – everyone is welcome!
We’ve put together a video showcasing our last ArborFest back in February of this year (when meeting in a room full of people was normal and exciting!) Take a look and see what ArborFest means to us:
We look forward to seeing you online soon – don’t forget to tell your colleagues!
P.S. If you’re having trouble getting onto the webinar site to book your tickets, make sure you’re using an updated version of Chrome or Firefox and delete any cache or cookies, which may be blocking you.
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