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The Arbor Blog

Expert ideas for a better working life at your school or trust

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blank Cosima Baring - 13 October, 2021

Category : Blog

ArborFest is back – and you’re invited!

We’re extremely excited to introduce the latest edition of Arbor’s bi-annual conference, ArborFest!  ArborFest is your chance to meet (online!) the growing community of over 2,000 schools and 200 MATs using Arbor to transform the way they work. On 2nd and 3rd December, discover six stages packed with sessions designed for schools and MATs of

We’re extremely excited to introduce the latest edition of Arbor’s bi-annual conference, ArborFest! 

ArborFest is your chance to meet (online!) the growing community of over 2,000 schools and 200 MATs using Arbor to transform the way they work.

On 2nd and 3rd December, discover six stages packed with sessions designed for schools and MATs of all sizes. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re already using Arbor or just want to get a behind-the scenes look. 

Join us for masterclass sessions, where you’ll learn new tips and tricks on specific Arbor modules, an interactive workshop on mindfulness, and feedback forums where you can help shape our roadmaps! 

For the first time we’ll be combining our best-selling, MAT Conference series, “Building a Resilient Trust” with ArborFest. In the next couple of weeks we’ll be launching a dedicated MAT stage at ArborFest, full of thought leadership talks from experienced MAT leaders from across the country. Keep an eye out in your inbox for your special invite to this. 

Plus, Dr Emma Kell will be giving a keynote speech on building resilience and creating a sustainable work-life balance, there are talks from Arbor’s CEO and Chief of Customer Success, and the best thing is – it’s completely free!

Click here to see the full programme and book your free tickets!

This year we’ve got sessions including:

  • Masterclasses – Learn new tips and tricks for getting the most out of a range of Arbor modules
  • Advice from current Arbor schools and trusts – Hear how other leaders, support staff and teachers are using Arbor at their schools and trusts
  • Demos of Arbor MIS – See what how transformative Arbor can be from the schools and MATs using us every day
  • Keynote speaker – Hear from Dr Emma Kell, who will speak on building resilience in education and discuss practical ways to change the way you work for the better
  • Feedback Forums – Share your feedback on Arbor and shape our Spring and Summer Term roadmaps!
  • Mindfulness session – Join Drama Therapist Danielle Arkwright for a session to switch off and take a minute for yourself

Sign up for the keynote speech from Dr Emma Kell here – everyone is welcome!

Who should come?

ArborFest is open to all schools and trusts – whether you already use Arbor MIS, or are interested in learning more about us. We’ve also curated special sessions for the partners we work with.

How can I join ArborFest?

ArborFest is completely free to attend. All you need to do is:

  • Register for the sessions you’d like to join with your work email
  • We’ll send you a personalised link
  • Add the sessions to your calendar
  • Click on your personalised link to join the sessions on 2nd and 3rd December

What do I need to join ArborFest?

All you need to join a session at ArborFest is a computer, laptop or tablet, and a good internet connection. If you’re joining a Feedback Forum, you’ll also need a microphone and video camera so you can share your ideas with the group.

How can I keep in touch?

Stay in the loop by following us on Twitter or LinkedIn!

And if you haven’t already, join the Arbor Community – your online space to ask questions, share best practice and learn from, and support, fellow Arbor schools and MATs.

Look forward to seeing you in December!

blank Cosima Baring - 11 October, 2021

Category : Blog

Academies Enterprise Trust chooses Arbor as the MIS for its 57 schools

We’re proud to announce that Academies Enterprise Trust, one of the largest mixed-phase academy trusts in England, has just chosen Arbor MIS for its 57 schools. More schools switch to Arbor than any other MIS, and we now support the three largest primary and secondary MATs in the UK! AET’s schools will join our growing

We’re proud to announce that Academies Enterprise Trust, one of the largest mixed-phase academy trusts in England, has just chosen Arbor MIS for its 57 schools. More schools switch to Arbor than any other MIS, and we now support the three largest primary and secondary MATs in the UK!

AET’s schools will join our growing community of over 2,000 schools and 200 MATs who have all chosen Arbor to help transform the way they work – including REAch2, the largest primary school MAT, who moved to Arbor in 2018, and United Learning who moved in 2020.


James Browning, CIO at AET said:

“We are delighted that our schools will soon be able to benefit from the partnership we have formed with Arbor. As a trust we are striving to provide the best possible data and technology services to schools and Arbor MIS will form a critical part of these services. 

We recognise the strategic importance of a partner too; one that can support our ambitions in using technology to support brave data led decisions and ultimately help launch children into remarkable lives, and Arbor have proven themselves to be fully aligned to this vision.” 


James Weatherill, CEO at Arbor, said:
“We are incredibly excited to be working with James and the team at AET to use Arbor to help schools transform the way they work and make a lasting positive impact to outcomes for their students. We’re proud that Arbor is now the MIS of choice for the largest mixed-phase MATs with secondary schools and can provide the infrastructure to help trusts scale sustainably from start-up to scale-up and beyond.”


Arbor’s cloud-based MIS has designed with features to suit every phase:

For MATs: Arbor’s MAT MIS lets you work across all your schools from one central system, so you can collaborate more easily and really understand what’s going on. Arbor allows you to track performance from a distance, compare data across schools, manage your staff, and communicate with everyone centrally.


For Secondary Schools:
Our MIS for Secondaries lets you analyse your data in any way you like. Choose our out-of-the-box Business Intelligence (BI) dashboards, or securely export your data to external analysis tools like PowerBI, Google Sheets or Excel. Roll out your behaviour policies consistently and automate time-consuming follow-ups such as booking detentions and notifying parents. Arbor also includes end-to-end exams management, cover planning, timetabling, and interventions management.


For Primary Schools:
With Arbor for Primaries, daily jobs like chasing absent students and following up on incidents are simple and painless. Our MIS brings all your student and staff data together so you can easily spot patterns, and get the data you need at your fingertips to tell the full story of each pupil as they progress through school. Our primary schools love our lightning-fast registers and simple census tools too.


200 MATs have chosen Arbor MIS in the last 4 years…

AET is the latest MAT to choose Arbor – joining trusts like United Learning, REach2, Aspire, Diocese of Salisbury Academy Trust, Red Kite, LEO Academy Trust, Wellspring, and Hoyland Common Academy Trust who have all moved to Arbor in recent years. 


…and 100 more MATs will switch MIS this school year

Over 1,000 schools, and 100 trusts, are likely to switch MIS this year. See why more choose Arbor than any other provider at: www.arbor-education.com 

blank Maddie Kilminster - 5 October, 2021

Category : Blog

Arbor’s new partnership with Scomis

We’re delighted to announce that Scomis is now an accredited support partner for Arbor MIS! Scomis is a leading specialist in school support services, working with over 810 schools and MATS across England in 53 local authorities. Scomis pride themselves on providing the highest levels of service which empower everyone at all levels within a

We’re delighted to announce that Scomis is now an accredited support partner for Arbor MIS!

Scomis is a leading specialist in school support services, working with over 810 schools and MATS across England in 53 local authorities.

Scomis pride themselves on providing the highest levels of service which empower everyone at all levels within a school or multi academy trust – from teachers to administrative staff and senior leadership teams. They have already ensured that their team is accredited to advanced level to support and train Arbor schools which really highlights their commitment to making sure their schools have outstanding support from the get-go.

Arbor MIS (Management Information System) is the hassle-free way for schools and trusts to get work done.

Whether you’re a primary, secondary or MAT, Arbor helps make your essential daily admin more powerful and less stressful – so everyone from your back office to your SLT can get on and focus where it matters most.

We’ve already helped more than 1900 schools and 200 MATs make the switch to our smarter cloud-based MIS.

Lorum ispum

We’re thrilled to say we are now working together to give schools the option to switch to Arbor MIS and take their support from a trusted educational ICT partner.

Working with Arbor and Scomis together gives your school or trust:

1. A cloud-based MIS which makes your essential admin and day-to-day work hassle-free

2. Access to the right data at the right time through our built-in live dashboards and custom report builder

3. Peace of mind that systems and processes are running as they should be, so that you can concentrate on teaching

4. An MIS Support Team who will help you save time on data management, help you embed your MIS and use it effectively to deliver improved outcomes

5. Direct, fast and responsive access to support experts who’ll be on hand whenever you need-  Scomis has specialised in MIS support for over 40 years and is committed to delivering service excellence.

Lorum ispum

Part of Devon County Council, Scomis has traded as a not-for-profit organisation for 40 years.  Any small surpluses they make are reinvested to the benefit of the public sector so that they can continue to go above and beyond for their schools. What’s more, their services are not limited to schools within the Devon area only.

To find out more about switching to Arbor with Scomis contact scomis@devon.gov.uk / 01392 385 300

blank Maddie Kilminster - 29 September, 2021

Category : Blog

Free EdTech support for schools from the Edtech Demonstrator Programme

What is the EdTech Demonstrator Programme? If you’ve not heard of it, the EdTech Demonstrator Programme provides publicly-funded schools and colleges in England with access to free, tailored, peer-led advice and guidance to help develop their use of technology in support of effective teaching and learning. This follows on from 4,000 schools and colleges benefitting

What is the EdTech Demonstrator Programme?

If you’ve not heard of it, the EdTech Demonstrator Programme provides publicly-funded schools and colleges in England with access to free, tailored, peer-led advice and guidance to help develop their use of technology in support of effective teaching and learning.

This follows on from 4,000 schools and colleges benefitting from the programme in 2020-21, which launched shortly before the Covid-19 pandemic enforced an extended period of remote teaching and learning.

What does the programme do?

The programme provides peer-led support via a network of over 40 EdTech Demonstrators across England. The EdTech Demonstrators have shown they use technology effectively and have the capacity to help other schools and colleges do the same. The peer-led approach delivers the sharing of learning, upskilling of staff and encourages continuous development for all involved.

The programme offers help on a range of topics, including:

  • School/college recovery
  • Building an accessible and inclusive curriculum (including pupils with SEND and excluded learners)
  • Improving teacher workload
  • Impacting on your educational improvement plans; better resource management
  • Creating a digital strategy

The EdTech Demonstrator Programme webinar series

Sign-up to any of the below sessions to get a feel for for the programme and how it can help your school

October 5th, 5pm: What should school and college leaders be thinking about when they think about technology?

Strategic Leadership and Creating Change

When developing your digital strategy, teaching and learning should be at the centre of your thinking. In this webinar Edtech Demonstrators will discuss the activities a senior leadership team can do to identify the teaching and learning foci for the implementation of technology.

Sign-up here

October 7th, 4pm: Digital wellbeing for pupils: consuming without being consumed

Effective Use of Technology to Support the Processes of Teaching and Learning

Technology plays a key role in our leisure, work and education, whether we are adults or still in school or college. This webinar will showcase the work being done by some of the EdTech Demonstrators to support their communities – staff, students, pupils and parents – to develop strategies to improve their digital wellbeing.

Sign-up here

October 12th, 5pm: Where can digital technology have the greatest impact for schools or colleges?

Strategic Leadership and Creating Change

Making teaching as impactful as possible when using technology requires 3 key ingredients – appropriate classroom technology, pupil access beyond school, and very clever tools. The EdTech Demonstrators will discuss how they have brought these 3 elements together to gain the most benefit for their staff and pupils/students.

Sign-up here

October 14th, 4pm: EdTech Experts’ Choice: decide which are the most impactful pieces of software for use at KS2

Technology Solutions; Platform Functionality

Five Edtech demonstrators will pitch their choice of the most effective KS2 learning applications to those on the webinar. The audience will then have an opportunity to vote, allowing the winner to further demonstrate how the tool supports effective teaching and learning in the classroom.

Sign-up here

Lorum ispum

If you’d like to find out more or would like to access support from the programme you can register your interest here.

blank Rebecca Watkins - 29 June, 2021

Category : Blog

How to build a resilient trust: Interviews with MAT leaders and industry experts

Last term, we launched Part Two of our popular webinar series for MAT Leaders – “Building a Resilient Trust”. In each webinar, Arbor’s CEO, James Weatherill spoke to MAT leaders and industry experts about their strategies for running a trust successfully during Covid-19 and beyond. The series explored different facets of “resilience”, including culture, change

Last term, we launched Part Two of our popular webinar series for MAT Leaders – “Building a Resilient Trust”. In each webinar, Arbor’s CEO, James Weatherill spoke to MAT leaders and industry experts about their strategies for running a trust successfully during Covid-19 and beyond.

The series explored different facets of “resilience”, including culture, change management, school improvement, and finance, and gave MAT leaders the chance to hear from peers, share ideas and leave with practical tips to take back to their own trust. 

In case you missed the series, don’t worry! We’ve written up all the talks in an exciting new ebook. Download your copy of the free ebook for MAT leaders here.

MAT-book

What’s inside?

In your ebook, you’ll find interviews with established MAT leaders (from Ormiston Academies Trust, Academy Transformation Trust, Romero Catholic Academy Trust and more) as well as industry experts, sharing all the lessons they’ve learned from the past 12 months. They also share their advice for how to rewrite your five-year trust development plans with new, more ambitious goals. 

You’ll discover how to manage change more effectively, hear ideas on what assessment can and should look like in the future, as well as the steps to making your trust more financially sustainable.

You’ll find yourself reflecting on how to prioritise the things that have the greatest impact at your trust, like how to create a culture of learning to attract and retain the best staff.

Here are the interviews you’ve got in store:

  • The road to financial sustainability as a trust, with Patrick Taggart, Director of Operations at Romero Catholic Academy and Mark Tadman, CEO of School Business Services (SBS)
  • The future of assessment: How Ormiston Academies Trust is capturing more than grades, with Nick Hudson, CEO of Ormiston Academies Trust
  • Managing change in a crisis — Why Orwell MAT moved MIS during Covid, with Anna Hennell James, CEO of Orwell MAT
  • How Academy Transformation Trust created a culture of people development, with Abby Bayford, Director of ATT Institute and Kirsty Woolls, HR Director at Academy Transformation Trust
  • Back on track: Fewer things, greater depth, with Mary Myatt, Education Adviser, Writer and Speaker

How to get your copy

Fill in your details on this page and we’ll email you a PDF copy of this new ebook, for free. We’ll also include “Building a Resilient Trust” Part One, so you can read how another group of MAT leaders navigated the first wave of the pandemic.

Future events with Arbor

Our “Building a Resilient Trust” webinar series is part of our wider MAT events programme, attended by over 600 trust leaders this year so far. We’ve got lots of other great events coming up this term with spaces still available. 

Conversations with MAT Leaders: A Roundtable on Scaling, Systems and Change Management

On 1st and 8th July, we’re holding two intimate and interactive roundtables online (limited to 12 places each) on scaling, systems and leading successful change at your trust. The discussion will be led by our co-hosts Owen McColgan, CEO of Howard Trust and Nick Doy, Head of Data Quality at Nicholas Postgate, who’ll share how they approached a recent trust-wide systems change.

Read the full agenda and book your free spot at a roundtable here.

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Switching Made Simple: The benefits of the cloud

If you’re starting to think about a move to the cloud but don’t know where to start, our Switching Made Simple webinars are perfect for you. We’ll talk you through the process from start to finish so you can see what’s really involved in switching MIS and what the next steps would be for you. Perfect for your school level staff.

switching-simple

Click the links to book your spot below:

5 Ways Arbor Will Transform the Way That you Work
Wednesday 30th June, 10am; Thursday 8th July, 2pm

Switching MIS Made Simple for Primary Schools 
Tuesday 29th June, 2pm; Wednesday 7th July, 10am

Switching MIS Made Simple for Secondary Schools 
Tuesday 29th June, 10am; Tuesday 6th July, 2pm

blank Maddie Kilminster - 17 June, 2021

Category : Blog

Hear from our team of educators

At Arbor we pride ourselves on working closely with school staff across the country to help us develop the tools that will make the biggest improvement to the way they work. 92% of school staff say Arbor has changed the way they work for the better. 81% say Arbor has improved how they analyse and

At Arbor we pride ourselves on working closely with school staff across the country to help us develop the tools that will make the biggest improvement to the way they work.

92% of school staff say Arbor has changed the way they work for the better.

81% say Arbor has improved how they analyse and understand data.

92% save time with Arbor compared to their previous MIS.

 

We’re education experts

It’s also important to us to hire former educators and education experts on our staff. With over 15 former teachers and many more who know schools inside out, we live and breathe school life!

We recently asked four of our former Teachers to share a little bit about their experience working for Arbor. They’ve also got some tips for current Teachers looking to brand into EdTech, too.  Watch their interviews below. 

 

Joe Wilson – Former Assistant Headteacher and Arbor Software Trainer

We asked Joe: How do you feel your school/teaching experience has allowed you to add value and become a success at Arbor?

Stephen Higgins – Former Geography Teacher and Arbor Lead Product Manager

We asked Stephen: What steps did you need to put in place to move into the business sector and what advice would you give someone wanting to make the move? 

 

Chris Sherwood – Former Teacher/HoD/Department Head and Arbor Product Manager

We asked Chris: How has your school experience allowed you to be a success at Arbor and do you also get the same satisfaction after moving over to the business/MIS side?

Maggie Fidler – Former Secondary Teacher and Arbor Key Account Manager

We asked Maggie: What were the main challenges for you moving to the business side and how did you overcome them?

 

Discover the live roles we’re hiring for today! https://careers.arbor-education.com/

 

blank Maddie Kilminster - 24 May, 2021

Category : Blog

How to make the most of your time as a SENCO

Working to meet the needs of a diverse range of students is a universal challenge in schools today. For SENCOs this is even more challenging, given the specific and complex needs of the students they look after. SENCOs also have a lot of student data to manage (and not to mention lots of paperwork).  

Working to meet the needs of a diverse range of students is a universal challenge in schools today. For SENCOs this is even more challenging, given the specific and complex needs of the students they look after. SENCOs also have a lot of student data to manage (and not to mention lots of paperwork).

 

What makes an effective SENCO?

Often with other teaching or wider school responsibilities, SENCOs have limited time in their days. Not only have they got to run effective interventions, they’ve also got to be able to communicate well with their colleagues to recommend the best ways to support SEN students and guardians across the school. 

To be most effective, SENCOs need good data management, organisation and communication. Above all, they need good tools at their disposal that make reporting and communications as quick and easy as possible, so they can make the best use of their time.

 

 

Top 4 tips for school SENCOs

Our in-house SEN expert, Tammy, who has over 30 years experience in working with SEN children from EYFS to Key Stage 5, has put together her top four tips. If you’re a SENCO or staff member with SEN responsibilities, these principles will help you maximise your time.

1. Organise your SEN data

Organising your students’ SEN data in an efficient way is the first thing that will help you quickly access the information you need regularly. It’s best to identify the data you need to cross reference or report on a lot, as well as the SEN information you need to share with Teachers and other staff. Keeping this data together will save you time and effort when it comes to running reports and preparing for meetings.

2. Keep communication consistent

It can be time-consuming to keep staff across the school up to date on critical SEN information. Having a consistent format for communicating information can help your colleagues know what to expect so they can immediately jump to the most important parts.

Find a format that’s easy to produce and to speak to, time after time. Think about sending weekly updates, sharing access to a live document or folder, or setting aside five minutes during staff briefings for SEN announcements. 

3. Connect regularly with parents and guardians

As every SENCO knows, it’s vital that parents and guardians are part of their child’s SEN journey but it can be a challenge to achieve open communication between school and home. Building a rapport with your parents and guardians outside of meetings can help achieve this. 

Look for ways to connect on an informal basis, such as spending a few minutes outside after school to say hello. Think about ways to celebrate students’ successes in the form of a short email, phone call or postcard home. You could even create a termly newsletter providing helpful tips and information for parents.  

4. Use SEN Provision Maps

Provision Maps are great tools for organising your SEN information and monitoring the effectiveness of the support you have in place to meet students’ needs. They’ll also help you target and plan future interventions.

When creating your Provision Map, make sure you include details of the interventions you’re providing, with measurable outcomes and individual students’ aims and strategies. If you’re tracking intervention costs, be sure to add these details as well. Consider including student behaviour and attendance information to help you track student progress. 

 

How Arbor helps with SENCO responsibilities

Arbor MIS is built to make a measurable improvement to the way schools work. It’s intuitive, people-friendly tools free staff from busywork so they can focus where it matters most – on their students.

For SENCOs in particular, here are a few ways Arbor helps you support the students in your care: 

  • Record SEN information consistently on Student Profiles, including medical information, SEN needs and pastoral notes, plus relevant demographic factors
  • No need to pull a report to compare SEN status, SEN Needs and key progress measures thanks to built-in dashboards
  • Get staff on the same page with SEN – Choose how you display SEN information on Teachers’ Lesson Dashboards so everyone’s tracking the same factors. Student information will update automatically whenever there’s a change  
  • Get SEN information at your fingertips by downloading any student list. Add any other key information to the list, such as attendance stats or something unique that you’re tracking such as guardians’ medical conditions, or students’ access to technology at home
  • Take action straight away – As soon as you spot something to follow up on, you can send a communication, schedule a meeting or set up an intervention in a few quick clicks
  • Monitor the effectiveness of your interventions – Built-in Provision Maps and intervention dashboards in Arbor let you run interventions exactly how you need to, and track their success across school

 

SENCO-quote

 

Join our brand new CPD course for SENCOs!

Are you an Arbor user? Do you want to grow and develop in your SENCO role? Our new CPD course – Core Skills for SENCOs – is designed to give you a deeper understanding of your data so you can make the biggest impact for your students. 

Led by our in-house SEN specialist, Tammy Middleton, who has over 30 years experience working with SEN students, this online course shows you the best way to manage your data and take action to support your SEN students.

By the end of this course you’ll be able to:

  • Record key student information
  • Tailor your reporting to target student groups
  • Set up and manage effective interventions
  • Track SEN provision, funding and all performance measures at school level

Perfect for:

  • SENCOs, SEN Support Staff
  • Primary, Secondary, Special schools

Get in touch with your Account Manager to find out more today! Accountmanagers@arbor-education.com 

SEN-CPD-course

blank Maddie Kilminster - 19 May, 2021

Category : Blog

The first step in your school’s move to the cloud

Schools have been adapting and innovating endlessly over the past 12 months. It’s been tough, but it’s also resulted in some innovative, positive changes to how schools work.  To handle these new ways of working, we’ve seen more schools than ever before planning to move to a cloud-based MIS (Management Information System) like Arbor, with

Schools have been adapting and innovating endlessly over the past 12 months. It’s been tough, but it’s also resulted in some innovative, positive changes to how schools work. 

To handle these new ways of working, we’ve seen more schools than ever before planning to move to a cloud-based MIS (Management Information System) like Arbor, with over 900 schools switching fully remotely in 2020.

1 in 5 schools are looking to switch MIS in the next year, so we want to make it as easy as possible for you to get all the information you need to make the right choice.  

Why should you switch to a cloud-based MIS?

Older school systems that rely on servers make it really difficult to run your school flexibly. They also work slowly and put a huge admin burden on staff.

comparison-table

Arbor is people-friendly, giving staff the tools and data they need wherever they’re working from. As a result, Arbor schools work faster, smarter and collaborate more. 

Join a free webinar to find out more

To help demystify the move to a cloud-based MIS, we’re running lots of free webinars this term.

From case studies, to demos, to deeper dives into core parts of the system, our webinars are designed to show you why over 1,700 schools and 180 MATs have joined Arbor – the UK’s fastest-growing MIS community. 

Whether you’re uncertain of a system change right now, or you’re struggling to get your team onboard with the decision, these webinars will give you the information and tools you need to take that next step.

Check out our free webinars and events below, and pick the session for you:

1. Switching Made Simple: The benefits of the cloud
2. Discover Arbor MIS: Demos of Arbor MIS
3. Moving to Arbor: How the MIS switch works
4. A Deeper Dive: How Arbor works
5. Hear from real Arbor users: Case studies
6. Virtual Tea and Cake: Personalised demos with tea and cake!

1. Switching Made Simple: The benefits of the cloud

switching-simple

If you’re starting to think about a move to the cloud but don’t know where to start, our Switching Made Simple webinars are perfect for you. We’ll talk you through the process from start to finish so you can see what’s really involved in switching MIS and what the next steps would be for you. Click the links to sign up today!

5 Ways Arbor Will Transform the Way That you Work
Wednesday 30th June, 10am; Thursday 8th July, 2pm

Switching MIS Made Simple for Primary Schools
Tuesday 29th June, 2pm; Wednesday 7th July, 10am

Switching MIS Made Simple for Secondary Schools
Tuesday 29th June, 10am; Tuesday 6th July, 2pm

Switching MIS Made Simple: Conversations with MAT Leaders – A roundtable on scaling, systems and change management
CEO Roundtable: Thursday 1st July, 2pm
COO and CIO Roundtable: Thursday 8th July, 10am

2. Discover Arbor MIS: Demos of Arbor MIS

Discover-arbor

As you’re starting the process of moving MIS, it’s a good idea to get an in-depth demo of systems on the market so you can make an informed choice. Our Discover Arbor MIS series will give you a quick introduction to Arbor and how it could transform the way your school or MAT works. It’s also your chance to ask our education experts any questions you might have.

Discover Arbor MIS for Primary Schools (live demo with Q&A) – various dates

Discover Arbor MIS for Secondary Schools (live demo with Q&A) – various dates

Discover Arbor MIS for Special Schools/APs (live demo with Q&A) – various dates

Discover Arbor MIS for MATs (live demo with Q&A) – various dates

3. Moving to Arbor: How the MIS switch works

move-to-arbor

We work with school teams throughout the year to move them to Arbor’s cloud-based MIS – last year over 400 schools moved to Arbor 100% remotely! We know it can seem like a daunting task, which is why we’ve designed a tried-and-tested approach to help you manage the change in a way that’s right for your school, with support from us every step of the way. Discover the journey in one of our short webinars:

Moving your Trust to Arbor: From Procurement to Implementation (live webinar with Q&A) – various dates

Moving your Primary School to Arbor: From Migration to Implementation (on-demand webinar) 

Moving your Secondary School to Arbor: From Migration to Implementation (on-demand webinar) 

4. A Deeper Dive: How Arbor works

deep-dive-Arbor

Once you’ve got more of an idea of what you need from your MIS, a more in-depth look at a core area of Arbor – from assessments, to behaviour, to office functions – can be really helpful in seeing if it’s right for you. Come along to one of our live or watch an on-demand webinar in your own time:

Managing Primary Assessments with Arbor (live demo with Q&A) – various dates

Managing Secondary Assessments with Arbor (live demo with Q&A) – various dates

Managing behaviour in Arbor MIS (on-demand webinar) 

Increasing Parental Engagement in Arbor MIS (on-demand webinar)

Running an effective school office with Arbor MIS (on-demand webinar)

Arbor’s Group MIS: The Benefits of moving all of your schools to the cloud (on-demand webinar)

5. Hear from real Arbor users: Case studies

case-studies

If you want to hear how schools and MATs across the country have made the move to Arbor, and how Arbor’s smart, time-saving tools are helping them work better, check out one of our on-demand webinars:

How to move your MAT to a cloud MIS: A panel discussion with Watergrove Trust and Nicholas Postgate Catholic Academy Trust (on-demand webinar)

Why Red Kite Trust Moved to Arbor (on-demand webinar)

Why we chose Arbor MIS for Rainbow Education MAT (on-demand webinar)

Why Northlands Wood Primary Academy Moved to Arbor (on-demand webinar)

6. Virtual Tea and Cake: Personalised demos with tea and cake!

virtual-tea-and-cake

Between 10th and 17th June, we’re running Virtual Tea and Cake with Arbor, giving you an informal way to learn about Arbor’s MIS over tea and brownies on us! We’ll walk you through what the process of moving to Arbor could look like for your school, including how we can get you up and running around your time scale, and 100% remotely. Once you book your spot, we’ll send you free tea and brownies in the post to enjoy over a call with a member of our expert team. 

This term’s Virtual Tea and Cake with Arbor is currently sold out this term, but if you join the waiting list we’ll get in touch with you if a spot becomes available.

Get in touch with us 

If you’d like to speak to us directly about how Arbor could make a positive difference to the way you work, we’d love to hear from you. You can send us an email at tellmemore@arbor-education.com, call us on 0208 050 1028, or book a personalised demo here.

blank Danielle Arkwright - 31 March, 2021

Category : Blog

5 ways to unwind and de-stress this Easter break 

As schools end a hugely busy term, Arbor’s HR and Office Manager and trained Emotional Literacy Support Assistant, Danielle has put together some guidance on how to ease into the Easter break and allow yourself to enjoy some well-deserved rest.  1. Laugh Everyone has heard the phrase “laughter is the best medicine” but did you

As schools end a hugely busy term, Arbor’s HR and Office Manager and trained Emotional Literacy Support Assistant, Danielle has put together some guidance on how to ease into the Easter break and allow yourself to enjoy some well-deserved rest. 

1. Laugh

Everyone has heard the phrase “laughter is the best medicine” but did you know that over the past few years there has been growing research to back this up? There is now a proven link between reduced stress and laughter. A good laugh has been proven to:

  • Stimulate our organs
  • Activate and relieve our stress response
  • Soothe tension
  • Boost the immune system

So my first piece of advice is to make sure you find time over Easter to speak to a friend or family member who never fails to crack you up. Failing that, be sure to watch a funny film or some stand-up from your favourite comedian. 

If you really want to integrate a good laugh into your wellbeing routine, why not follow in the footsteps of This Morning’s Phillip and Holly and try out laughter yoga.  

2. Make time to connect with others

Bonding with loved ones, either through touch, conversation or a shared hobby, can increase our feelings of trust, calm and safety. These help to alleviate the body’s stress responses which can improve both our mental and physical health. 

Things as basic as a small gesture of kindness, a longer than usual hug or taking a walk with someone close to you can have a profound effect on how easy you find it to cope with life’s stressors. 

3. Nature 

Spending time in nature has a range of positive impacts to our overall wellbeing.  Getting in touch with nature will look different for everyone and doesn’t need to be time consuming or require you to travel. If you’re a city dweller, your local park counts!

To reconnect with your natural surroundings, you could:

  • Take a walk in the park
  • Try cloud-watching or find a local viewpoint
  • Take photos of beautiful scenery and make them your phone or computer background
  • Listen to recordings of natural sounds such as rain before bed
  • Buy flowers or house plants to bring nature indoors 

Check out this article from Mind for more information and ideas for how to feel the benefits of nature. 

4. Learn to say no 

This might be one that some of us (myself included) find very difficult. But therapists and other mental health practitioners advise that the practice of saying no and setting firm boundaries are crucial parts of self care. 

You may be tempted to agree to lots of “Rule of Six” walks over the Easter break which, if you’re in the mood for them, will be great! But if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the thought of lots of socialising for the first time in a few months, consider how might be better for you to spend your time to feel your best.

There’s no right way to spend a vacation – the ultimate purpose should be to leave you feeling de-stressed and ready to face the new term. Remember – this isn’t selfish. Managing our own stress levels and maintaining healthy boundaries will ultimately have a positive impact on our relationships too. 

5. Try a stress-reduction challenge 

Why not extend your stress-reduction efforts to after the Easter break, as well? Throughout April people across the country are getting involved in Stress Awareness Month. The way to take part in the 30 day challenge is to pick one action you can take for your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, and to do these every day. 

It takes 30 days to turn actions into habits, so this 30-day challenge will maximise your chances of turning useful wellbeing techniques into long-lasting behavioural change. 

I hope you have a wonderful and relaxing Easter break and look forward to welcoming you back to summer term.

Want to learn more about Arbor MIS? 

We’d love to show your school or MAT how Arbor could help you work faster, smarter and collaborate more. Arrange a free demo here, get in touch at tellmemore@arbor-education.com, or call 0208 050 1028. 

blank Maddie Kilminster - 22 March, 2021

Category : Blog

What you missed at ArborFest

Last Thursday and Friday (18th-19th March), we were delighted to host the third ever ArborFest – a two-day virtual festival with talks, workshops and forums exploring innovative ways of working with Arbor MIS. A huge thank you to our sponsors 4Matrix, MyConcern, SchoolsICT and The Key for helping to make the event such a success.

Last Thursday and Friday (18th-19th March), we were delighted to host the third ever ArborFest – a two-day virtual festival with talks, workshops and forums exploring innovative ways of working with Arbor MIS.

A huge thank you to our sponsors 4Matrix, MyConcern, SchoolsICT and The Key for helping to make the event such a success.

The dynamic programme was a real showcase of the completely new ways in which schools have been working, especially over the past year, with topics ranging from data analysis, to assessment, to MAT expansion. 

There was a real energy across the sessions, with everyone leaving with ideas for how they could work in new ways to improve how they support students, and create a better working culture for staff too.

Who was there?

1,300 people including SLT, Teachers, Admin Staff from 700 schools, MATs and partner organisations joined our 31 talks happening across five event stages!

For Arbor schools and MATs, it was a chance to network with fellow staff across the country, and to share tips and tricks for getting the most out of Arbor MIS. 

For schools who are only just hearing about us, it was an opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes insight into what it means to be part of the Arbor community of over 1,600 schools, and how moving to Arbor could transform the way they work. 

What you missed… on the main stage

Arbor’s CEO, James, and Chief of Customer Success, Sonia, kicked off the festival with a welcome address, setting the tone with an analogy of schools in 2021 like playing table tennis with a quick-fire machine (compared to the dodgeball metaphor in his welcome talk at ArborFest in November 2020!).

As James said, “the pace of change is changing. There are still lots of balls being thrown at us but we’ve coped with more change than we thought was possible.”

James also shared some of the recent developments at Arbor, including our growth to 1,600 schools and our joining of The Key Group. Sonia demonstrated some of the ways we’ve been supporting schools to adapt to the new government guidelines and work flexibly over the past year, having moved over 600 schools over to Arbor 100% remotely, with a customer satisfaction score of 98%. 

Catch up on James and Sonia’s welcome address here

Keynote speech

Education advisor, writer and speaker, Mary Myatt, gave a brilliant keynote address on how schools can carve out time for satisfying work on the curriculum by focusing on fewer things in greater depth. And it created a lot of conversation on Twitter! If you enjoyed Mary’s talk, make sure you download her further reading list to learn more.

Guest talk from The Key

Caroline Doherty, Head of Education Strategy at The Key, was joined by Mark Talbot, Chief Executive Officer of the Diocese of Chichester Academy Trust, and Matt Crawford, CEO of Embark Federation, for a great discussion around both the opportunities, and the challenges of expanding a trust.

There were some excellent talks led by our partners MyConcern, 4Matrix and SchoolsICT on safeguarding, managing a summer without exams, and blended learning. We also had 70 school staff join us for a relaxing Mindfulness Workshop at lunch.

…on the “Why Arbor?” Stage

We had an all-star cast of Arbor schools and MATs including Watergrove Trust, Nicholas Postgate Catholic Academy Trust, Glenmoor & Winton Academies, Hyndburn Academy, Red Kite Learning Trust and Northlands Wood Primary Academy, each sharing how moving to Arbor MIS has helped them work in new and flexible ways. 

We also had a special appearance by Kirsty Woolls, HR Director at Academy Transformation Trust, and Abby Brayford, Director of ATT Institute, who shared what people development (rather than CPD!) means for them. Abby Brayford said, “change is relational. To effect change and drive improvement you have to think about people’s values.”

…on the Masterclass stage

The Arbor Team led some deep-dive sessions showcasing tips and tricks for a range of Arbor modules. They also launched some brand new features including:

  • Assessment updates in Arbor’s Group MIS helping you standardise how you manage assessments across your MAT
  • New integrations with Google Classroom and Microsoft Office 365 helping you sync data securely to your digital learning platform
  • Our new Microsoft Power BI Connector, allowing you to visualise your Arbor data in creative new ways
  • A new integration with Access Education Budgets (coming soon!) saving you time on your school budgeting with up-to-date staff data at your fingertips – part of our exciting partnership with The Access Group
  • My Classroom – our all-in-one classroom management tool that brings all your admin into one place, saving teachers time

…on the Workshop stage

Our Product team led a series of Feedback Forums which were a great opportunity to gather feedback from Arbor users to help us shape the future of our MIS. Find out more about how we use schools’ feedback to inform our Product Roadmap.

Hear from attendees

“I was inspired by the attitude of the team and the drive and dedication that came across, ethos can only work when it comes from the top and is intrinsic throughout the leadership team. This was evident throughout.” A primary school customer

“it was useful to hear some of the roadmap items, and helpful to have our say in suggested improvements for the future.” A MAT customer

“Sessions were appropriate and interesting. The online nature (and recordings) meant I could fit it around work commitments”. A secondary school customer

“Just wanted to say thank you I will have to leave early as I have another meeting, however it was very interesting and a very nice layout, user friendly etc. Something definitely worth us looking at taking on for our school in the future. Look forward to seeing the last bit on the recording.” A prospective special school

Sad you missed ArborFest? Find out more

New to Arbor?

If you want to discover how Arbor MIS could help you work faster, smarter and collaborate more, get in touch to arrange a free online demo for your school or MAT. Alternatively, you can email tellmemore@arbor-education.com or call 0208 050 1028.

Already using Arbor?

If you’d like more information on any of the new features showcased at ArborFest – or if you need some support – get in touch with your Account Manager or contact accountmanagers@arbor-education.com.

blank Maddie Kilminster - 23 February, 2021

Category : Blog

Spring term update: Connect more tools to Arbor

Since the pandemic began, schools have had to rapidly change the way they manage their lessons, communications and admin. This has meant using technology in lots of new ways to keep lessons going, and smarter ways of using data to understand students’ changing needs.  At Arbor, we’ve been developing new tools to support leaders and

Since the pandemic began, schools have had to rapidly change the way they manage their lessons, communications and admin. This has meant using technology in lots of new ways to keep lessons going, and smarter ways of using data to understand students’ changing needs. 

At Arbor, we’ve been developing new tools to support leaders and Admin Staff manage the challenges of Covid-19. 

Today, we’re excited to launch brand new integrations with Google Classroom™, Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Power BI, designed to help you save time and manage your school data in the ways you need to.

Sync data securely between Arbor, Google Classroom™ and Microsoft Office 365

As schools have been ramping up their use of digital learning platforms for remote or blended learning, we’ve built an integration with Google Classroom™ and Microsoft Office 365. Arbor automatically syncs your student and staff information into Google Classroom™ and Microsoft Office 365 so you don’t have to enter any data manually. What’s more, once you’re set-up, data syncs every 24 hours, meaning your information is always up-to-date.

We’ll also partner you with a Google or Microsoft accredited support team who’ll give you tailored support to get your integration set-up. They’ll also be your port of call if you need any help along the way.

What does this mean for you? 

  • Save time: Your data syncs automatically to Google Classroom™ and Microsoft Office 365, saving you hours of manual data entry and updating if your classes change
  • Future-proof solution: Once set-up, it’s easy to return to remote teaching and learning whenever you need to 
  • In-depth support: If you run into any problems with your integration, our trusted Google support partners are on-hand to support you

google-classroom

Check out The Key for School Leaders for some great guidance on getting the most out of a digital learning platform. 

Visualise data any way you want to with our Microsoft Power BI Connector

Arbor MIS gives staff at all levels a shared view of progress, with accessible, out-of-the-box dashboards and quick custom reports. But we know that you might sometimes want an even more customised approach to reporting. 

That’s why we’re excited to launch our brand new Microsoft Power BI Connector. The Connector pre-loads your key Arbor data into Power BI, allowing you to visualise it in creative new ways.

We’ve also created five ready-to-go template dashboards which will save you hours of manual set-up, and allow you to dig into key factors behind your school or MAT’s performance. Plus, they’re fully customisable, giving you the freedom to present your data how you need to.

What does it mean for you? 

  • Instant data: Your Arbor data is ready-to-go in Microsoft Power BI whenever you need, with no manual export
  • Save time with our five ready-to-go dashboard templates 
  • Customisation and control: Edit and customise your report templates however you want to
  • Bring in other data sources: Look at your Arbor data in meaningful contexts e.g. Google Maps, Deprivation index

BI-dashboard

Find out more about these integrations

Already using Arbor MIS?

Get in touch with your Account Manager to get started with Google Classroom™, Microsoft Office 365 or Microsoft Power BI at accountmanagers@arbor-education.com.


New to Arbor? 

We’d love to show you how Arbor could help you work faster, smarter and collaborate more across your school or MAT. Come along to a free webinar to Arbor MIS in action, or book a free personalised demo here.

Christie Tulloch - 17 February, 2021

Category : Blog

How we’re designing Arbor MIS with inclusivity in mind

Alongside our focus on encouraging diversity and inclusion in the Arbor team, our Product Designer, Christie, wanted to shine a light on the work that our new Front-End development and User Experience (UX) team have been doing to integrate inclusivity into the design of Arbor MIS our products. Our mission is to transform the way

Alongside our focus on encouraging diversity and inclusion in the Arbor team, our Product Designer, Christie, wanted to shine a light on the work that our new Front-End development and User Experience (UX) team have been doing to integrate inclusivity into the design of Arbor MIS our products.

Our mission is to transform the way schools work for the better, with people-friendly tools, designed to make a difference. With over 1,500 schools using Arbor MIS (that’s over 200,000 users!), we want our platform to be usable, navigable and accessible for everyone. 

What is accessibility? 

When you think about making technology accessible, you might think about a sub-menu of your phone settings with features you can turn on or off, but it’s much more integrated into our daily lives than you might think.

If you’ve used Siri, Face-ID, captions on a YouTube video or put dark mode on any of your devices – you’ve been using technology that was originally designed for people with disabilities. This shows that a focus on accessibility not only benefits disabled users but can improve the user experience for everyone.

More people live with a disability than you might think with 18% of the UK working age population defined as disabled by the Equality Act 2010. This doesn’t take into account the effects of ageing, for our ability to use websites decreases by 0.8% every year after our 25th birthday. This means that every decade that passes makes us 8% less capable of using software.

The need for inclusive design is something that will eventually apply to all of us at one point or another.

 

What we’re doing at Arbor

1. Keyboard navigation

We’re committed to making all our new product features accessible by keyboard.  Not all users have the ability to use a mouse, so we’re making all new pages accessible by using a combination of ‘arrow’, ‘tab’, ‘enter’, ‘space’ and ‘escape’ keys.

We’re working on rolling out keyboard accessibility across the whole of Arbor; so far, we’ve introduced this on the homepage. This works by a blue focus style that highlights what you’ve selected, showing you where you are on the page. This not only improves the experience for users who don’t have the ability to use the mouse, but it also speeds up navigation for everyone helping you quickly move up and down a drop-down menu by using the arrow keys or selecting a tag with the ‘enter’ key.

Keyboard-controls

Keyboard controls in Arbor

2. Use of colour

When our Front-End and UX team consider accessibility at the design stage, we also think about colour. We now run checks on the contrast ratio of background colour to text colour before we release any new feature of Arbor.

Right now, we’re creating a new, expanded colour palette that works for users who are vision impaired or suffer from colour blindness. 

Colour-Palette

Development of our new colour palette (in progress)

These innovations are some first steps in a long journey to make Arbor MIS inclusive for everyone. We’d love to hear from Arbor schools any suggestions you have to help improve the Arbor user experience. 

If you’ve got a suggestion, you can join our UX User Group along with fellow school staff in various roles. You’ll help us test out our latest ideas and play an important role in helping to shape the future of Arbor MIS. If you’re interested, please register here and one of the team will invite you to our next feedback forum.

If you’d like to find out more about how Arbor MIS could help you work faster, smarter and collaborate more at your school, come along to a free webinar to see the system in action. Alternatively book a personalised demo or get in touch at tellmemore@arbor-education.com | 0208 050 1028

blank Maddie Kilminster - 9 February, 2021

Category : Blog

We’re back for the next instalment of the webinar series for MAT Leaders: “Building a Resilient Trust”

After the success of our last two MAT Conference webinar series, we’re excited to announce the next instalment of “Building a Resilient Trust”, and you’re invited! With the vaccine rollout pushing on and the date for schools to return set at 8th March, trust leaders are having to shift from leading in a reactive way,

After the success of our last two MAT Conference webinar series, we’re excited to announce the next instalment of “Building a Resilient Trust”, and you’re invited!

With the vaccine rollout pushing on and the date for schools to return set at 8th March, trust leaders are having to shift from leading in a reactive way, to being proactive and building a plan for the future. Join our webinar series this term to take practical ideas and strategies to your own trust to help support your schools and staff now and over the long term.

In our new webinar series launching Weds 10th March, you’ll hear from established trust leaders from the likes of Academy Transformation Trust, Ormiston Academies Trust and The Romero Catholic Academy Trust, discussing topics such as building a sustainable work culture, measuring success in light of a second summer without exams and how to become more financially stable as a trust. Each 45-minute webinar will help MAT leaders like yourself prepare for the future and build a strong and versatile trust. 

Sign up for the MAT Conference Webinar Series here and get exclusive access to all of the webinars and the recordings.

To sign up for individual webinars, or to see what’s coming up, click on the links below. 

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Top Strategies for Delivering Consistent Online Learning Across your Primary Schools

Wednesday 10th February, 10am 

In conversation with: Peter Bradburn, Director of IT and Communications, and Giles Hill, Digital Learning Lead, at Aspire Academy Trust.

With remote learning likely to continue into the coming months, join Peter Bradburn and Giles Hill as they share some of the tips, strategies and insights that Aspire Academy Trust has implemented to make remote learning as effective as possible.  

Sign up for free here

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Managing Change in a Crisis: Why Orwell MAT Switched MIS During Covid

Wednesday 24th February, 10am 

In conversation with: Anna Hennell James, CEO of Orwell MAT.

Rolling out a new MIS (Management Information System) across your trust can feel like a daunting task – and doing it remotely can make it seem even harder. Anna Hennell James, CEO of Orwell MAT, is here to share why it’s not as challenging as it may seem, especially when you factor in the benefits your new MIS can bring.

Whether you’re thinking of centralising your systems soon, or you’re only just starting to research what’s out there, this webinar is a great opportunity to hear from a trust who have made the switch recently. 

Sign up for free here

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The Road to Financial Sustainability as a Trust

Wednesday 3rd March, 10am 

In conversation with: Patrick Taggart, Director of Operations at Romero Catholic Academy Trust, and Mark Tadman, CEO of Schools Business Services (SBS).

With tougher financial checks coming into place and the fallout from covid being readily felt, how can trusts emerge from this period more financially stable?

Hear from Patrick Taggart, Director of Operations at Romero Catholic Academy Trust, on how they’re budgeting to emerge from COVID and how he’s balancing reactive responses to short-term pressures with longer-term planning. Mark Tadman will share advice on how best to plan budgets and share resources across your trust to save you time and money.

Sign up for free here

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The Future of Assessment: How Ormiston is Capturing More than Grades

Wednesday 17th March, 11am 

In conversation with: Nick Hudson, CEO of Ormiston Academies Trust.

With almost 12 months of blended or fully remote learning, a second summer without exams and a broadening disadvantage gap, what does the future look like for assessment?

Nick Hudson, CEO of Ormiston, a 40-school MAT, will be discussing how he intends to broaden the concept of assessments at Ormiston and beyond. With funding from the National Lottery, assessment at Ormiston will soon include the tracking of soft skills and qualities students gain through school experiences, such as leadership from being a prefect, teamwork from sports, and cooperation from community volunteering.

Sign up for free here

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How Academy Transformation Trust (ATT) Created a Culture of People Development

Friday 19th March, 11am (Part of ArborFest – See what else is on at ArborFest here)

In conversation with Kirsty Woolls, HR Director at Academy Transformation Trust (ATT), and Abby Brayford, Director of ATT Institute.

Creating a culture of professional development and learning within schools and trusts is hugely important, especially for retaining and attracting the best talent. Join this special webinar with Kirsty Woolls, HR Director at Academy Transformation Trust (ATT), and Abby Brayford, Director of ATT Institute, where they discuss how their People Development Programme has created a sustainable work culture at ATT.

Sign up for free here

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Want to see some of the topics covered and the lessons learnt from our last MAT Conference Series? We’ve put together an ebook of the last MAT Conference Series, which includes six interviews with MAT leaders and industry experts sharing best practice for staying agile and adapting to change. Get your copy here!

“Building a Resilient Trust” is brought to you by Arbor Education. Used by over 1,500 schools and 130 MATs, we’re the UK’s fastest growing cloud-based Management Information System (MIS) today. Our mission is to transform the way schools work for the better, and we host this webinar series termly to explore different aspects of building a better working life with trust leaders.

If you’d like to hear about how Arbor’s cloud-based MIS could help you and your schools work better today and be ready for tomorrow, join us for an MIS demo webinar.

blank Maddie Kilminster - 5 February, 2021

Category : Blog

Simplify your school budget planning with Arbor’s new Financial Benchmarking Report

Schools have had to be particularly resourceful with budgets this year. With that in mind, it’s especially important to have visibility over how this year’s spend compares to previous years, and to other schools, so you can plan an effective budget going forwards.  To help save you time when planning your annual budget and present

Schools have had to be particularly resourceful with budgets this year. With that in mind, it’s especially important to have visibility over how this year’s spend compares to previous years, and to other schools, so you can plan an effective budget going forwards. 

To help save you time when planning your annual budget and present clear analysis to your governors and key stakeholders, we’ve created a personalised School’s Financial Benchmarking (SFB) Report for every school in the country. Just log into your free Insight portal to get yours now. 

Using your latest 2019/20 financial data (just released this week by the DfE!) your report gives you a ready-made analysis of your income and expenditure patterns over the last three years in a clear, easy-to-read PDF report, helping you see the impact of Covid-19 straight away. It also shows you how your finances compare against schools like you nationally, locally and within your Local Authority. 

Your report is waiting for you in your Arbor Insight portal – get your hands on it now! 

SFB-report

 

What can you do with your Schools’ Financial Benchmarking (SFB) Report?

Analyse per-student spend

Arbor’s SFB report is a useful resource for school budgeters, as you’ll be able to see all your expenditure and income across key areas shown as a percentage of total spend so you can visualise all of your finances better. We also break down every value as an amount that has been spent or received per student in your school.

Benchmark your school

Benchmark your school against others in the country that have a similar demographic cohort of students to you, weighted by percentage of prior attainment, FSM and EAL students. If you have a high proportion of disadvantaged students, or perhaps students with low prior attainment, it’s important to see whether similar schools have comparable spending patterns – or if being benchmarked against these schools highlights some areas of funding or spending that might be good to look into. 

Use past trends to plan forward

Your report will show you how your finances have shaped up over the last three years with colour-coded line graphs that include trend figures. We also show the last three years of finances for each resource compared with that of the national average for schools and schools like you. Our three-year rolling average for each expenditure and income resource can help you predict and plan your future three-year expenditure planning. 

 

Special offer: Get free ASP performance reports with your finance report 

Due to the disruption to learning and assessment as a result of the pandemic, you won’t have all the usual attainment data at your fingertips. To support you, we’ve made our popular Arbor Insight ASP reports free this year to help you get a clearer picture of your past performance.

This bundle of five reports (worth £330)* includes: 

  • 2019 The Understanding Your School Report 
  • 2019 Attainment and Progress Report
  • 2019 Closing the Gap Reports (5 individual reports!) 

We hope using your SFB report in combination with your ASP reports will help you set targets and direct your resources in the best way to start next financial year in a strong position.

Download your performance reports for free from your Arbor Insight account now!

 

Next steps

Don’t forget to sign up (for free) to Arbor Insight where you’ll be able to download all your reports.

Sign up here in seconds: https://login.arbor.sc/auth/register then log in here in future: https://login.arbor.sc/auth/login

If you have any questions or would like any help with your report, you can reach the Arbor Insight team at insight@arbor-education.com or by calling us on 0207 043 1830.

 

If you’re looking to keep your cost low and give next year’s budget a little wiggle room, find out how Arbor’s cloud-based MIS could transform the way you work, helping you focus on what matters most – your students. 

Find out more with a personalised demo or join a free webinar.

blank Maddie Kilminster - 2 February, 2021

Category : Blog

Announcing the second virtual ArborFest!

In just two weeks’ time, we’re hosting the second ever virtual ArborFest – a two-day festival dedicated to discovering new ways of working with Arbor MIS.  ArborFest is your chance to meet (online!) the growing community of over 1,500 schools and 130 MATs using Arbor MIS to transform the way they work.  Following our popular

In just two weeks’ time, we’re hosting the second ever virtual ArborFest – a two-day festival dedicated to discovering new ways of working with Arbor MIS. 

ArborFest is your chance to meet (online!) the growing community of over 1,500 schools and 130 MATs using Arbor MIS to transform the way they work. 

Following our popular festival in November 2020, where we were joined by over 700 staff from 400 schools, we’d love to invite you to the next instalment of our popular community event for school leaders, teachers and support staff.

ArborFest

Exploring innovative ways of working

The theme this Spring is all about exploring innovative ways of working at school. We’ve designed a programme of talks, workshops and feedback forums to show you how using Arbor can change the way your school works for the better – whether you’re already a customer, thinking about switching, or a partner of ours. There’s sure to be a session in the programme for everyone – from your SLT to your Support Team. And the best thing is it’s completely free!

Already use our MIS? With sessions designed to help make sure you’re getting the most from Arbor, you’ll have opportunities to learn new tips and tricks, share best practice with other schools, and attend masterclasses on areas like data analysis and PowerBI. 

New to Arbor? ArborFest is your unique chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at how Arbor works from schools and MATs who have recently made the switch. With a range of talks and workshops to choose from, it’s the perfect way to get an informal feel for whether Arbor is the right fit for you.

Plus, there’s a keynote speaker, a mindfulness workshop, and opportunities to network with fellow schools. 

What’s on the programme?

Click here to see the full programme and book your tickets 

ArborFest will run across five virtual “stages”, each hosting multiple talks across the two days. Click the link above to see the full programme and book into the sessions you’d like to join: 

  • Main Stage – Join Arbor’s CEO to open and close the festival, and see and our guest Keynote Speaker, Mary Myatt
  • The Masterclass Stage – The Arbor Team lead sessions showcasing tips and tricks for a range of Arbor modules
  • The Workshop Stage – Join Feedback Forums with fellow Arbor users to shape the future of our MIS
  • The Partner Stage – Special sessions for our support and integration partners
  • The “Why Arbor?” Stage – Sessions designed for schools thinking of moving to Arbor, led by schools who use us already

Announcing our Keynote Speaker

We’re excited to announce a very special keynote speaker for ArborFest – Mary Myatt. Mary is an education adviser, writer and speaker who will be sharing insights and advice from her latest book, “Back on track: Fewer things, greater depth.” Mary will dig into why there might be redundant processes in schools, and uses Greg McKeown’s ‘disciplined pursuit of less’ to help school leaders and teachers create time and space to do deep, satisfying work on the curriculum.  

Sign up for the keynote speech here – everyone is welcome!

Re-live when ArborFest was in-person!

Watch our video showcasing our in-person ArborFest back in February 2020. 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.

Can’t wait until ArborFest? 

We’ve got lots of free webinars in the run-up to ArborFest designed to show you how Arbor MIS works. Find out what’s on here and book your spot.

Alternatively, get in touch here to arrange a personalised demo.

blank Cosima Baring - 14 January, 2021

Category : Blog

Virtual afternoon tea with Arbor: Learn more about Arbor MIS over free tea and brownies

At this time of year, we’d normally be getting ready to meet schools and MATs at BETT (over lunch and a glass of wine!). Sadly that can’t happen this year due to Covid-19, so we’ve decided to make a new plan instead. You and your whole team deserve a break after what’s been a challenging

At this time of year, we’d normally be getting ready to meet schools and MATs at BETT (over lunch and a glass of wine!). Sadly that can’t happen this year due to Covid-19, so we’ve decided to make a new plan instead.

You and your whole team deserve a break after what’s been a challenging 12 months. So, we’ve decided to host a series of virtual afternoon tea sessions before Half-Term – with brownies and tea on us!

 

Find out about Arbor MIS

We’re running these sessions as an informal way for primary, secondary and MAT leaders to find out about Arbor MIS, and explain how we’ve helped over 1,400 schools pivot to remote working and blended learning this year.

Because Arbor is cloud-based, our schools can access it from anywhere – which means they have a way to track staff sickness, plan teacher rotas, set work for students and send mass comms out from wherever they need to work.

 

Join us for afternoon tea!

Your afternoon tea session is a chance to see the system in action, and talk through how Arbor can help you achieve your longer term strategic goals. We’ll also discuss how simple switching MIS really is, and share some stories from the 412 schools who moved to Arbor remotely in 2020.

Book your 30-minute afternoon tea with us (from 27th Jan-5th Feb) using the link below. Share your address, and we’ll send you tea and brownies in the post to enjoy during our chat (hosted on Zoom). It’s that simple!

Click here to sign up for your tea and brownies with Arbor 

 

Hope to see you for a cup of tea later this month!

Got a question? Get in touch on 0208 050 1028 or email us on brownies@arbor-education.com

 

blank James Weatherill - 2 December, 2020

Category : Blog

The future of Arbor and the MIS market

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…

1. Transform the ecosystem of apps and support partners

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!  

2. Provide smarter insight

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. 

3. Bring school communities together

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! 

James

CEO and Co-Founder, Arbor Education

blank Beth Mokrini - 30 November, 2020

Category : Blog

Make an easy switch to a cloud-based MIS with expert local 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.

What does a Support Partner do?

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. 

Arbor-Partners-map

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 SchoolsWolverhampton

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 tellmemore@arbor-education.com or call us on 0208 050 1028.

Enjoying our blog? Why not subscribe to our fortnightly newsletter to get thought leadership, case studies and Arbor updates, straight to your inbox.

Tony Phillips - 19 November, 2020

Category : Blog

Free training and webinars to help Microsoft Teams work better for you

We’re proud to be partnering with Cloud Design Box to host three free training sessions specially designed for schools and MATs who are using (or planning to use) Microsoft Teams to deliver blended learning. Here’s Tony from Cloud Design Box to tell you more:    At Cloud Design Box, we specialise in Microsoft Teams, SharePoint

We’re proud to be partnering with Cloud Design Box to host three free training sessions specially designed for schools and MATs who are using (or planning to use) Microsoft Teams to deliver blended learning. Here’s Tony from Cloud Design Box to tell you more: 

 

At Cloud Design Box, we specialise in Microsoft Teams, SharePoint and Office 365 for Education. As a Microsoft Partner, we aim to make it as easy as possible for people to work, learn and collaborate using Microsoft Teams, offering training, consultancy and intranet packages for schools, academies and Multi-Academy Trusts across the UK. 

Cloud Design Box integrates with Arbor to help their schools enjoy more flexibility to set work, collaborate and share resources for their classes. We use data from Arbor to provide access to Class Teams, Class Notebook and centralised subject Teams through an easy-to-use class dashboard.  

We’re thrilled to be offering three free Teams training sessions across two days next week – from Tuesday 24th to Wednesday 25th November. 

1. Planning Long-Term User Adoption of Microsoft Teams in Schools and MATs 

10am, Tuesday 24th November 

The first session will centre on helping schools with user adoption and planning for the long term. It’s perfect for you if you have already adopted Teams but need a hand getting students and staff on board and using the technology. We’ll discuss ways you can get started, as well as how you can develop a long-term plan to make the most out of the suite of tools.  

We last hosted this session at the Department for Education’s EdTech Festival earlier in 2020 and it went down well with School Leaders and MATs who needed a clear plan of action to succeed with the software.  

Teams-training-1

2. Blended Learning for Primary Schools with Microsoft Teams 

3pm, Tuesday 24 November

Built specifically for Primary Schools, this webinar will provide you with a solid foundation of using Teams to deliver learning inside and outside the classroom, for example, how to use Class Notebook to host an online lesson and how to make the most of the Conversation features. 

Teams-training-2

3. Centralising Resources and Reducing Teacher Workload using Microsoft Teams 

1pm on Wednesday 25 November 

We know this year has been tough on Teachers, who have had to quickly increase their workload to provide digital and online resources for their classes.  

 This session has been developed with overworked Teachers in mind, who are struggling with Teams. We’ll show you some time-saving ways that you can centralise and improve your resources with Teams. 

Teams-training-3

 

All our webinars are open to anyone working in a school, academy or Multi-Academy Trust. To sign up for any of the sessions, please fill out this form with your details and we’ll send you an email invite to join us.  

 

If you’d like to find out more about how Arbor MIS could transform the way you work, get in touch on tellmemore@arbor-education.com or arrange a 1-on-1 demo for your school.

Sophia Krage - 18 November, 2020

Category : Blog

Arbor features for Teachers: helping you speed through admin and get time back for students

The classroom has seen a lot of change this term and Teachers are really stretched. To give you an extra helping hand, we’ve developed some really great features in Arbor which take the hassle out of your admin and give you more time to focus on what matters most – your students. Hear from our

The classroom has seen a lot of change this term and Teachers are really stretched. To give you an extra helping hand, we’ve developed some really great features in Arbor which take the hassle out of your admin and give you more time to focus on what matters most – your students.

Hear from our Product Manager for Teaching and Learning, Sophia, below sharing two tools we’ve created to support Teachers this term – My Classroom – an all-in-one solution for classroom management, and My Homepage – a brand new personalised homepage which helps you stay on top of things and act fast.

My Homepage – your personalised dashboard – Launching today!

We know Teachers have little time between lessons to get through their admin, and even less time to check their student records for anything to be aware of. We believe busy Teachers shouldn’t have to search for the information they need. 

That’s why today we’re excited to launch My Homepage – Arbor’s brand new, personalised homepage for Teaching and Pastoral Staff, giving you brand new tools to help you stay on top of things and act fast.

my-homepage

As soon as you log into Arbor, you’ll have everything you need for your day right in front of you:

    • My Students – This is your new, personalised view of your students’ progress. Drill down to see which students are driving overall trends, filter your stats by key groups, such as FSM Year 5 boys, or SEN EAL girls, or switch back to the Whole School tab to get an overview of your school
    • To-do list – See your most urgent tasks, from incomplete registers, unresolved behaviour incidents, cover requests, to any assessment data you need to add, helping you tick them off between lessons
    • Student Alerts – See safeguarding or pastoral notes, detentions and birthdays for your students so you never miss the important things!
    • Whole school notices – Your important announcements are prominently displayed at the top of the page helping you make sure everyone sees key notices
    • Quick Actions – Go straight to your most important actions in Arbor like “Take attendance”, “Create event” and “Send email”
    • Shortcuts – Head right to the core Arbor modules such as “Behaviour”, “Student Profiles” and “Summative tracking”
    • Calendar – Jump straight into your next meeting or lesson from the Homepage

What are schools saying?

“The filters work great for me as I can quickly select the students I’m responsible for. Student alerts also allow me to easily spot pupils that had an absence mark due to Covid.”

Matthew Domine, Assistant Principal and Music and Geography Teacher at Avanti House Secondary School

“57% of our staff are now more aware of school key measures such as attendance and behaviour compared to when they used SIMS” 

Jon Ward, Vice Principal (Curriculum and Standards) at the Abbey Park School

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My Classroom – your all-in-one classroom management tool

Classroom management is a lot more complex right now, with new social distancing rules, track-and-trace, and challenging student behaviour as they adjust. 

To help you manage your class this term and beyond, we’ve created My Classroom – your new all-in-one classroom management tool – that brings together behaviour management, seating plans and attendance in one place for the first time!

My-Classroom

Here are some of the main ways My Classroom will take the hassle out of preparing and managing your lessons:

1. Flexible seating plans

My Classroom gives you a powerful solution to seating plans, allowing you to create smart seating plans which reflect your real classroom, assign students using helpful demographic tags, see student photos (or remove in student view if you’re presenting on the board), and share your plans with your colleagues.

2. Take action seamlessly throughout the lesson

With My Classroom, you’ll spend less time on the little tasks which disturb your lesson flow. Cut out the lengthy register call at the beginning of the lesson by bulk selecting marks straight from your plan. Assign positive and negative behaviour points dynamically during the lesson, or log an incident and trigger an automatic follow up action. 

3. Powered by Arbor MIS

The best thing about My Classroom is that it’s built into Arbor MIS, which means you have up-to-date contextual information about your students automatically on your plan, helping you to tell the full story of each of your students lesson to lesson. Plus, any behaviour incidents you record or points you assign feed straight back into Arbor, so you’ll never have to update anything twice. 

4. Brand new: we’ve added live attainment data to My Classroom!

Choose the grades and targets you want to track, and see them directly on your seating plan. This helps you see your higher and lower achievers right away, so you can best support them in the classroom.

It’s a great way to give cover staff a helpful background to your class, too.

What are schools saying?

Teachers are already sharing with us how My Classroom is giving them their time back to focus on teaching and learning instead. It’s also proving really useful during the pandemic, by helping to track-and-trace student contact, and create socially distanced arrangements.

“The reason why I think My Classroom is so exciting, is that it does not have to integrate with any other tools. Managing the lessons from one place rather than having to open lots of different screens will be the key benefit for our staff. For us as a school this will be definitely the right tool. It will be cost-saving and you have the whole data set all in one place.”

Steve Hackshaw, Assistant Headteacher (Learning, Progress and Assessment), at Ralph Thoresby School

“Many thanks to everybody for developing this; I think it’s a really intuitive way for teachers to work with their students and classes.”

Andy Cunningham, Headteacher at The Lakes School

“Using My Classroom has really taken off with our staff – they love the overview of students they get on their seating plans and being able to see the seating plan and take the register at the same time.”

Joanne Hedges, Data Manager at Manshead Academy

Want to learn more?

If you’d like to find our more about how Arbor could transform the way your staff work, we’d love to hear from you. You can join one of our free demo webinars, or arrange a 1-on-1 demo here. Alternatively, contact us on: tellmemore@arbor-education.com | 0208 050 1028

In the meantime, why not sign up to our fortnightly newsletter to get a round-up of our most popular blogs like this straight to your inbox.

blank Maddie Kilminster - 17 November, 2020

Category : Blog

Join us at the Schools and Academies Show online for free!

The Schools and Academies Show is back! Join us online this week from Tuesday 17th – Friday 20th November to learn more about Arbor’s cloud-based MIS! Previous Schools and Academies Shows have been fantastic opportunities for schools and trusts to meet different suppliers, see products in action with live, tailored demos, and have honest conversations

The Schools and Academies Show is back! Join us online this week from Tuesday 17th – Friday 20th November to learn more about Arbor’s cloud-based MIS!

Previous Schools and Academies Shows have been fantastic opportunities for schools and trusts to meet different suppliers, see products in action with live, tailored demos, and have honest conversations about how a service can help transform the way they work. (Not forgetting all the goodies you can come away with!) 

This year, you can still take part from the comfort of your home or office! We’ve got a virtual booth so sign up, jump online, and come and see us!

 

Who can sign up?

The Schools and Academies show is perfect for staff at both schools and Multi-Academy Trusts who are looking for innovative and best-value products and resources for their schools. If you’ve been asked to attend by your Headteacher, CEO or SLT, it’s a good idea to agree on some key questions beforehand so you know what to look out for, and can report back. 

 

Why should I sign up?

Whether you’re just starting to think about new products, or you’re further along in the buying process, this is a great opportunity to look at a product in more detail and get answers from an expert. 

The Schools and Academies Show has created an easy-to-use online platform which allows you to set up meetings with suppliers at a time that suits you, or to ask your burning questions directly. There’s also a full programme of talks throughout the show, giving you the chance to hear from peers and experts in the education sector. 

 

How do I sign up?

Just click here to sign up to The Schools and Academies Show for free. You’ll then be sent an email with details of how you can log in to the online platform.

 

How do I book a meeting with Arbor?

1. Log into your Schools and Academies Show portal
2. Click on the Schools and Academies Show event
3. Select “Sponsors/exhibitors” from the menu in the middle of the page
4. Search for Arbor on the left hand side of the page
5. Select a time slot that suits you this week
6. Select “Virtual Booth” as the location to meet at the event
7. Let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to know about
8. Click “Send meeting request”
9. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible via the online platform to confirm your meeting with someone from our friendly Sales Team

 

What will I get out of a meeting with Arbor?

A 1-on-1 meeting with one of our Partnership Managers is your chance to ask any questions you have about moving to a cloud-based MIS, and to figure out if Arbor is right for you. You can meet the team “face-to-face” via a video or watch a live demo to discover why hundreds of schools and trusts move to Arbor every year. 

 

Do I need to prepare anything for the meeting?

It’s a good idea to make sure your audio is working on your laptop or computer – but you can always use the online chat if this doesn’t work. The Arbor Team will be on video so you can see our friendly faces, so it might be nice to have your video on as well so it feels like a real meeting! But don’t worry, this isn’t necessary. 

 

If you want to get in touch during the show, you can reach us by telephone on: 020 8050 1028 and by email at: tellmemore@arbor-education.com

 

We look forward to meeting you at the show!

 

blank Maddie Kilminster - 16 November, 2020

Category : Blog

What you missed at ArborFest

Last week we welcomed over 1,500 members of staff from over 500 schools, trusts and partner organisations to ArborFest – our virtual customer conference dedicated to transformative ways of working.  The benefits of being online were that we were able to gather together a huge and unique group of school staff from across the country

Last week we welcomed over 1,500 members of staff from over 500 schools, trusts and partner organisations to ArborFest – our virtual customer conference dedicated to transformative ways of working. 

The benefits of being online were that we were able to gather together a huge and unique group of school staff from across the country – with some joining from the staffroom, and some from their sofa at home! 

As the UK’s fastest-growing MIS community, with over 1,300 schools and MATs, we loved meeting lots of friendly faces from Arbor schools, including Leaders, Administrators, Teachers, Business Managers and every school role you could imagine – and some new faces too! 

It was a fantastic opportunity to come together, share best practice and to learn from fellow colleagues. As every school has their own innovative ways of working, we certainly learned a lot ourselves too.

So what happened at ArborFest?

Kicking off the conference, Arbor’s Co-Founder and CEO, James, welcomed everyone by setting the scene (his dodgeball analogy for 2020 might resonate with some of you!) and sharing some of Arbor’s ambitions for the future. 

“We should be thinking bigger than just the MIS, and bringing the whole school ecosystem into one holistic view.” – James Weatherill, Co-Founder and CEO, Arbor Education

You can catch a snippet from James’s Opening Talk here

The programme was jam-packed with practical workshops, feedback sessions and a brilliant keynote speech by tech expert, Rachel Coldicutt, who shared some really helpful advice on how we can reflect on our use of technology.

“We’ve all changed our behaviours overnight because of technology but we haven’t really had the time to consider its effect on us.” – Rachel Coldicutt, expert on the relationship between social impact and tech

You can catch a snippet of Rachel’s Keynote Speech here (look out for the full blog soon!)

Sharing transformative ways of working

Accompanied by staff from schools using Arbor, we held workshops across all areas of school operations – including assessment, reporting, exams and parental engagement. One of the stand-out sessions was “How Arbor can Support your School during Covid-19”, where we demonstrated the ease of Arbor’s Covid-19 dashboard – your daily reference point for Covid-19 information.

covid-talk

What’s next in Arbor MIS? 

Arbor’s Head of Product, Hilary, demonstrated how our Product Vision shapes all the features we develop at Arbor. You can find out more about how we prioritise the features we work on here.

The Product Team also revealed a sneak peak of what’s coming up on our Product Roadmap, including the ability to roll out assessment policies centrally across your trust, and an exciting new toolkit – Arbor Enterprise – which gives you more control over your data and setup. 

We also welcomed feedback from Arbor schools on how our features are helping them work more effectively in daily school life.

“Our vision is to give school Leaders, Teachers and Admin Staff the tools they need to work faster and smarter, together – with meaningful data and school-focused design and ways to collaborate with their school community.” – Hilary Aylesworth, Head of Product, Arbor Education

Making Arbor a long-term success at your school or MAT

Arbor’s Chief of Customer Success, Sonia, talked through our tried-and-tested process for moving schools to Arbor, and how we work with schools to help you transform the way you work for the better. 

We provide lots of ongoing support and consultancy services to help schools drive even more impact from Arbor. So if you’re an Arbor school, your Account Manager will be happy to arrange the best session for you. Just get in touch via accountmanagers@arbor-education.com 

“When you move to Arbor, you begin a journey. We give you the support you need to empower all your staff to use Arbor to transform the way they work!” – Sonia Leighton, Chief of Customer Success, Arbor Education

Arbor-success

Competition 

A real highlight of ArborFest was the positive activity we saw on social media, with ArborFest attendees spreading the word to colleagues. 

We asked attendees to share a photo of their ArborFest location and we were thrilled by all the entries. It was really difficult to choose a winner but in the end, it had to be Dave Leonard, Strategic IT Director at Watergrove Trust, whose beaming selfie really put a smile on our face. We’ll be sending Dave a £100 Amazon voucher as his prize. 

Coming in second place, Sarah Sprack, Head of Isle Education Trust and Principal at South Axholme Academy, also impressed us with her lovely sunny view from her office. We’ll be sending Sarah some brownies in the post!

Here’s a small sample of the other runners up: 

Want to find out more?

If you didn’t make it to ArborFest, but would still like to find out more about Arbor MIS, why not join one of our regular free demo webinars to see Arbor in action, or arrange a 1-on-1 demo with one of our team. 

If you’d like to receive regular content and updates from us, sign up to our fortnightly newsletter to get the best of our blogs straight to your inbox. 

blank Maddie Kilminster - 3 November, 2020

Category : Blog

Find out what’s on at ArborFest and book your spot!

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

Thursday 12th November

Morning sessions

Theme 9.30-10am 10-11am 11am-12pm
Getting the most out of Arbor 

Best practice and advice from schools and trusts using Arbor MIS

Welcome to ArborFest!

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.

Transformative Reporting: Using Arbor’s in-built Reporting Tools to Change the Way you Work

Find out how to use Arbor to get even greater insight into your students.

Improving Parental Engagement with Arbor MIS

Find out how Arbor’s tools could help you communicate in a more dynamic way with your school community.

What’s next in Arbor

Hear about our new releases, and take part in workshops to shape the future of Arbor

How we Build a School-Centric Roadmap

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.

New Feature Reveal: My Classroom and My Homepage

Discover two of our brand new features for Teaching Staff – an all-in-one classroom management tool and a personalised dashboard.

Feedback Forum: Navigation and Layout in Arbor

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.

(For Arbor customers only)

Afternoon sessions

Theme 1-2pm 2-3pm 3-4pm 4-5pm
Getting the most out of Arbor

Best practice and advice from schools and trusts using Arbor MIS

Keynote Speech Planning for Uncertainty: How to Reflect on Rapid Transformation

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.

A Deeper Dive: Attendance Analysis and Reporting in Arbor

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.

Best Practice: Primary Assessments in Arbor

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.

Discover Arbor MIS for Primary Schools (Demo with Q&A)

If you’re a primary school discovering Arbor for the first time, join this demo to see Arbor MIS in action.

Teacher Twilight

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.

What’s next in Arbor

Hear about our new releases, and take part in workshops to shape the future of Arbor

Arbor’s Vision for Assessments

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.

Best Practice: Secondary School Assessments in Arbor

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.

Discover Arbor MIS for Secondary Schools (Demo with Q&A)

If you’re a secondary school discovering Arbor for the first time, join this demo to see Arbor MIS in action.

MAT Feedback Forum: Back Office

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.

(For Arbor customers only)

What’s Next for Group MIS

Join Stephen, Chris and Nataliia from Arbor to hear how we’re shaping Arbor to best support MATs over the long term.

Friday 13th November

Morning sessions

Theme 9-10am 10-11am 11am-12pm 12-12.30pm
Getting the most out of Arbor

Best practice and advice from schools and trusts using Arbor MIS

An Overview of Arbor’s Training and Services

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.

How to Use Arbor to Support your School During Covid-19

We’ll show you how Arbor makes the DfE Daily Form easy, plus how to keep track of student and staff sickness and absences.

Best Practice: Exam Entries and Seating in Arbor

Meet fellow Data Managers, Exams Officers, Admin Staff sharing top tips for managing exams in Arbor.

ArborFest Closing Talk

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!

Discover Arbor MIS for MATs (Demo with Q&A)

If you’re discovering Arbor for the first time, join this demo to see Arbor’s Group MIS in action.

What’s next in Arbor

Hear about our new releases, and take part in workshops to shape the future of Arbor

New Feature Reveal: Arbor Enterprise

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!

If you’re enjoying our blogs, why not subscribe to our e-newsletter to receive a fortnightly roundup of our most popular thought leadership pieces, straight to your inbox. 

Hilary Aylesworth - 8 October, 2020

Category : Blog

How we work with schools to shape our product development

Schools are at the heart of Arbor. Hear from Arbor’s Head of Product, Hilary, all about how we use feedback from schools and the “RICE” framework to shape the vision for our MIS.   At Arbor, we’re always looking for new ways to help schools work better. When we develop new features in our MIS, we

Schools are at the heart of Arbor. Hear from Arbor’s Head of Product, Hilary, all about how we use feedback from schools and the “RICE” framework to shape the vision for our MIS.  

At Arbor, we’re always looking for new ways to help schools work better. When we develop new features in our MIS, we design them to be intuitive, and to help school staff work faster and collaborate more at all levels. 

The vision we work to in our Product Team is made up of three core objectives:

1. Provide staff with meaningful data they can use to identify and act on trends
2.
Design a truly school-focused MIS which helps speed up daily tasks and save staff time
3. Develop ways for staff to work better together, creating more joined-up school communities

The way we achieve these objectives is by working hand-in-hand with school staff to make sure everything we work on makes a measurable difference to their working life. It’s also important to us that everyone who uses Arbor up and down the country has the same quality of experience.

That’s why our product roadmap is public-facing and we welcome Arbor schools to contribute their feedback to it. Our Product Managers keep an eye on the roadmap regularly for comments which feed directly into how we prioritise the products we’re developing.

We also gather feedback from schools via termly feedback forums, surveys and our customer festival – ArborFest.

How we shape our product roadmap

In the Product Team, we use a method we’ve adapted from the “RICE” framework in order to prioritise our roadmap. This helps us plan what we work on next, from feature improvements, to new integrations with popular platforms like TimeTabler, to big new ideas like our all-in-one classroom management tool – My Classroom or the Arbor App.

Using the RICE framework helps us prioritise our roadmap to make sure we’re developing the products that will make the greatest possible impact to the greatest number of school staff in the shortest or most appropriate time frame.

How does it work?

The framework is a calculation – we plug into it all the customer feedback, market analysis and suggestions we’ve gathered, plus how beneficial the new features will be to schools. We then weigh these up with other factors like how long it will take us to build new features.

Here’s how RICE breaks down:

  • Reach – How many members of staff will this new feature benefit in each school? How many schools will benefit across the country?
  • Impact – How often will staff use this feature? How much of an improvement will it make to their working life? Does this new feature support us to achieve our company mission statement?
  • Confidence – Do we have enough data and research to understand what schools need in order to develop this feature? 
  • Effort – How long will it take us to develop this feature? What expertise do we need to build it?

The other ways we gather your feedback

We really value the insights we receive from our Arbor schools. Comments on our product roadmap are really useful in our product development process, but we’re also piloting new ways of gathering more detailed feedback from schools to help us measure the impact we’re having more widely. We’ve launched several channels for this:

Termly Feedback Forums

Once a term, we hold feedback forums tailored to different staff roles and school phase (e.g. Teachers, Business Managers, Trust Admin Staff) to gather feedback on the new product features we’re working on. These intimate sessions with one of our Product Managers are a great way for us to hear how our ideas are going to impact everyday school life, and how we can improve them to help you work even more effectively.

If you’d like to find out more about the feedback forums we’re running this term, get in touch with your Arbor Account Manager.

NPS survey 

We send an NPS (Net Promoter Score) survey to Arbor schools every term, which helps us understand how Arbor is helping you save time, understand your data better and improve school life overall. Measuring the impact we have on schools is a core part of what we do – it’s also what our investors ask us to demonstrate. 

Last term, our schools told us:

arbor-impact

ArborFest

Following the really successful event we hosted earlier this year, we’re taking ArborFest online! Arbor schools are invited to join us for a two-day virtual programme on 12th and 13th November packed with talks by the Arbor Team and fellow schools, and product feedback forums where you can find out more about what’s on our product roadmap. 

Arbor schools – check your email inbox for your invitation and link to sign up for all sessions!

Designing for impact

It’s great to see from our recent feedback that Arbor schools feel that we’re listening to their needs – that’s what motivates us every day. 

customer-quote-1

customer-quote-2

Product-quote

Want to find out more about Arbor MIS?

Discover how Arbor could help you work more easily and collaboratively this term – either by booking a demo, or joining one of our webinars

tellmemore@arbor-education.com | 0208 050 1028

blank Maddie Kilminster - 6 October, 2020

Category : Blog

Choose a better way to work: Announcing 7 powerful new Arbor features

Today we’re announcing Arbor’s biggest product release ever, with seven new features designed to help you work faster, smarter and collaborate more across your school or trust.  Working hand-in-hand with school staff like you, we’re constantly improving and evolving Arbor to meet the new demands facing staff. This wave of brand new tools forms part

Today we’re announcing Arbor’s biggest product release ever, with seven new features designed to help you work faster, smarter and collaborate more across your school or trust. 

Working hand-in-hand with school staff like you, we’re constantly improving and evolving Arbor to meet the new demands facing staff. This wave of brand new tools forms part of our vision to make a measurable difference to the working life of school staff everywhere. 

With schools facing perhaps the most challenging term for decades, we’ve designed these features specifically to give a boost to everyone – from Teachers, to Office Staff, to Chief Executives. 

For Teaching Staff…

My Classroom (Out now!)

My Classroom is our brand new, all-in-one classroom management tool. Build flexible seating plans, take the register and record behaviour incidents all from one place for this first time (no other MIS does this!) 

my-classroom

My Homepage (Coming in November)

My Homepage will be a new personalised space within Arbor for Teaching Staff which keeps you up-to-date with all your students at a glance. Plus, live alerts and to-do lists will help you speed through admin between lessons.

my-homepage

For School and Trust Leaders…

Free Arbor Insight reports (Out now!)

To help you get started on your school improvement planning this term, we’ve released a complete set of our popular past performance reports (worth £300-400) exclusively for free. 

With no new DfE performance data this year, free access to Arbor’s most popular reports from 2019 exams will give you a reliable picture of your prior attainment data to help you see where to focus your efforts this year. 

For Academies, we’ve also created a few Academies’ Financial Benchmarking Report to help you kickstart your budget planning. 

Sign up to get your free reports here.

insight-reports

Understanding Your MAT Report (Coming later this month)

The latest version of the Understanding Your MAT Report will contain the most up-to-date contextual information about your trust. Together with your past ASP performance measures, your trust’s size and local demographics will help you understand your MAT’s unique strengths and challenges compared to others in England.

MAT-report

For MATs and larger schools…

As schools and MATs have grown in size and complexity over the past few years, we’ve been building out our product and support to help School and MAT Leaders deal with the challenges of scale:

Advanced Support (Out now!)

With Advanced Support, you’ll be able to speak to a Success Analyst who knows your set-up intimately so they’ll be able to get to the bottom of any technical issues you have faster, and give you tailored solutions. Plus, they’ll save you valuable time by setting up automatic reports for you with exactly the information you need to see regularly, such as a weekly attendance report.

advanced-support

Arbor Enterprise (Coming in February 2021)

Introducing a brand new toolkit designed to help you simplify your system setup and get more insight from your data at scale.

  • Run a joined-up back office and save time by syncing your HR and teaching & learning systems with Arbor 
  • Customise your data any way you like with PowerBI export capabilities
  • Use Arbor staff usage reports to identify strategic improvements and best practice to standardise ways of working across your organisation

For all staff… 

Google & Microsoft SSO and 2FA (Out now!)

With Single Sign On and Two-Factor Authentication, staff will be able to log in securely to their email, virtual learning environment and Arbor MIS at the same time – with only one password to remember! With the possibility of local lockdowns or staff having to isolate, these features will free staff up to access their systems from wherever they’re working.

sso-2FA

We’re committed to working with our schools to make sure that with Arbor, schools really do work better. This new release is packed full of features to take the hassle out of admin, give your staff time back, and ultimately help your school be ready for whatever tomorrow brings.

We’d love to speak to you about our new features, so get in touch if you want to find out more. 

New to Arbor?

To find out more about moving to Arbor MIS, get in touch on tellmemore@arbor-education.com, arrange a demo or join a free webinar.

Already using Arbor?

Find out more about our brand new features from your Account Manager on accountmanagers@arbor-education.com.

blank Sophie Elms - 30 September, 2020

Category : Blog

Why Diversity & Inclusion is our top priority as we grow

As the fastest-growing MIS provider in the country, we’re learning and changing all the time. As we grow further, Arbor’s Talent Acquisition Manager Sophie, explains why Diversity & Inclusion is one of our top priorities. Striving for a wide range of perspectives Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) is a very important topic at the moment, both

As the fastest-growing MIS provider in the country, we’re learning and changing all the time. As we grow further, Arbor’s Talent Acquisition Manager Sophie, explains why Diversity & Inclusion is one of our top priorities.

Striving for a wide range of perspectives

Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) is a very important topic at the moment, both here in the UK and across the world. The recent Black Lives Matter protests have brought the issue to the fore, and shown just how important it is for people to come forward to tell their stories around discrimination. 

Diversity doesn’t just relate to visible characteristics such as gender, ethnicity and cultural background, it also includes a wide range of non-visible differences such as religion, social background, sexual orientation, personality, thinking styles and ways of working. 

At Arbor, we’ve always thought of ourselves as a forward-thinking, innovative and authentic company, but as we grow we’ve been thinking more and more about how to make sure we’re creating a diverse and inclusive workplace for all our employees.

It’s important to us that we have a wide range of types of people and perspectives represented. Diversity is proven to increase creativity, innovation, efficiency and productivity in the workplace as well as employee engagement and as a growing tech company this is exactly what we are striving for. 

We have some way to go to achieving a full balance of diversity in our offices, and it’s not something, unfortunately, that can happen overnight. To maintain a diverse and inclusive culture takes real, practical actions and commitment across the board.

So what are we doing as a business? 

First and foremost we need to understand the make-up of Arbor. We are proud of our commitment to diversity and inclusion but without data we won’t be able to measure how successful our efforts are. We’re in the process of gathering data on the backgrounds, ethnicities and demographics of both our employees and applicants to our job openings. This will help us understand where we’re under-represented so we can work to improve diversity.  

We’ve created a dedicated D&I Guild internally, made up of people from different backgrounds and teams across the business, who bring perspectives from lots of different industries. We’ve also made D&I a measurable part of our objectives and key results for the People team, so we have real ownership over these actions. 

The D&I Guild has been setting up “lunch & learns” with presentations from both internal and external speakers, including Crayola The Queen who spoke about LGBTQ+ and the difficulties she has experienced in the workplace, as well as Sophie Elwes who shared how disability has affected her working life. I recently spoke about being aware of unconscious bias during the recruitment and interview process, with transferable lessons for the wider world too. 

We’ve got lots of initiatives coming up, with more talks and promotion of awareness months including Black History Month and National Disability Employment Awareness Month. We’re also going to be partnering with leading organisations at the forefront of the D&I field.

Join the Arbor Team!

This is a very exciting time of growth for Arbor, so if you wish to join a company with with employees at their heart, check out our careers page here: https://careers.arbor-education.com/ 

Here are our current open roles:

Billing Manager – Leeds/London/Remote

Software Trainer – Remote/South

Account Manager (6m FTC) – Leeds/London/Remote

Senior Marketing Manager – London

Product Engineering Lead (PHP) – Leeds/london/Remote

Senior Product Engineer (PHP) – Leeds/London/Remote

blank Maddie Kilminster - 14 September, 2020

Category : Blog

Kickstart your school improvement plan with Arbor Insight Reports

When you’re putting together your School Improvement Plan, an important first step is to gather evidence of your school’s performance. Understanding your attainment in depth, including the attainment gaps between different student groups and the factors that cause them, will help you identify the areas your improvement efforts could have the most impact. Since there

When you’re putting together your School Improvement Plan, an important first step is to gather evidence of your school’s performance. Understanding your attainment in depth, including the attainment gaps between different student groups and the factors that cause them, will help you identify the areas your improvement efforts could have the most impact.

Since there are no performance tables or ASP data from the DfE this year, the best place to look is at your prior attainment data (averages over three years are ideal) as a starting point.  

To give you a full picture of your school’s attainment from the last three years, we’ve released a bundle of our most popular Arbor Insight reports (usually worth £300-400) exclusively for free. Find out more below or go straight to download your reports here.

How Arbor Insight reports can help

Gathering full and reliable prior attainment data could mean lengthy searching through DfE performance tables, and pulling together internal spreadsheets and student records. 

To save you time this term and help you kickstart your school improvement planning, our exclusive bundle of our Arbor Insight reports will show you the full picture of your students’ progress and attainment over the last three years, giving you the context you need to see where to focus your school improvement strategy. 

You can download your reports from your free benchmarking portal – Arbor Insight – used by over 10,000 schools in the UK to dig deeper into their results and benchmark their performance.

Here’s what the reports will help you to achieve:

  • Visualise your students’ progress – Using three-year rolling averages, your reports will help you understand how consistent your performance has been over time and quickly spot any inconsistencies and identify anomalies 
  • Instantly spot attainment gaps – Your reports will help you understand how gaps have emerged between your key demographic groups (such as SEN, Pupil Premium, disadvantaged & EAL) and the school & national averages, so you can better support your most at-risk students post-lockdown
  • Understand the impact of socio-economic factors – Using contextual information about the area your school is in, your reports will help you look at all the factors affecting your students’ attainment 
  • Benchmark your school against others – Your reports benchmark your headline measures against other schools nationally, your LA, Top Quintile schools and similar schools to you, allowing you to put your school’s performance in its wider context 
  • Give your Governors the background they need – Saving you time gathering data, your reports are also presented in easy-to-understand PDFs with colour-coded charts and expert analysis, ready to share at your next Governor meeting

Your reports are waiting for you in your free Arbor Insight benchmarking portal – sign up here and download them today!

Here’s some more detail about each of your reports: 

school-report

progress-report

attainment-gap-report

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

blank Harriet Cheng - 17 July, 2020

Category : Blog

United Learning chooses Arbor MIS for all 72 of its state schools

We’re proud to announce that United Learning, the largest mixed-phase MAT in England, has just chosen Arbor MIS for its 72 state schools. More schools switch to Arbor than any other MIS, and we now support the two largest primary and secondary MATs in the UK! From Autumn Term 2020, 34 secondary schools and 23

We’re proud to announce that United Learning, the largest mixed-phase MAT in England, has just chosen Arbor MIS for its 72 state schools. More schools switch to Arbor than any other MIS, and we now support the two largest primary and secondary MATs in the UK!

From Autumn Term 2020, 34 secondary schools and 23 primary schools in United Learning will move to Arbor – joining the 15 United Learning schools who already use us. Together they’ll join our growing community of over 1,000 schools and 100 MATs who have all chosen Arbor to help transform the way they work – including REAch2, the largest primary school MAT, who moved to Arbor in 2018.

The MIS of choice for schools across all phases:

As a large mixed-phased trust, United Learning chose Arbor to help them analyse information across all their schools simply and effectively, automate repetitive administrative tasks and operate remotely at scale all from one system. 

Dominic Norrish, Chief Operating Officer at United Learning said: “United Learning are excited to realise the benefits that a modern cloud-based MIS such as Arbor will bring to our schools – resilience, mobility, security and the reduced costs of a single, highly capable tool.”

Arbor's Group MIS

We’ve taken the time to build out features tailored to each school phase:

  • For MATs: Arbor’s Group MIS lets you work across all your schools from one central system, so you can collaborate more easily and really understand what’s going on. Arbor allow’s you to track performance from a distance, compare data across schools, manage your staff, and communicate with everyone centrally.
  • For Secondary Schools: Our MIS for secondaries lets you analyse your data in any way you like. Choose our built-in Business Intelligence (BI) dashboards, or securely export your data to external analysis tools like Power BI, Google Sheets or Excel. Roll out your behaviour policies consistently and automate time-consuming follow-ups such as booking detentions and notifying parents. Arbor also includes end-to-end exams management, cover planning, timetabling, and interventions management.
  • For Primary Schools: With Arbor for primaries, daily jobs like chasing absent students and following up on incidents are simple and painless. Our MIS brings all your student and staff data together so you can easily spot patterns, and get the data you need at your fingertips to tell the full story of each pupil as they progress through school. Our primary schools love our lightning-fast registers and simple census tools, too.

100 MATs have chosen Arbor MIS in the last 3 years…

United Learning is the latest MAT to choose Arbor – joining trusts like REAch2, Aspire, Diocese of Salisbury Academy Trust, Red Kite, LEO Academy Trust, Wellspring, and Hoyland Common Academy Trust who have all moved to Arbor in recent years. 

…and more schools chose Arbor in 2019 than any other MIS system

320 schools started using Arbor between January-December 2019, joining the growing movement of schools switching to the cloud to transform the way they work. Recently we’ve been focused on helping our schools work flexibly and remotely during Covid-19, with over 250 schools having moved to Arbor during lockdown! We’ve built out our MIS to help schools manage staff rotas, communicate with parents, and set classwork remotely (see more on that here).

You can read more about our cloud-based MIS in our brochures for primary and  secondary schools (click here), and MATs (click here).

Interested to see whether Arbor could be a good fit for your school or trust?

We’d be more than happy to arrange a remote, personalised demo for your team – just click here, or reach us at hello@arbor-education.com or call 0208 050 1028. 

blank Maddie Kilminster - 15 July, 2020

Category : Blog

The Arbor Community is here for you over summer

The summer break is usually a chance to step back, reflect on the last Term, and gradually start preparations for Autumn. This year, with so many new timetabling and curriculum arrangements coming in September, there’s likely to be even more planning to do in July and August.  Whilst you’re preparing for the new Term, you

The summer break is usually a chance to step back, reflect on the last Term, and gradually start preparations for Autumn. This year, with so many new timetabling and curriculum arrangements coming in September, there’s likely to be even more planning to do in July and August. 

Whilst you’re preparing for the new Term, you and your staff can access Arbor MIS from home so you can look back at last year’s data, set up your new classes, assessments and registers, and send vital communications to keep parents in the loop

Whenever you need during summer, you and your staff can access our online support resources for a refresher on how key parts of Arbor work. You can also share tips with fellow Arbor users on the Arbor Community. And don’t forget our expert Support Team is on hand to answer questions too!

Find out below more about all the free support you can access over summer.

 

Keep in touch with the Arbor Community

 

Building relationships with colleagues and learning from each other has been especially valuable during the Covid-19 crisis. The Arbor Community has been a great forum for schools and MATs to share their experiences and get advice on the best ways of working.

Over summer, as you prepare for Autumn, you’ll be able to use the Community to chat with colleagues from other schools and compare plans. You’re bound to meet someone who does the same role as you who can show you tips and tricks that you might not have thought of to save you even more time next Term. 

We celebrated the positive impact of the Arbor Community at our first ever ArborFest event earlier this year. 100 School Leaders, Business Managers, Teachers and Admins using Arbor across the country came together for a fantastic day of demonstrations on topics across the school landscape – from assessment, to parental engagement, to running an effective school office.

To mark the success of ArborFest we put together a video of the highlights. We’re planning another virtual ArborFest in Autumn Term so keep an eye out! 

 

Access our free digital support any time

 

Whether you need to complete essential admin tasks to get everything set up for September, or you want to give your staff training resources they can use in their own time, the support resources on our Help Centre and our expert Support Team are here whenever you need them.

  • Want a recap of key parts of the system like assessment or behaviour? Our Help Centre is full of clear, step-by-step guides which break down every part of the Arbor 
  • Get quick answers to technical questions: Our Support Team is available by phone, webchat or email 8am-5pm*, Monday to Friday
  • Want help setting up your new timetable? Check out this section of the Help Centre. You can also book onto one of our free webinars at the beginning of September which will help you get set up for the new Term
  • Have you completed your New Year Setup? Check out the dedicated section in Arbor which walks you through the steps of how to set up everything from your statutory enrolment information to your calendar, courses and assessments
  • Want more in-depth training for your staff? Your Account Manager will help you arrange the best type of session for you. Get in touch at accountmanagers@arbor-education.com. If you’d like to find out more about the training, consultancy and services we offer, sign up here and we’ll send you a brochure
  • Want to train up a new member of staff? The best place for them to start is the eLearning journey which gives them an introduction to the core parts of the system

*Between 24th July and 28th August our Support Team will be available 9am-12pm on Fridays. 

If you’re new to Arbor, you can find out more about how a cloud-based MIS will help you run your school or MAT flexibly next term in a free online demo. Alternatively, get in touch with us at hello@arbor-education.com or call 0208 050 1028. 

blank Maddie Kilminster - 4 June, 2020

Category : Blog

Announcing the new Understanding Your MAT Report – out now!

See your trust in a new light with our new free report Often serving a broad range of pupils from different backgrounds, and sometimes varying geographical areas, a big priority for Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) is ensuring their spread of provision gives every pupil an equal chance of success.  There are lots of factors that play

See your trust in a new light with our new free report

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Often serving a broad range of pupils from different backgrounds, and sometimes varying geographical areas, a big priority for Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) is ensuring their spread of provision gives every pupil an equal chance of success. 

There are lots of factors that play a part in how pupils perform, such as where they live, whether they’re eligible for free school meals (FSM), or have special educational needs (SEN). As a DfE official warns that the attainment gap for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds could widen by 75% as a result of Covid-19, it’s more important than ever for trusts to look at their school performance in context. The problem is, it’s not always easy to gather all this data in one place without trawling online data tables or waiting on spreadsheets.

That’s why we’ve launched a brand new free report for MAT leaders – the “Understanding Your MAT Report”. Created for every MAT in the country, the report helps you understand your unique make-up in a national context, so you can shape smart strategy going forwards.

Designed in partnership with the Centre for Education and Youth, the Understanding Your MAT Report brings together your schools’ key performance measures, alongside your MAT’s size and local demographics, to help you understand your unique set of strengths and challenges. What’s more, the report shows you how your MAT compares to other trusts nationally for the first time.

Your Understanding Your MAT Report is live now for you to download from your free Arbor Group Insight portal (our benchmarking tool for MATs)! If you don’t have an account yet, sign up here for free.

What can you do with the new Understanding Your MAT Report? 

  • Get a clear picture of student performance across your trust, how you compare in a national context 
  • Compare your size, growth, pupil characteristics and socio-economic factors with other trusts
  • Shape smart strategy by looking at the relationship between deprivation and attainment across your trust 

Let’s break that down…

1. Get a clear picture of student performance across your trust, how you compare in a national context 

We use your schools’ latest validated 2019 Analyse School Performance (ASP) data to show you your spread of performance in key measures at KS4, 2 and 1, such as Progress 8, Achieving Expected Standard: Reading, Writing and Maths, and Working at the Expected Standard: Year 1 Phonics

Then we compare your results against three key benchmarks: Trust average (the weighted average of all your schools’ results), National average (weighted average of all state schools in England) and National MAT average (weighted average of all academies in England) to help you see what makes your MAT distinctive.

Plus, you can use your report as a companion to your free Arbor Group Insight portal, where you can dig further into any data set to see pupil level figures.

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Image 1 – KS4 Progress 8 score, Understanding Your MAT Report 2020

 

2. Compare your size, growth, pupil characteristics and socio-economic factors with other trusts

You might be wondering “Is my MAT growing at the same pace as other trusts?” Or “Is our proportion of students eligible for Free School Meals higher or lower than other trusts?” The Understanding Your MAT Report will help you answer all these questions and more, showing you how your unique make-up compares to other trusts in the country.

You’ll get an overview of your MAT’s size, growth, blend of phases, pupil characteristics (% of FSM, SEN and EAL pupils), as well as the “Area Type” your schools are in, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) area classifications. The report also shows you the demographic factors associated with the areas your schools are in (such as the level of education and the unemployment rate) which helps you understand your pupils’ socio-economic background.

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Image 2 – Area Type Blend, Understanding Your MAT Report 2020


3. Shape smart strategy by looking at the relationship between deprivation and attainment across your trust

By bringing together your demographics, pupil context and school attainment, your Understanding Your MAT Report will help you understand all the factors impacting achievement at your MAT. As you’ll see from the report’s leading article “Breaking the link: Attainment, poverty and rural schools” (preview here), the relationship between disadvantage and attainment varies considerably between different parts of England, so it’s important for trusts to understand how this plays out across their mix of schools.

Use this analysis to drive decision making at your next strategy meeting, and find new ways to improve results for staff and pupils. 

 

Your Understanding Your MAT Report is live now for you to download from your Arbor Group Insight portal – we’ve also sent the link to you by email. If you’re not registered, don’t worry, you can sign up for free here

If you have any questions about your report, or if you’d like one of our team to show you around Group Insight, get in touch at insight@arbor-education.com or call 0208 050 1028.

blank Beth Mokrini - 13 March, 2020

Category : Blog

Get the support that works for you with Arbor

We know that moving to the cloud can seem like a big job. The benefits of switching MIS might be hard to picture when you’ve never undergone such a large change at your school. That’s why we want to make sure you have the right support at every step of the way. Getting to know

We know that moving to the cloud can seem like a big job. The benefits of switching MIS might be hard to picture when you’ve never undergone such a large change at your school. That’s why we want to make sure you have the right support at every step of the way.

Getting to know the 1,000 schools who have chosen Arbor has shown us that each school works in a unique way. This is also true of support – different schools will have certain styles that suit them best. The Arbor Support Team of experts and former teachers will guide you through rolling out your new system, getting started with core functions, through to driving impact from Arbor over a longer period of time. However, many schools have an existing relationship with a local support partner and we think it’s important that a move to Arbor doesn’t mean losing these ties. 

To give schools freedom and flexibility, you can either choose our direct support, or from our network of local support partners across the country, including SIMS Support Units, who provide schools with expert training and advice on the use of Arbor. 

Each of the 31 organisations we work with goes through in-depth training to become an accredited Arbor Support Partner. This involves:

Training: 

  • 4-6 months of self-guided training using videos, guides and mock tests
  • Fortnightly call with one of our Customer Support experts
  • Day of shadowing our Customer Support Team (optional) 
  • Day of in-person training (optional) 

Accreditation: 

  • Online exam on Arbor’s core modules
  • Deliver an assessed 1-hour training session
  • Respond to mock support calls and tickets 

We’re thrilled to announce the following 10 Support Partners who have recently gained full accreditation. You might spot one of the providers in your local area!

 

Buckinghamshire County Councilblank

ICT Schools Team, part of The Buckinghamshire Council, became our very first accredited Support Partner in March 2019. They provide telephone support and remote assistance on Arbor, a comprehensive training schedule and consultancy visits, along with technical support on admin and curriculum networks. 

 

iCT4

Glyn pascoe ict4 quoteiCT4 has been providing ICT services to schools since 2002. Originally formed as part of the Cornwall Council Learning Partnership, they now cover all of the UK, delivering full service IT solutions to the education, business and charity sectors. Their aim is to empower users to make the most of ICT.

 

 

OSMIS Education

Dave Cattlin OSMIS quote

OSMIS is based in the North of England and delivers quality training, support and consultancy services to schools, academies, Local Authorities and Multi-Academy Trusts. Their dedicated service desk is staffed by experts with decades of experience of working in schools. OSMIS seeks to work in a genuine partnership to help customers to realise efficiencies and to achieve the very best from their MIS.

 

Orbis

Jason Waring Orbis quoteOrbis is a shared services partnership between Brighton and Hove City Council, East Sussex County Council and Surrey County Council. Orbis strives to deliver greater value for their customers by generating efficiencies and exploiting the benefits of sharing resources and technology. 

 

You can read more about our partnership with Orbis in this blog.

 

Connect-Up

blankConnect-Up Support Services, based in Leeds, have over 25 years’ experience working in the Education sector. They cover a wide range of MIS, Admin office, Curriculum managed services and training for primary schools and trusts in the Yorkshire Region.

 

 

Herts for Learning

Jennie readings herts for learning quote

Herts for Learning (HfL) is the UK’s largest schools-owned company, providing a broad range of education and business services that support schools and educational settings to deliver improved outcomes for children. They work with 99% of Hertfordshire schools and over 3,100 schools and educational settings nationally, deploying 450 staff across all phases. HfL provides training, support and challenge to staff and governors at all levels.

We are working together with Herts for Learning, ICT4, OSMIS and Orbis to launch Arbor Lite – our new, essential MIS package for primary schools.

 

School Business Services (SBS)

Cara Patching SBS quote

SBS is a leading global specialist in providing support services and products to the education sector. They offer consultancy, training, service desks and managed services to schools and academies. Their core specialisms are Finance & Business Management, ICT, Management Information Systems (MIS) and HR Support. 

 

You can read more about our partnership with SBS in this blog.

 

Turn IT on

tom welch turniton quoteWith over 150 years of combined experience in supporting Management Information Systems (MIS), turn IT on provide expert support to help schools use Arbor as effectively as possible. Unlimited telephone and remote support is available, as well as a wide range of on-site consultancy services. 

 

You can read more about our partnership with turn IT on in this blog.

 

Wirral Software Support for Schools

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Wirral Council’s Software Support team provides training, support and installations for Management Information Systems (MIS) and software used by schools and academies. Their training programmes are tailored to each school.

 

 

Cantium Business Solutions

mark hodges cantium quote

Cantium Business Solutions works with schools and Multi-Academy Trusts to provide insight-driven solutions and tailored back office support. From integrated HR and Payroll, to innovative ICT solutions, Cantium aims to help schools drive improvements and create efficiencies and savings to transform how they work for the better.

 

If you’re new to Arbor and want to find out more about the support we offer, or about working with one of our Support Partners, get in touch at myteam@arbor-education.com. You can also call 020 8050 2086 if you’re a Primary, or 020 8050 2087 if you’re a Secondary.

To find out more about switching to Arbor MIS, you can arrange a free demo here or call us on 0208 050 1028.

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Category : Blog

The Arbor Community celebrates at ArborFest 2020!

Last week we welcomed 100 School Leaders, Business Managers, Teachers and Admins from schools and MATs using Arbor across the country. It was a fantastic day of keynote speeches, breakout sessions and discussions on topics across the school landscape – from assessment, behaviour and reporting, to parental engagement, managing Ofsted inspections and running an effective

arborfest

Last week we welcomed 100 School Leaders, Business Managers, Teachers and Admins from schools and MATs using Arbor across the country. It was a fantastic day of keynote speeches, breakout sessions and discussions on topics across the school landscape – from assessment, behaviour and reporting, to parental engagement, managing Ofsted inspections and running an effective school office. 

It was brilliant to hear from some of our 1,000 schools (of all shapes and sizes!) about how they are integrating Arbor MIS into all areas of their day-to-day life. Schools had the opportunity to network with staff members in the same roles as them at other schools – and to learn from each other and share best practice. 

Anthony david quote2

Lots of exciting discussions took place throughout the day, and we overheard some fascinating ideas shared about ways schools have transformed key processes (like using automatic interventions and creating custom reports) in Arbor. 

For Lewis Dinsdale, Headteacher at English Martyrs Catholic Primary, Arbor’s Parent Portal has allowed his team to reach out to parents more effectively, as well as better understanding their data. He told us, “we finally have data behind how parents are engaging with our school!” 

Martyn Essery, Deputy Headteacher at The Reach Free School shared how Arbor made managing their Ofsted inspection easy, because he was able to quickly drill down into the data and pull out trends to make useful crib sheets for staff. Martyn says “‪with Arbor we can evidence that we know what’s going on with our students and the impact of what we’re doing.”

For Julie Smith, Senior Administrator and PA to the Headteacher at Park Royal Community Primary, being able to schedule the weekly reports and automatic follow-ups has saved her office a lot of time and hassle.

After the event, our online community forum was buzzing with ideas being shared. If you’re an Arbor user, sign up today for free and learn more from fellow Arbor schools!

It was great to have so many schools together in one room, who all shared a collective passion for improving the lives of students everywhere. We loved meeting so many of our schools and finding out how you’re using Arbor to transform the way you work.

It was also a chance for the Arbor team to hear your feedback and show you some of the exciting new features we’re releasing this year. We had some great feedback on My Classroom, our new all-in-one classroom management tool, which brings seating plans, attendance and behaviour management in one place for the first time. Look out for that later this term!

Hear what a few more of our schools said about the day:Elaine Barber quote

Damon Murphy quote

To find out more about how Arbor MIS could transform the way your school works, you can arrange a free demo here or call us on 0208 050 1028.

David Norton - 21 January, 2020

Category : Blog

Announcing Arbor Lite

Arbor Lite is our new, essential MIS package for primary schools in partnership with Herts for Learning, iCT4, Orbis and OSMIS. At Arbor, our mission is to transform the way schools work to save teachers time and improve student outcomes. We built Arbor MIS (Management Information System) to make essential daily admin quicker, school data

Arbor Lite is our new, essential MIS package for primary schools in partnership with Herts for Learning, iCT4, Orbis and OSMIS.

At Arbor, our mission is to transform the way schools work to save teachers time and improve student outcomes. We built Arbor MIS (Management Information System) to make essential daily admin quicker, school data more powerful and day-to-day school management less stressful for everyone, so you can get on and focus where it matters most.

Over the past few years we’ve helped over 900 schools of all shapes and sizes make an easy move to our smarter, cloud-based MIS. But we know that for some schools – smaller, LA maintained primary schools in particular – that a move to the cloud has to be a real partnership between their school staff, their new MIS, and their trusted local support partner. We also know that, if you’re a smaller school, moving to a full MIS might feel too complex if you only use your existing system in a light touch way.

That’s why we’re excited to announce Arbor Lite – a new, lightweight version of Arbor MIS. Arbor Lite offers all the key features smaller schools need to save time from day one, like lightning fast digital registers, behaviour logging, communication to parents and everything you need for census. Plus, working in the cloud means Arbor is always up-to-date and you can access what you need securely, from anywhere. 

Crucially, Arbor Lite is only available through our four launch partners – Herts for Learning (HfL), iCT4, Orbis and OSMIS – to ensure your move to the cloud is supported by the partner you already know and work with. If you’re a primary school working with any of these partners already, and you’d like to switch to the cloud, our launch partners will support you along the way, making the switch much easier. Working with your support partner, you can also choose to build on and adapt Arbor Lite as your school’s needs change. 

By launching Arbor Lite in partnership with HfL, iCT4, Orbis and OSMIS, our aim is to bring the benefits of our brilliant, cloud-based MIS to those schools who might have felt a solo move was too complex. If you work with a different support partner, don’t worry – we work with a growing number of support and training providers across England and we plan to extend Arbor Lite further in the future. 

We’d love to tell you more about everything Arbor has to offer this week if you’re attending BETT 2020. Come and see us at stand NM30 to have a chat, or join us for a free lunch and glass of wine at Tapa Tapa restaurant (on the DLR walkway outside the ExCel centre). Sign up for your free spot here

If you’re already an Arbor partner and want to find out more about Arbor Lite – or if you’re a support team and want to know how we work with partners – we’d love to hear from you too! Come along to our BETT Partners’ Lounge this week – you can sign up here. We hope to see you there!

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Category : Blog

Our new partnership with turn IT on

We’re delighted to announce that turn IT on is now an accredited support partner for Arbor MIS. Turn IT on’s team of experienced experts work in partnership with schools to maximise the potential of ICT for the benefit of pupils, teachers and management groups. Many of their team have been teachers and all of them

We’re delighted to announce that turn IT on is now an accredited support partner for Arbor MIS.

Turn IT on’s team of experienced experts work in partnership with schools to maximise the potential of ICT for the benefit of pupils, teachers and management groups. Many of their team have been teachers and all of them understand the huge challenges that modern schools meet in the face of an ever-changing landscape.

With over 150 years of combined experience in supporting Management Information Systems, turn IT on can ensure the effective and enhanced use of Arbor to give you peace of mind that your funding is correct, Ofsted data is ready and expert support is on hand whenever you or your team need it.

Turn IT on’s experts know every aspect of Arbor and their support covers key areas including census, attendance, behaviour, admissions, school dashboard, student & staff profiles, assessment & summative tracking, reports & dashboards, custom report writer, communications, teacher app, SEN, timetabling, exams, and cover.

Arbor MIS (Management Information System) is the hassle-free way for schools and trusts to get work done that schools and trusts love to use. 

Whether you’re a primary, secondary or MAT, Arbor helps make your essential daily admin more powerful and less stressful – so everyone from your back office to your SLT can get on and focus where it matters most. 

We’ve already helped more than 900 schools and MATs make the switch to our smarter cloud-based MIS. With human support at every step! 

We completed a full-day accreditation test with turn IT on which included:

  • A 1-hour training assessment to evidence turn IT on’s capability
  • A Service Desk troubleshooting test
  • An inspection of turn IT on’s Service Desk.

Following a successful day, we’re thrilled to say we are now working together to give schools the option to switch to Arbor MIS whilst keeping their trusted support team at turn IT on. Working with Arbor and turn IT on together gives your school:

  • A cloud-based MIS which makes your essential admin and day-to-day work hassle-free
  • Clear MIS data you can use to focus where it matters most
  • An MIS Support Team who will help you get the most out of Arbor
  • Peace of mind that you’re Ofsted-ready
  • A team who are on hand whenever your school needs it.

To find out more about switching to Arbor with the turn IT on MIS team, contact turn IT on through their website, by email to office@turniton.co.uk or call 01865 597620 (option 6).

blank Beth Mokrini - 17 December, 2019

Category : Blog

Partner roundup: Autumn term 2019

There’s never a dull moment in Education, but this term really has felt action-packed. So as you settle into the season of Nativities, surrounded by paper cut-out snowflakes and glitter trampled so deep into the carpet it will still be there in June, let us give you a festive roundup of what’s new with Arbor’s

There’s never a dull moment in Education, but this term really has felt action-packed. So as you settle into the season of Nativities, surrounded by paper cut-out snowflakes and glitter trampled so deep into the carpet it will still be there in June, let us give you a festive roundup of what’s new with Arbor’s partner network! 

We’ve got new names to introduce, milestones to celebrate, and a couple of teasers for what’s coming up in 2020. Starting with…

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(Image 1: Our new badge for officially accredited Arbor Partners)

 

1. Three new partners became accredited to support Arbor MIS

We’ve been out and about this term, visiting partners from Leeds to Brighton to put their teams through their paces on Arbor MIS. It’s been fantastic to see the level of skill and knowledge they’ve all brought to their accreditation days and unsurprisingly, they all passed first time! Please give a warm Arbor welcome to:

Orbis

The Orbis Partnership is a shared services agreement between Brighton and Hove City Council, and Surrey and East Sussex County Councils. The Orbis team have decades of expertise in finance, business operations, HR and IT – so schools and academies can get all your support from one place. 

School Business Services (SBS)

SBS is a leading specialist in school support services, offering a wide range of MIS services to suit schools’ finances, staff and vision. They work with over 1000 schools across England, with strong hubs in London, the South West and the North.

Connect-Up 

Connect-Up provide a wide range of MIS, Admin and Curriculum managed service support across Yorkshire. Everything from small cabling jobs to total, integrated support for Schools and MATs – and all with a friendly, local approach.

We’ve still got one more accreditation day to squeeze in this week – so good luck to the team at Turn IT on!

 

2. We welcomed 7 new partners on board

Our network is always growing and it’s been great working with so many new partners this term, including: 

Keystone MIS – expert SIMS and Arbor support based in Hull, but with over 200 customers nationally

Education Lincs – Dedicated local IT and MIS support based in Lincolnshire 

Code Green – the fantastic MIS support team working out of Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council 

Pennine Education – Expert MIS support and training in Oldham and the North West.

 

3. We started work on deep integrations in areas like Safeguarding, Finance and Budgeting

We’re always looking for ways to make things simpler for schools, which is why we integrate for free with a whole range of well-loved apps, from door entry systems to payments providers (click here for a full list!). This term, we started working on a few new ones – here’s what’s coming up in 2020: 

CPOMS – a user-friendly safeguarding app used by over 10,000 schools in the UK. Basic student and staff data already syncs from Arbor to CPOMS, but we’re now working to sync safeguarding notifications and statistics too. This will give you a single, clear picture of your students’ pastoral and education data.  

PS Financials – the Finance system used by 60% of all Multi Academy Trusts. We’ve partnered successfully with PS Financials to deliver three national MAT conferences and we’re now starting work on a technical partnership too. No spoilers for now, but watch this space! 

SBS online – our partnership with School Business Services got off to a flying start this year – we’ve not only teamed up with their software support team (see above), but we’re also planning to integrate with their intuitive web-based budgeting software used by over 1,000 schools.

 

4. Our partners co-hosted 5 local Arbor MIS events with us, from Kent to the Wirral!

As well as big national conferences like BETT, we also love to come and meet schools in their local area for smaller, more personalised events. For schools new to Arbor, this is a great chance to see a demo of the software, ask questions, meet schools already using it and get advice on switching. 

We try to do this in partnership with local companies who understand what’s important to schools and can advise them impartially. We therefore owe a big thank you to JSPC, Educa IT, Studysafe and Wirral Borough Council for hosting sessions with us this term in West Sussex, Kent, Rotherham and the North West. 

Look out for early 2020 events in East Sussex, Hampshire, Westminster and Northamptonshire.

 

5. We launched our BETT Partner Lounge 

Earlier this week, we opened booking for our annual School and MAT Leaders’ Lounge and our Partners’ Lounge at  BETT 2020. The main arena can be overwhelming, so if you want to have a more relaxed chat about moving to Arbor MIS or partnering with us, the Lounge is the place for you. Drop in for a glass of wine and a bite to eat at Tapa Tapa restaurant, just outside the Western Gateway entrance to the ExCel, from Wednesday 22nd to Friday 24th January. Book your free spot by clicking on either of the links above  – look forward to seeing you there! 

We’re really proud of everything we’ve achieved with our partners this term and look forward to even more exciting projects in 2020. Please get in touch if you’d like to find out more about any of the partners mentioned, or about becoming a partner yourself. And if you’ve read this far, thanks – treat yourself to a mince pie!

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Category : Blog

Our new partnership with School Business Services (SBS)

We’re delighted to announce that School Business Services (SBS) is now an accredited support partner for Arbor MIS. SBS is a leading specialist in school support services, offering a wide range of MIS services to suit schools’ finances, staff and vision. They work with over 1000 schools across England, with strong hubs in London, the

We’re delighted to announce that School Business Services (SBS) is now an accredited support partner for Arbor MIS.

SBS is a leading specialist in school support services, offering a wide range
of MIS services to suit schools’ finances, staff and vision. They work with
over 1000 schools across England, with strong hubs in London, the South
West and the North.

Consisting of ex-deputy headteachers, teachers and educational
specialists, the SBS MIS team builds trusting relationships with schools,
providing consultancy and training.

In addition to MIS, School Business Services is an onsite, offsite and online
support provider for Finance, HR and ICT. They develop the leading budget
management software SBS Budgets, accessed anywhere via SBS Online.

Arbor MIS (Management Information System) is the hassle-free way for
schools and trusts to get work done.

Whether you’re a primary, secondary or MAT, Arbor helps make your
essential daily admin more powerful and less stressful – so everyone from
your back office to your SLT can get on and focus where it matters most.

We’ve already helped more than 800 schools and MATs make the switch to
our smarter cloud-based MIS. With human support at every step!

We visited the SBS Milton Keynes office recently to complete their
accreditation test.

The full day’s accreditation included:

  • A 1-hour training assessment to evidence SBS’s capability
  • A Service Desk troubleshooting test
  • An onsite inspection to observe SBS’ Service Desk

Following a successful day, we’re thrilled to say we are now working together to give schools the option to switch to Arbor MIS whilst keeping their trusted support team at SBS. Working with Arbor and SBS together gives your school:

1. A cloud-based MIS which makes your essential admin and day-to-day work hassle-free

2. Clear MIS data you can use to focus where it matters most

3. An MIS Support Team who will help you save time on data management

4. Peace of mind for statutory returns

5. A team who will empower your staff to develop skills

To find out more about switching to Arbor with the SBS MIS team contact
0345 222 1551 – Opt 5 or email hello@schoolbusinessservices.co.uk.

blank Beth Mokrini - 3 December, 2019

Category : Blog

Orbis becomes Arbor-accredited

In my last blog, I explained why SIMS Support Units are teaming up with Arbor right now – and why this is great news for schools. This week, we’re celebrating one of our new partners gaining their Arbor accreditation. Meet Orbis – a collaboration between Brighton & Hove City Council, and Surrey and East Sussex

In my last blog, I explained why SIMS Support Units are teaming up with Arbor right now – and why this is great news for schools. This week, we’re celebrating one of our new partners gaining their Arbor accreditation. Meet Orbis – a collaboration between Brighton & Hove City Council, and Surrey and East Sussex County Councils – who’ve just passed their test with flying colours! 

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(Image 1: logo of newly-accredited Arbor Partner, Orbis)

The Orbis Partnership started seven years ago as a way of taking the stress out of procurement and helping schools get the best value for money. In 2017, they teamed up formally sothey could share more services and bring together decades of expertise in finance, business operations, HR and IT.

Orbis are proud of their public sector background and they know how important it is that the technology in your school “just works”. Their passion and experience help them go the extra mile for their schools by:

  • Offering a mix of on-site and remote IT support so you can create a package that suits your needs
  • Helping you keep your data accurate and up-to-date to avoid stress on census day
  • Backing up and restoring your data from a secure remote network
  • Advising you on how to meet Department of Education (DfE) and Ofsted requirements
  • Looking after the core hardware and software that makes your school tick
  • Giving outstanding training and support

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(Image 2: The Orbis team explaining how they help schools and MATs)

Orbis chose to work with Arbor after noticing that more and more local schools were switching away from Capita SIMS each year and choosing cloud-based systems instead. SIMS – once the go-to name in schools for all things admin – has had some delays in bringing out a  cloud alternative to their traditionally server-based product. Now, schools and MATs are switching to the cloud in greater numbers than ever before, and are looking for a cloud-based MIS like Arbor that takes the stress out of daily admin and lets them work from anywhere. 

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(Image 3: A graph showing the declining number of schools using SIMS and increasing number of schools using a cloud-based MIS)

This has transformed the way thousands of schools work, putting data at the fingertips of every teacher, administrator and senior leader to help them see the big picture and take action. Even so, schools are busy places and people still need human support! A new MIS can often do things they couldn’t have imagined with the old system, and they need training to empower them to use it.

Orbis realised that there was a demand for local, hands-on support and training from the hundreds of schools using Arbor MIS across the South East, so they joined Arbor’s partner program in February 2019. As well as championing the effective use of MIS in schools, they can also help with all aspects of IT within your school as part of their all-inclusive, fully-managed Premier Support Service. They can also advise you on Finance, HR and Payroll, Property and Catering – so you can get all your support from one team. 

The Orbis Partnership is one of 24 brilliant Arbor support units around the country – click here for a full list. If you’re a current Arbor customer and you’d like to switch your support to a local partner, reach out to your Arbor account manager on 020 7043 0470 and they’ll be happy to advise. 

 

If you’re new to Arbor and thinking of switching to our cloud-based MIS, book a demo by calling 020 8050 1028 or email tellmemore@arbor-education.comFor more information on Orbis IT Services you can call them on 01323 463133 or email itd@orbis.services 

 

blank Sophie Elms - 15 November, 2019

Category : Blog

Who is Arbor?

What we do and why… At Arbor, we’re on a mission to transform the way schools work with smarter, hassle-free tools teachers love to use.  You’ve seen the headlines. Sadly, the mess and stress of data and admin is a major source of unhappiness in our schools. 60% of a teacher’s time is spent on

What we do and why…

At Arbor, we’re on a mission to transform the way schools work with smarter, hassle-free tools teachers love to use. 

You’ve seen the headlines. Sadly, the mess and stress of data and admin is a major source of unhappiness in our schools. 60% of a teacher’s time is spent on admin related work, 53% agree that it contributes to stress and it’s only getting worse every year. 

So, at Arbor we put everything we have into building hassle-free school technology, like our MIS (Management Information System), that’s as powerful and intelligent as it is easy to use. 

Ultimately, we’re here to help make our schools and trusts stress a little less, and focus on what matters most – improving the lives of teachers and outcomes of students everywhere! 

So, who are we? 

We’re a diverse team of ex-teachers, education enthusiasts and motivated people who are all working towards the same goal: to help schools stress less and focus on what matters! Our interview process includes specific questions to make sure candidates’ values are aligned with our own.

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(Image 1: A diagram showing Arbor’s core company values)

Finding people who share the same passion for our social impact not only makes our company an amazing place to work, it gives our customers a consistent, 5* service that sets us apart from our competitors.

Why working at Arbor was the right move for me

I joined Arbor in July 2019, with little knowledge of the EdTech market, but with a passion for helping people and finding great talent, which aligned well with Arbor’s mission. It was refreshing to join a company that cares just as much about values and cultural fit as experience and a CV. 

Arbor also aligns its values with the benefits offered to its employees, including a volunteering day with a cause/charity of your choice, flexible working, half day Fridays during the summer, personal and professional development training budgets – and much more! 

Arbor’s values aren’t just something we promote on our website; people say them out loud in the office; people live them day in, day out – internally with teams and externally with our customers.

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(Image 2: A photograph of the Arbor team)

 

Hear it from our schools…

“Working with Arbor is a pleasure in every way. It is an exceptional tool but the people make the real difference with their friendly but professional manner, clear knowledge of the system, and most of all a strong passion and desire for delivering the desired outcomes and improving features and functionality.” – Stephanie Bass, Business Manager at Bridge Schools Trust

“We genuinely love the Arbor system and the team behind it who seem to just want the whole system to succeed at the Lakes. There’s always a bit of heart in the mouth when you instigate such change in a school and I would just like to say a huge thank you to yourself and your team, who really have looked after us and who have wholeheartedly helped us confirm that the decision to change to Arbor was the right one.” – Andy Cunningham, Headteacher at The Lakes Secondary School

 

Hear it from our Arborians…

 

Emma Sharples, Head of Professional Services

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“Employee number 35 and number 4 on the ground in Leeds. I started Arbor as an Engagement Manager, working on special projects and building our implementation models for future onboarding.

After approximately 1090 working days, onboarding over 600 schools, supporting nearly 40 MATs, I’ve had a fantastic opportunity to help shape the customer team! My own career development has gone from strength to strength, from engagement manager to programme manager, to building out the Secondary Support Team as we took on the world of Secondary, to now Head of Professional Services!”

Stephen Higgins, Lead Product Manager

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“I left a 6 year career in Teaching to join Arbor. Initially I was worried if I could “make the jump” to a new career and a new city, with a new set of colleagues. 

My first experience of the Arbor family was to join the company at their annual winter conference in Belgrade. After spending a few hours with the team, I realised that my fears were completely unfounded. Everyone was so friendly, smart and passionate about solving problems in education, and they instantly made me feel like one of the team. 

Since that first day, I have learnt so much about myself, about business and about my new profession. It was hard work and challenging at times, but I’ve never looked back!”

 

If you’d like to find out why Arbor is the MIS schools love to use, why not contact us? You can also book a demo by calling 0207 043 0470 or email tellmemore@arbor-education.com.

blank Hannah McGreevy - 18 October, 2019

Category : Blog

KS1 & KS2 data for your MAT is now available in Group Insight!

We’re excited to let you know that all your KS1, KS2 and Phonics Analyse School Performance (ASP) data has been added to your Group Insight portal. We’ve crunched your schools’ 2019 data ahead of the DfE and used it to build free, interactive dashboards which you can use to explore aggregated statistics for all your

We’re excited to let you know that all your KS1, KS2 and Phonics Analyse School Performance (ASP) data has been added to your Group Insight portal. We’ve crunched your schools’ 2019 data ahead of the DfE and used it to build free, interactive dashboards which you can use to explore aggregated statistics for all your schools. Keep reading to find out more about Group Insight and how you can use it to plan your MAT’s improvement approach for next year. 

What is Group Insight? 

Group Insight is a free performance analysis tool for MATs to help you analyse your schools’ latest Analyse School Performance (ASP) data. We automatically analyse your MAT’s latest school performance data and present it back to you in easy-to-understand PDF reports and personalised dashboards, so you don’t have to spend hours aggregating and analysing the raw data yourself. 

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Fig 1.: A screenshot of a Group Insight dashboard displaying KS2 data across a MAT

How do you present my schools’ KS1 & KS2 data? 

Your dashboards are great for helping you spot trends over the past three years, identifying which schools are driving over (or under) performance, and benchmarking your academies against national and top quintile averages. You can also use them to view each of your schools’ outcomes side by side, drill down into individual school outcomes and show impact over time when reporting to trustees.

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Fig 2.: A screenshot of a Group Insight comparing a MATs school results by cluster 

We’ve also updated our popular pre-paid PDF reports analysing your schools’ attainment and progress, highlighting areas to close the gap, and exploring patterns between your trust’s outcomes and the context of your unique demographic intake in our new Understanding Your School Report, which you can download via your portal. 

Click here to log in & access your 2019 reports and dashboards: https://login.arbor.sc 

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Fig 3.: A screenshot of a Group Insight comparing a MATs results by demographic 

“Clear, saves us time, available sooner than DfE MAT data, and is extremely well presented, making reporting to Trustees very straight forward” 

– Paul James, Chief Executive Officer at River Learning Trust 

How do I sign up?

Click here to sign up to your MAT’s free Arbor Insight portal: https://login.arbor.sc/auth/group-register

When will you add KS4 data to my portal?

We expect to receive your 2018/2019 KS4 data from the DfE very soon – so watch this space! If you’re already signed up, we’ll email you automatically to let you know when this happens.

Do you offer training on how my schools can use their Arbor Insight portal?

Yes! We run a free Arbor Insight Roadshow each Autumn Term offering free, in-person training to help your schools’ central teams to get the most out of Arbor Insight. Click here to sign up

Where can I hear more about Group Insight? 

You can hear our CRO, Phillippa De’Ath, talk about how you can use your ASP data to drive school improvement across your MAT at the Schools & Academies Show in Birmingham. She’ll be speaking in the Business & Finance Theatre from 10:10-10:30 on 14th November 2019. 

Can I use Group Insight alongside the DfE’s ASP service?

Yes! Arbor is an accredited supplier of ASP data, which means we receive secure, early access to all your school performance data from the DfE as soon as it’s released. So far over 10,000 schools have signed up to use us. Lots of schools and MATs use us instead of the DfE’s ASP service, but you can also use our reports and dashboards as a companion to the DfE’s analysis.

You haven’t answered my questions! Can I contact you for help?

Absolutely. You can reach the Arbor team at tellmemore@arbor-education.com or by calling us on 020 8050 1028.

This November, we’re also holding another of our popular MAT Conferences in Manchester. Over 80 MAT leaders from over 50 MATs have already signed up! Click here to book your free place before they sell out

blank Hannah McGreevy - 23 September, 2019

Category : Blog

The Understanding Your School Report is here!

As I’m sure you’ve read, the new Ofsted Inspection Framework has now come into effect. Central to the new framework is the idea that there isn’t a “correct” way for schools to do things – whereas the old framework encouraged inspectors to look at your school’s results and use data for accountability purposes, the new

As I’m sure you’ve read, the new Ofsted Inspection Framework has now come into effect. Central to the new framework is the idea that there isn’t a “correct” way for schools to do things – whereas the old framework encouraged inspectors to look at your school’s results and use data for accountability purposes, the new one focuses on the context of your school and the ways in which this has shaped your curriculum and the “quality of education” available (you can see a summary of the other changes in our blog here).

After reviewing the new framework with our partner LKMCo, we decided that we wanted to help schools make the most of this less prescriptive approach from Ofsted. So we’re excited to announce that we’ve upgraded and enhanced our old Ofsted Readiness Report, converting it into a report which is focused on helping schools to plan around and respond to their specific context, rather than on whether things are being done in a particular way. The old name didn’t make much sense any more, so we’ve renamed it the Understanding Your School Report

The Understanding Your School Report combines your latest DfE performance data (ASP) with ONS area classifications, families of schools, and top quintile benchmarks to give you the most complete picture of your outcomes in the context of your school’s unique demographic intake. Our aim is to bring a range of data sources together to give you a balanced and nuanced picture of your school to help inform your school improvement approach. We’ve summarised some of the new report’s features below.

What can I do with the new Understanding Your School Report? 

The main data source in the report is still Analyse School Performance (ASP). Whilst ASP is helpful for getting a basic overview of your performance, it’s often hard to use, so we wanted our new report to be a useful companion to the DfE’s service as well as a helpful tool in its own right:

1. Understand your school’s performance & outcomes in the context of its demographics

Exam results can be disproportionately affected by social and geographical context, but it’s time-consuming to bring these data sets together. Services like ASP don’t show any contextual data alongside your performance out-of-the-box. 

To help you see how the area your school is in has impacted outcomes, the Understanding Your School Report features our new Area Type Comparison graph, which uniquely brings ONS area classification data together with your ASP attainment data for the first time. The ONS has classified every LA in the country into 8 “supergroups” which share characteristics, based on socio-economic and demographic data from the national census. Our graph explains which supergroup (or area type) your school is in, and shows how your performance compares to schools in areas with similar socio-economic characteristics, helping you to examine patterns between your student intake and attainment.

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Image 1: A screenshot of the Area Type Comparison graph from Arbor’s Understanding Your School Report 

2. Get meaningful benchmarks beyond just comparing to the national average

ASP only benchmarks your school against the national average. Whilst this is helpful, the national average isn’t always the most meaningful benchmark (for example, as a small rural primary school you might feel it’s not relevant to compare yourself to large primary schools based in a city because their intake will be so different). The Understanding Your School Report still shows how you’ve performed compared to the national average, but it also introduces 2 new benchmarks as well.

Our new schools “Like You” benchmark uses EEF “Families of Schools” methodology to compare your performance to similar schools based on four factors:

  • Prior Attainment
  • % FSM
  • % EAL
  • IDACI

This benchmark helps you to compare your performance with other schools with similar pupil characteristics, in similar contexts. 

The Understanding Your School also gives you a “Top Quintile” benchmark, which compares you to the top 20% of schools for each measure – this provides your school with a useful stretch target to work towards. 

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Image 2: A screenshot showing the different benchmarks available in The Understanding Your School Report 

3. Understand how consistent your performance has been over time

It can be hard to visualise progress over time using the tables and bar charts provided in ASP. Our new Understanding Your School Report helps you see how your performance has changed over time by presenting Trend over Time line graphs, and showing 3 year rolling averages next to key headline figures. This gives you a broader picture of your performance, meaning you can quickly spot any inconsistencies and identify anomalies (for example, is this cohort’s performance consistent with your school, or is it atypical? If so, why?).

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Image 3: A screenshot of the Trend over Time line graph in The Understanding Your School Report 

4. Easily visualise gaps and work out where to target interventions

Whilst ASP breaks down your performance by pupil characteristics, it does this in tables – which means it can be time consuming to spot gaps, making it very hard to tell at a glance how well different groups are performing. 

The Understanding Your School Report has a dedicated Closing the Gap section which helps you to benchmark different school groups such as SEN or Pupil Premium against each other. We express gaps as numbers of pupils rather than % to help make your SIP more meaningful.  

Meanwhile, the new Curriculum Summary section for secondary schools helps leaders see how different student groups have chosen to take exams, so that they can identify whether there are issues with access to different areas of learning between groups of pupils. 

5. View meaningful analysis of your data presented in easy-to-understand charts 

With its clear, visual designs, simple bar charts and callouts in plain English, the Understanding Your School Report does all your performance analysis for you. Instantly see headline measures on the Key Findings page, as well as key areas to work on. This means you can get on with using your data to drive school improvement instead of wading through tables in ASP.

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Image 4: A screenshot of the Key Findings page in The Understanding Your School Report 

We hope that the Understanding Your School Report becomes an essential part of your school improvement cycle. If you’re interested in hearing more about the report, as well as about what our other Insight reports can do for you, just get in touch.

Sign up to Arbor Insight here to purchase your own Understanding Your School Report, and to view other popular reports that we offer. For more information about Arbor Insight, email insight@arbor-education.com or call 02070431830.

blank Hannah McGreevy - 6 June, 2019

Category : Blog

The Arbor App is here

What’s the best way for your school to engage with parents? Far too often we’ve seen schools struggle with a mixture of asking parents to check letters, forms, payment systems, booking systems, and report cards. This causes too much manual work for schools, and makes it hard for parents to keep on top of everything.

What’s the best way for your school to engage with parents? Far too often we’ve seen schools struggle with a mixture of asking parents to check letters, forms, payment systems, booking systems, and report cards. This causes too much manual work for schools, and makes it hard for parents to keep on top of everything.

That’s why today we’re thrilled to launch the new Arbor App for iOS & Android. Say goodbye to paper slips and emails – our new App lets parents register their child for a club or trip, book parents evening slots, and manage payments all from their phone. Parents can also use the App to check in on their child’s attendance, behaviour and progress.

What’s more, the App will let you communicate with parents for free using our new In-App Messaging feature.

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Image 1: Arbor have launched a simple, smart app for parents and guardians

How will parents benefit?

  • Check on your child from anywhere: With the Arbor App, you can check in on your children from anywhere – all you need is a phone
  • Access important information about your child in one place: See your child’s attendance, behaviour and progress this week as well as for the year so far. You can also see upcoming homework and download report cards for your child
  • Get updates from school via push notifications: Get notified when your school sends out a new message via the App
  • Make payments on the goManage tasks like making payments and booking trips or parents’ evenings 

How will your school benefit?

  • Quick communication: Get in touch instantly with busy parents on the move
  • Less paperwork: Eliminate the need for paper communication with In-App Messaging and Live Updates – helping to improve security & reduce the administrative burden
  • Easy engagement: Track parental engagement with the App & remind parents to log in, sign up for activities or parents’ evenings, and make payments

How to get set up

The Arbor App is for parents at schools who already use the Arbor MIS. To get your school set up, contact your Account Manager or email myteam@arbor-education.com.  

Not using Arbor yet? If you’re interested in finding out more about how Arbor MIS and the new Arbor App could transform the way your school works, get in touch! You can request a free demo and a chat with your local Partnership Manager anytime through the contact form on our website, by emailing tellmemore@arbor-education.com or calling 0208 050 1028.

blank Rebecca Watkins - 14 March, 2019

Category : Blog

KS1 & KS2 disadvantaged data is now available in Arbor Insight!

We’ve just updated our KS1 and KS2 free dashboards and premium Insight reports with the latest ASP disadvantaged data! This means that our Ofsted Readiness, Attainment & Progress and Closing the Gap reports all now include validated & disadvantaged KS2 data and disadvantaged data & phonics KS1 results. With the release of this new disadvantaged

We’ve just updated our KS1 and KS2 free dashboards and premium Insight reports with the latest ASP disadvantaged data!

This means that our Ofsted Readiness, Attainment & Progress and Closing the Gap reports all now include validated & disadvantaged KS2 data and disadvantaged data & phonics KS1 results.

With the release of this new disadvantaged data, the Department for Education has published new analysis about the disadvantage gap in UK schools. Looking at provisional phonics data from 2018, 70% of pupils eligible for free school meals (FSM) met the expected standard in phonics in year 1, compared to 84% of all other pupils. The gap between pupils eligible for FSM and all other pupils is 14 percentage points, and remains the same compared to 2017.

The gap between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged KS2 pupils (measured using the disadvantage gap index) has decreased in each of the last seven years, narrowing by 3% in the latest year and 13.2% since 2011.

If you’d like to know how your disadvantaged pupils have performed relative to national averages and other pupils within your school, you can find all the information you need in your Insight reports, which are available to view in your Arbor Insight portal. If you’ve already got an account, you can click here to log in, or click here to create an account for your school or MAT.

A closer look at what’s new in our Insight reports:

Since we imported this new data, we’ve made a few changes to your Arbor Insight reports. We’ve outlined the most important changes below.

1. Ofsted Readiness report

In the KS1 section of this report, we’ve added disadvantage cohort benchmarks to the Working at Expected Standard measures for Reading, Writing and Maths. For KS2, this added benchmark can be found in Averaged Scaled Score and Overall Progress Score for Reading, Writing and Maths.

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Fig. 1: The bar graphs above show your school’s average as a benchmark against each demographic group, helping you to quickly see which cohorts are under-performing or exceeding the school average

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Fig. 2: A screenshot of our Ofsted Readiness report

You may have also noticed changes in the condensed Closing the Gap section in our Ofsted Readiness report for both KS1 and KS2 data (see above image). For KS1, Working at the Expected Standard for Reading, Writing and Maths now has added disadvantaged measures. For KS2, this measure has been added under Averaged Scale Score in Reading and Maths. The text callout for these measures contain useful calculations which explain your data in plain english & calculate the percentage by which the gap for each measure has widened or narrowed in your school.

2. Attainment & Progress report:

The KS1 & KS2 Attainment and Progress reports also now contain disadvantaged benchmarks and cohort data for 2017/18, allowing you to benchmark this cohort against all other demographic groupings in your school. For KS1, this chart can be found in measures, Achieving Expected Standard: Y1 Phonics, Achieving Expected Standard and Working at Greater Depth within the Expected Standard for Reading, Writing and Maths. For KS2, this graph appears in Overall Progress Score for Reading, Writing and Maths.

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Fig. 3: A screenshot of our Attainment & Progress report

3. Closing the Gap report: Focus on Disadvantage

This particular report is part of a series of 5 reports which help to identify the gaps between student groups, showing which groups are under or over performing relative to the school, group and national averages.

At the beginning of this report there is a star chart which shows the gaps between disadvantaged and EAL pupils compared to the rest of the school. For KS1, the measures shown in this graph are attendance and attainment, and for KS2 they are attendance, attainment and progress measures. This star chart is colour coded to help you identify any areas that need your attention (or indeed any areas that should be shouted about because there is no gap!); for example, a green star indicates there is no gap between the group and the school average, whilst an orange star indicates the group has performed below the school and national averages. A yellow star indicates the group has performed between them.

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Fig. 4: A screenshot of the star chart at the beginning of the Closing the Gap report

Your reports clearly display the cohort size for each measure, so you know how much statistical significance each outcome has. This can help you know which areas you should be prioritising.

Finally, KS4 validated and disadvantaged data will be released in the next few weeks. Once it’s released, Arbor Insight portals & reports will be automatically updated.

As one of only a few accredited suppliers, we receive all of our data for Arbor Insight reports and dashboards directly from the DfE. Over 10,000 schools are now using Arbor Insight to benchmark their performance, so if you’re thinking of signing up, you’ll be in good company!

 

 

blank Jem Jones - 5 March, 2019

Category : Blog

How to buy Arbor for your school or Trust

More and more schools and MATs are choosing to move MIS, with 1,000+ schools and MATs predicted to switch this year, and we’ve definitely noticed interest in our own products and services increasing. We now work with over 600 schools spread across hundreds of MATs and Local Authorities, driven by a desire to transform the

More and more schools and MATs are choosing to move MIS, with 1,000+ schools and MATs predicted to switch this year, and we’ve definitely noticed interest in our own products and services increasing. We now work with over 600 schools spread across hundreds of MATs and Local Authorities, driven by a desire to transform the way they work, save teachers time, and improve outcomes. However, while it seems ever clearer why you might want to move to simpler, smarter, cloud based systems, we still often hear from schools wondering exactly how they buy something as complex as a Management Information System.

Arbor's leaflets at our BETT 2019 stand

Get in touch! 

This is always the first step! Email tellmemore@arbor-education.com or call us on 0208 050 1028 and we’ll connect you with your local Arbor Partnership Manager. Your Partnership Manager will come and visit you to learn more about your requirements and give you a demo of our MIS. They’ll also answer any of your questions while you decide when you’ll switch, including a written proposal so you can feel confident in your decision and share it among other stakeholders.

When you’ve had time to evaluate your options and decide which package suits you best, they’ll send your contract and introduce you to your dedicated Customer Success Manager, who will personally walk you through your kick-off plan and data migration. This is definitely the simplest way to get started on Arbor MIS, and is perfect for customers from individual schools to smaller and medium sized trusts.

Buy through a framework

You can also buy Arbor through several trusted frameworks, giving you the peace of mind that due diligence checks have already been made on our product and company. Arbor is a member of the government’s G-Cloud 10 framework for approved cloud suppliers, and the ThinkIT framework.

To use a public framework, check their website carefully as the rules for each are different. Generally you’ll be able to send us your requirements and have a demo, before signing using the framework’s contract template.

For example, for G-Cloud 10, a standard process would be:

  • Internally confirm your requirements for an MIS
  • Keyword search in G-Cloud 10 with a relevant term that will turn up results specific to you, such as ‘Primary MIS’, ‘Secondary MIS’, or ‘MAT MIS’, to find the list of relevant suppliers (download this list for your audit trail)
  • Read each supplier’s product and pricing information
  • Send any clarification questions to these suppliers or host a demo day to confirm which supplier best meets your needs
  • Award your contract using the G-Cloud contract template

Both of these frameworks are suitable for customers of all sizes, and allow you to buy direct without running your own process, though they do provide you with a little less flexibility than coming to us directly (see above), or going to tender (see below).

A search for Primary MIS in G-Cloud's Cloud Software framework

Go to tender

If you’re a medium/large MAT or a larger school with more complex needs, you might want to take the time to write a tender outlining your requirements. We can still give you a demo whilst you work out your requirements, and once you go to tender we’ll respond to all your questions and outline the contract we think will be right for your school or Trust.

When writing your requirements, it can help to think about what you need your system to do, rather than just listing specific technical features you like the look of, as different MIS providers may have different solutions to the same problem. So long as you follow this rule of thumb, functions over features, tendering doesn’t have to be intimidating – you know what your school or Trust needs, and it’s up to suppliers to prove how they can provide that for you. You can find lots of great procurement advice online from the Crown Commercial Service, including a list of MIS functions you might want to ask about in your tender. Click here to see their list of suggested areas to consider.

If you think your MIS lifetime contract value will go over £181,302 you’ll need to run a formal public tender, which comes with its own set of rules and guidelines – tender expert John Leonard has written a blog that thoroughly outlines this process. Otherwise, just make sure your questions are clear, that you’ve outlined how you’ll be scoring products and pricing, and that you’ve given a reasonable amount of time for suppliers to respond to you. Don’t forget to give yourself enough time to properly evaluate the systems, as well – it’s better to tender sooner rather than later.

 

All this is especially important to consider at this point in the financial year, as some of your contracts may be coming up for extension. The DfE has confirmed in recent advice that moving to a cloud based product should be considered enough of a contract change to run a new procurement exercise, even if the new product is with the same provider. If you’d like to see what else is out there and look into Arbor MIS or Group MIS for your school or Trust, you can fill out our contact form, email tellmemore@arbor-education.com, or call us on 0208 050 1028 to get in touch!

blank Harriet Cheng - 28 November, 2018

Category : Blog

Our new partnership with RS Assessment from Hodder Education

We’re delighted to announce our new partnership with assessment experts RS Assessment from Hodder Education on a new integration between Arbor’s MIS for schools & MATs and RS Assessment’s standardised tests for primary schools. RS Assessment’s standardised tests PIRA and PUMA are a key component of many primary school improvement strategies, helping Senior Leaders track

We’re delighted to announce our new partnership with assessment experts RS Assessment from Hodder Education on a new integration between Arbor’s MIS for schools & MATs and RS Assessment’s standardised tests for primary schools.

RS Assessment’s standardised tests PIRA and PUMA are a key component of many primary school improvement strategies, helping Senior Leaders track pupils’ in-year progress and benchmark against age related expectations. They’ve become even more crucial for MATs recently, as central teams at growing MATs need the ability to monitor and support school improvement across multiple schools and get an overview of whole Trust performance. RS Assessment’s MARK (My Assessment and Reporting Kit) online service is pivotal to providing time-saving analysis of test results.

Arbor’s cloud-based MIS helps to transform the way schools & MATs work by putting essential data at the fingertips of senior leaders, teachers & office staff, and by automating and simplifying administrative tasks to reduce staff workload. At a MAT level, Arbor MIS centralises not just data reporting, but operations and communications too – helping MATs to manage & support their schools all from just one system.

Our partnership with RS Assessment brings the power of Arbor’s simple, smart cloud-based MIS and the results of PIRA and PUMA tests together for schools and MATs for the first time. Later this year, schools and MATs using Arbor and tracking PIRA and PUMA test results in MARK will be able to:

  • Automatically sync pupil data directly from Arbor MIS to MARK with no need for data downloads and uploads
  • Automatically sync results from PIRA and PUMA tests back to Arbor MIS for MATs so central teams can get an aggregated view of results across all their schools
  • Allow senior leaders at schools and MATs to use Arbor MIS to take action on their results – for example by setting up intervention groups, or by building custom reports combining data from their PIRA and PUMA test results and Arbor MIS

We’ve worked on this partnership with RS Assessment in collaboration with REAch2 Multi-Academy Trust to ensure it works just as seamlessly for MAT leaders as it does for individual primary schools. To learn more about how we can support your school or MAT, contact us on 0208 050 1028 or email tellmemore@arbor-education.com.

You can also learn more about our integration with Hodder at our specialist User Group at BETT this year! It’s a great opportunity to learn how the integration works, meet other schools & MATs using both products, and catch up with our teams. Click here to sign up for your free place.

blank Jem Jones - 26 September, 2018

Category : Blog

5 simple steps to move to Arbor MIS

We know that switching MIS can be a daunting idea, but it doesn’t need to be. Schools & MATs who are thinking of switching MIS often ask us what moving to Arbor involves, so we’ve written this short blog to show how easy it is. You can do it in 5 simple steps! Step 1:

We know that switching MIS can be a daunting idea, but it doesn’t need to be. Schools & MATs who are thinking of switching MIS often ask us what moving to Arbor involves, so we’ve written this short blog to show how easy it is. You can do it in 5 simple steps!

Step 1: Work out whether Arbor is the right fit for your school or MAT

To help you do this, we’ll arrange a meeting with one of our local Partnership Managers. Our Partnership Team meets schools & MATs to talk through how you use data across your school, understand the requirements you have for your new MIS, and show you how Arbor could help by demonstrating the system and introducing you to local schools who use it. If you like us, your Partnership Manager will help you identify the right package for your school and share a contract for you to sign.

You can request a free demo and a chat with your local Partnership Manager anytime through the contact form on our website, or by emailing tellmemore@arbor-education.com or calling 0208 050 1028.

Step 2: Create your personal implementation plan

Once you’ve signed your contract, you’ll be assigned your own Customer Success Manager who will schedule a kick-off call with you to create an implementation plan that’s tailored to your school or MAT. During this call, you’ll talk about what your main objectives are for your new MIS and how we can help you achieve them.

Step 3: Migrate your data

Following your kick-off call, we’ll help you cleanse and migrate your data to Arbor before you start your training. This is to make sure that your data is as clean and accurate as possible before inputting it into Arbor – after all, the data in Arbor is only as good as the data we can import! Once that’s done, we’ve got lots of free resources to help make sure you hit the ground running, including unlimited free online training and a series of videos to show you how the system works. You can also choose to purchase in-person training packages that we’ll deliver for you throughout the year.

Step 4: Get to know your new MIS

Once you’ve launched, we’ll help walk you through the basic functions of Arbor and get the system running smoothly throughout your school. We’ll make sure all your staff are sufficiently trained for day-to-day use of the system, before introducing you to some of Arbor’s more powerful features.

Step 5: Make sure Arbor is a success at your school

Once you’re all set up, we have a dedicated Customer Support Team who are there to support you every day of the week from 8am-5pm by phone or email. We also provide free online guides and training sessions, just in case you want to top up your knowledge! Once you’ve completed your training, your Customer Success Manager will hand you over to your Account Manager. You’ll have termly check-ins so we can see how you’re getting on, and after 12 months you can book an Arbor Health Check to review your first year with us to see what impact Arbor has had on your school’s performance.

It’s as simple as that! Once you decide to make the move to Arbor, we’re here to ensure you get all the support you need so you can immediately start getting the most out of your system. Don’t take our word for it though – see what our schools & MATs have said about moving to Arbor recently:

  • “Migration was a very smooth process. A small matter of saving a backup and a couple of other files pre-switch and a few (expected) minor tweaks after. Such a massive transition, such a small impact. Excellent.”

Stephanie Bass, Business Administration Manager at Bridge Schools Trust

  • “If I had to talk to a school that were thinking about changing to Arbor, the one thing I would tell them is to just do it, because your data will actually mean something to you. Instead of inputting data and not really appreciating why or what it means, you will get a view of what is actually happening in your school”

Ruth Davies, IT Manager, St James’ CofE Primary School