Exam Results – Restricted Release days – The Helpdesk will be open for calls between 08:00am and 17:00pm as usual and in addition to this, our Exams Team will also be available to deal with enquiries received via the Customer Portal (my.schoolicts.co.uk) from 07:00am to deal with any urgent issues on the results download days, Wednesday 16th August and Wednesday 23rd August 2023.
For turn IT on customers, the turn IT on Exams team will be available from 07:30am.
New School Year
Ensure that the dates of your school year are the dates dictated by your LA or Trust (if you don’t follow LA dates).
If the first day of your new year is a training day, then this is part of the new year calendar with a training day in for that day. For example, your term dates for the Autumn Term are 04/09/23 – 22/12/23, but the children don’t start until 06/09/23 as there are two training days, this means that your school year starts on 04/09/23 and 04/09 and 05/09 are in the school diary/calendar as training days, and 06/09 is the day the children start.
Dates of Admission
If you have Pre-Admission/Intake groups set up in your MIS for your new September children, make sure that any Dates Of Admission sit within the new academic year.
Don’t set the DOA in a group to 01/09/23 if your academic year doesn’t start until 04/09/23.
We Are Recruiting!
We are pleased to announce, due to continued growth, that we are adding to our MIS team and are looking to recruit a a suitably qualified, highly motivated and experienced MIS specialist to join our hardworking and highly regarded support team as an MIS Support Officer – SIMS/Arbor/Bromcom/ScholarPack.
We encourage applications from experienced school users wanting to utilise their skills in a different environment, along with individuals from existing support units.
The successful applicant will have excellent communication skills and be able to deliver high quality support to our customers across a range of MIS specialisms in either SIMS, Arbor, ScholarPack or Bromcom.
This role focuses on delivering remote support via our specialist helpdesk. The successful applicant will have the option to work from home, hybrid or from our head office in Leeds. Additional training and support is available to successful applicants if required.
For further information please visit: https://www.schoolicts.co.uk/vacancies/
To apply for this position please send your C.V. with covering letter to: firstname.lastname@example.org before the closing date of Friday the 28th July 2023.
Attention Attendance Officers
Just a reminder that any CMEs at the end of the year must be dealt with in the current year (2022-23).
If you leave them until September, you won’t be able to see the pupils concerned.
Phonics Screening Test Submission
Threshold announced at 32 again. The local authority will tell you how to submit your data and when they require it by, so please check with them as to how they would like this.
KS2 SATS Results
The KS2 SATS results can be downloaded from Primary Assessment Gateway from 11th July 2023.
Teacher Strikes - 5th and 7th July
Teachers are intending to strike again on 5th and 7th July, so these dates will need entering into your MIS as Y codes for the affected Year Groups if they go ahead. We have guidance on our customer portals on how to do this, but if you’d like more help with it, please don’t hesitate to call us on 0345 222 6802 or by emailing the helpdesk on email@example.com for SICTS customers, or by calling 01865 597620 Option 2 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for turn IT on customers.
Thinking About Moving MIS?
If you are interested in exploring alternative MIS solutions, our expert team can advise on the best solution for your school. School ICT work closely with leading providers, namely Arbor, Bromcom, ScholarPack and SIMS. We can help guide you through the migration process and continue to provide ongoing support. The link below to our previously recorded webinar on moving MIS is below along with a sheet to assist with assessing functionality and cost.https://my.schoolicts.co.uk/portal/kb?btn=46&text=moving%20MIS&entity=articles&id=338 If you would like to arrange a meeting to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0345 2226802 or via our portal my.schoolicts.co.uk
MIS Support and Services
Think MIS – think School ICT
Due to our continued growth and development, you may not be aware of all the services we can support you with.
Did you know we support: –
- SIMS Connected
- SIMS Premserver
- SIMS Hosted
We can also help with Power BI reporting, offer a Virtual Data Manager Service and Technical Support.
We offer support, training and consultancy services on all of the above and more – should you have any MIS requirements, please call us on: 0345 222 6802 – option 4 or e-mail: email@example.com to discuss your needs and how School ICT can help.
Interactive Post-16 Census Tool 2023 to 2024 Now Available
Interactive post-16 census tool 2023 to 2024 now available
The EFSA have updated the post-16 interactive tool to support schools and academies with returning accurate post-16 school census data. Some institutions risk not getting the funding they should because of inaccurate data.
The tool will help you understand:
· how your data is used to calculate your post-16 funding
· how common data errors affect your funding
A suite of ESFA funding reports will be available in COLLECT when the autumn census opens in October. They will show you how your data looks in relation to the post-16 funding calculations. The ESFA strongly advise institutions to use these reports to help quality assure census returns.
School ICT customers:
- Telephone: 0345 222 6802 – option 1
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Customer Portal: https://my.schoolicts.co.uk/
turn IT on customers:
- Telephone: 01865 597620 – option 2
- E-mail: email@example.com
- Customer Portal: https://portal.turniton.co.uk
Our customer portals allow you to: –
- Log and track support tickets
- Watch previously recorded webinars
- Search the Knowledge base for guidance and information
- Keep up to date with the latest MIS news and updates
- Access remote support
SIMS Exam Results
You will require the Summer upgrade of SIMS, which is version 7.212, to enable you to download your results, and you will also need to refresh your basedata with the latest version from each of your Awarding Organisations. Please have a look on the School ICT Customer Portal https://my.schoolicts.co.uk/ where we have updated the guidance for managing results days:
For the turn IT on customer portal please click here.
SIMS Updates - Summer and Beyond
Lots of updates coming in the Summer release of SIMS:
Gender Identity and Self Description have been added to the Reporting Dictionary:
And also to the Student Lists:
Addition of all 14 Major Allergens as recognised by the Foods Standards Agency, with new lookup items added to Staff and Student Lookup (with the prefix ‘FSA’ for easy identification). All added as ‘Inactive’ so that schools can add them as/when they choose:
More Bulk Update items added to Pre-Admissions including:
– First Language Source
– National Identity
– Medical Condition
– Emergency Consent
– Mode of Travel
– Service Children in Education
– User Defined Fields (True/False / Lookup)
Total Conduct Points in Marksheets:
Access Arrangement Indicator:
Exams Candidate Statement of Results:
A couple of changes:
– All Seasons now allows for Group Membership date to be changed
– Order now includes 2 new options:
– Sort and Display by Legal Names
– Sort and Display by Preferred Names:
Component Results in Student Panel:
A new panel 2 on the Student links for Exams.
– Component results will be collapsed unless there are results present
– Previous Panel 2 Entries, Forecasts is now Panel 3:
Along with improvements to usability:
Further to feedback from schools in the Spring release we have introduced a more refined user experience within the newly added “Add Qualification Data” area.
Discount / Subject Code – Listed by code first
Awarding Body – Description First
Qualification Type – Code first
We have also incorporated an incremental keyboard search so you can type the code and jump to the required position:
Retirement of System Manager 6
Backup Ability in System Manager 7
Through investigation with Schools and SSU’s we understand that the ability to perform a quick SIMS backup in System Manager 6 (SysMan6) was one that was still utilised.
As such, whilst we have taken the decision to retire the SysMan6 module, we have incorporated this function directly within System Manager 7.
Understandably not all schools may want to utilise this function, so the functionality will be made available using On Demand Patch 27976 of which will be made available along with the Summer release.
The new menu route will be accessible for users with the System Manager permissions and through Focus | System Manager | Database Backup. As previously, the dialog will indicate the preset backup location also for quick reference.
Items under review for Beyond Summer:
– Exams seating plan report
– Bulk deletion of Applications
– School report review – modernise and simplify
Pay 360 Education Payments
This is a reminder to customers using the Education Pay 360 product. The current owners, Access Group will be discontinuing the product as of 1st August 2023. The Access group will have already made contact and we understand they will be offering “My School Portal” solution as a replacement.
Affected customers should have an alternative solution in place, ready for the Autumn term.
Advice for switching off the Education Pay 360 platform will be made available shortly
If this has affected your school and you would like to discuss an alternative solution, please contact us on 0345 222 6802 option 4 or call the helpdesk.
Did You Know....
It’s possible to log deliveries in FMS?
This function enables you to record deliveries received from a specific supplier and to match them against the original order raised. A delivery note is issued for a single, standard order, but you may receive and create more than one delivery note per order, particularly useful when items are delivered over several days. The facility for recording multiple delivery notes for a single order is built into the functionality.
- Select Tools | Define Financial Years | Define/Edit Years to display the Define Years dialog.
- Highlight the current year and click the Edit button to display the Edit Financial Year dialog.
- Select the Order Book Open – Restricted Users check box if you want users with restricted access to be able to raise orders.
- Select the Record Deliveries check box and click the Save button to return to the Define Years dialog.
- Click the Save button on the Define Years dialog to retain the new setting.
There are further parameters that can be set via Tools | Accounts Payable Parameters and select the Deliveries tab, such as making entering of a delivery note number mandatory (helps with traceability), preventing overdeliveries, etc.
You can then add your delivery notes as/when your deliveries come in via Focus | Accounts Payable | Deliveries or by using the shortcuts:
Dinner Money 7 Year End
Year End procedure notes for Primary Schools that use SIMS Dinner Money 7 module can be accessed here: – SIMS Dinner Money 7 Year End Guide 2023.
Please ensure you familiarise yourself with the notes before undertaking the tasks.
Any problems please call the Helpdesk on 03456436802 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
SIMS Technical Roadmap
The latest version of the SIMS Technical Roadmap can be found on our Customer Portal here: https://my.schoolicts.co.uk/portal/kb?id=310
This features the latest updates on versions of Servers, Windows and specs required for SIMS to run smoothly.
Please be aware, SQL Server 2012 will no longer be supported after Summer 2023, details of the SQL server information, is available on the technical roadmap found above. If you would like to check what your server is currently running or request more information on a migration, please contact the helpdesk on 0345 222 6802 or by emailing the helpdesk on email@example.com for SICTS customers, or by calling 01865 597620 Option 2 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org for turn IT on customers.
Is Your SIMS Running Slowly?
Is your SIMS running slowly?
This may be a good housekeeping task for the holidays, when nobody is logged on to avoid disruption. If you are unsure, please call for guidance:
SQL Server performance issues can be caused by several things. Here’s a list of things we’d recommend checking/trying out to resolve the issues:
- CPU Usage (Overall % and what % is SQL using)
- Memory Usage (Overall % and what % is SQL using)
- Disk Space (Is the drive where SQL operates or the OS Drive nearly full ? It can have a huge impact on SQL performance id disk space is low)
- What are the size of the LDF (Database Log Files) If these have swollen in size it can cause performance issues. They can be located in the SQL program files installation area, inside the DATA folder.
- What is the uptime on the SQL Server ? Has it been rebooted recently (SQL Can sometimes take up a lot of memory when storing queries/procedures and doesn’t always free it up when finished)
- If the server is constantly running at nearly maxed out resources, it may need more resources allocating by the way of CPU/RAM.
- Is this server used for anything other than SQL ? If so, is the performance taking a hit in general or just in SIMS.
- Run Database Diagnostic and Validate Memberships – SIMS .net | Tools | System Diagnostics | Database Diagnostic and SIMS .net | Tools | Validate Memberships. (We recommend validate memberships is done regularly to tie up any membership mismatches in the database, this takes a while to run and can slow SIMS down please run at the back of a day and leave going on an evening).
- Check the specifications of the affected Workstation / Server and ensure that it meets the minimum SIMS.net software requirements.
- Check for any conflicting, corrupt, or high memory using Anti-Virus software on the system, as this may have detrimental effects on SIMS.net.
- Check whether you are using an express version of SQL and the size of your SIMS database. Express versions of SQL have a database size limit – we recommend Secondaries or schools with a large SIMS database approaching 10GB have a full SQL licence/install, as errors can be caused when the SIMS database grows in size (due to data being stored for several years for example) and then hits the SQL Express database size limit.
- Please ensure that the SIMS/FMS/Discover/Solus Databases are set to run in SQL 2012 compatibility mode, this is changed within the database options inside SSMS – Let us know if you require assistance with this. (Steps on how to do this below)
- Please ensure that the SIMS/FMS/Discover/Solus Databases are set to simple recovery mode in SSMS, this stops SQL logging unnecessary transactions to the log files and only logs important info, meaning the log files swell up a lot less regularly. This is changed within the database options inside SSMS – Let us know if you require assistance with this. (Steps on how to do this below)
- Check if LDF growth has been restricted (Steps on how to do this below)
- Checking 3rd party connectors to rule out them causing performance issues. (Steps on how to do this below)
- Please check you are on the latest Service Pack/windows updates installed that are available for your installed version of SQL
Checking if LDF file growth has been restricted
Check if the LDF file growth has been restricted. Where SIMS functionality requires the log file to grow (e.g. end of year procedures are being carried out, data is being added to the application), timeout and performance issues can arise if the log file is set to a restricted size and won’t allow the data to be added to SIMS.
- Open Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio and expand ‘Databases’. Right click on the SIMS database and select ‘Properties’, a new window will appear. Select ‘Files’ and this will display the two database files: the database and the log.
- For the sims_LOG, go to the Autogrowth/Maxsize column and click the dial button (if you cannot see the button you will need to expand this window). Clicking the button will produce another window. Ensure ‘Enable Autogrowth’ is ticked. For the File Growth we recommend this is set to ‘In Percent – 10’. Then, select ‘Unlimited’ for the Maximum File Size.
- Click OK to close the window as well as the other. The log file will no longer have a restricted growth and should improve the performance of SIMS.
Checking SQL Database compatibility and recovery mode
ESS recommend ensuring any databases relating to SIMS/FMS/Discover/Solus are all set to run in 2012 compatibility mode and simple recovery mode. This to both ensure the databases are functioning as efficiently as possible and also to stop unnecessary data from being logged and swelling the LDF files.
- Open up SSMS (SQL Server Management Studio and log in with the SA credentials
- Expand databases from the left-hand pane and right click on your database, then select properties.
- Click on Options in the select a page section on the left, then ensure the following 2 options are set:
- Recovery Model: Simple
- Compatibility Level: SQL Server 2012 (110)
- Once those option are selected, hit OK.
Shrinking LDF Files through SSMS (SQL Server Management Studio)
Over time your SQL Database LDF files will swell, this is due to transactions happening within SIMS and them being logged to the LDF file. If the LDF files are over 1GB we recommend looking at shrinking them down ASAP, as they can start to cause performance issues with SQL. We also recommend this is done as a regular routine to maintain the performance of SQL.
Before shrinking the LDF files, please ensure steps have been followed above to set the LDF files to Simple Recovery Model.
- Open up SSMS (SQL Server Management Studio and log in with the SA credentials
- Expand databases from the left-hand pane and right click on your database you want to shrink the log file for.
- Select Tasks | Shrink | Files
- Change the File type to Log and then click OK.
SIMS Database re-indexing patches
In addition, you can also run some re-indexing patches which can sometimes help performance by re-indexing the tables within the SQL Database.
Please let us know if you would like these to be authorised to your school, you can find them in solus should you wish to run them, by opening the deployment UI and hitting check for update.
(Patches 20647 and 22573) – These are patches we would recommend running at least once every term, to keep the databases indexed and running efficiently.
Just to note on the above, they need to be run when nobody is using SIMS and we would recommend running them with a 2-hour interval between them allowing them to run successfully. They also need to be run in the following order.
(This may be a different order to that previously advised. Following a conversation between one of our Techs and one of the guys at ESS, it came to light that ESS’s documentation regarding the running order of the reindexing patches is wrong, and the logical order to run the patches is actually 20647 and then 22573. Running them in the order previously stated in ESS’s older documentation is counter intuitive).
Once these patches have been applied, please ensure the SQL Server service has been restarted through services.msc
Checking and ruling out 3rd party connectors causing SQL performance issues
We have seen an increase in the number of 3rd party connectors schools are purchasing and linking into SIMS, most 3rd party connectors have an active sync with the SQL database and are frequently running intensive queries/reports in the background. This can cause performance issues with SQL and when multiplied by having a handful of these installed, the performance issues can become compounded.
They can sometimes have bad/corrupt config which also causes them to run more frequently/or at times they shouldn’t be, we recommend the steps below in ruling out any of them having an impact on performance issues:
- Make a list of your 3rd party connectors installed on the server and liaise with the office staff to see if there any installed on their machines.
- Once you have a list, it would then be a process of elimination by disabling one-at-time and then testing performance to rule out that particular connector.
- If you find disabling a specific connector has a positive impact on performance, we recommend then making note of this and speaking to the supplier/support of that particular vendor. Explain the issue to them and ask if they can carry out some troubleshooting and perhaps a fresh reinstall to rule out any bad config.
If you require any further assistance or have any questions/concerns on the information above, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we can arrange a remote session.
We are pleased to inform you that the SIMS and FMS Summer Upgrades (version 7.212 / 6.212) will be available shortly but is not available yet.
Please bear in mind that applying the SIMS Summer Release 2023 will remove the 2022/23 Census cycle. With this in mind, it is important that schools don’t apply the SIMS Summer Release 2023 until they are sure that the DfE has accepted their School Census Summer 2023 return.
Copies of authorised returns for the 2022/23 cycle of School Censuses remain available via menu route Tools | Statutory Return Tools | Retrieve Authorised Census Return Files.
To see a list of the new features the release notes are available from our customer portals via these links:
School ICT customer portal: https://my.schoolicts.co.uk/portal/kb?id=376
turn IT on customer portal: https://portal.turniton.co.uk
If School ICT are responsible for your upgrade, we will roll this out by taking a phased approach. If you would like the upgrade applying on a specific date or day of the week, watch for the email coming out and respond by replying to the email or giving the helpdesk a call.
For any newly supported customers joining our service, if you have not already done so, please ensure that your school has informed ESS by email that School ICT Services are undertaking support on your behalf (this process is included in the welcome pack we provide to new customers). This will ensure that we are able to deploy patches and upgrades to your establishment centrally through our online Capita management console. If you are unsure if you have done this, please call us and we can confirm this has been done on your behalf.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Once authorised, the SIMS Summer Upgrade will be available on SOLUS3 for all Secondary Schools. We highly recommend this is applied ahead of the results download days to ensure this is as smooth as possible.
An email will be sent when the upgrade is available. This will be sent to the designated central contact for your establishment. and may need sending on the technical department in school. If you have no technical staff, please call the Service Desk for assistance.
Once you have upgraded to the SIMS 2023 Summer Release, please remember to import the most up-to-date predefined reports. To import the reports, select Reports | Import, then navigate to and select PreDefined_Reports_v7212.RptDef (typically found in C:\Program Files (x86)\SIMS\SIMS.net). Once imported, the updated reports are available to all users with the appropriate permissions.
For schools who purchase turn IT on Patches and Upgrade Service
TIO will be rolling out the SIMS / FMS upgrade and to all schools from Early July. If you have a consultant, we will try to schedule this to coincide with the time they are normally onsite, so that this will allow any issues to be dealt with quickly and efficiently. We will be in touch to schedule the upgrade.
We recommend that all Secondary Schools upgrade prior to the Exam Results Day as there are amendments made to the release since the last exam season to make it relevant for this year’s exams.
We require all users to be logged out of SIMS and FMS, (your internet, email and other software packages are still able to be accessed whilst the upgrade is running) and it will take approximately two hours (depending on database size). Laptops and PCs should be left switched on so that the upgrade can deploy to all necessary machines.
For schools who do not purchase turn IT on Patches and Upgrade Service
Please arrange for your SIMS / FMS to be upgraded to version 7.212 / 6.212 These will be made available on SOLUS once they have been released.
For ESS Hosted and SIMS Connected schools
The SIMS Summer upgrade is scheduled to be applied for all Hosted/Connected SIMS customers ESS are yet to release the date. – Users will be unable to access Hosted/Connected SIMS for the duration of this update.
If you have any further questions then please contact the helpdesk on 0345 222 6802 or by emailing the helpdesk on email@example.com for SICTS customers, or by calling 01865 597620 Option 2 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for turn IT on customers.
Exams - Importing Results
There is an Arbor Webinar on 21st July at 11am which will cover this so please register and sign up if necessary as we don’t yet have a training course for this. You can view the upcoming webinars via this link:
And follow the Arbor link to sign up: –
You can also find help and exam results guidance too via this link:
September Troubleshooting Guide
Below we have added a collection of useful tips and links to Arbor helps centre Articles which we hope you will find helpful.
Logging in and access
Make sure all your staff have access to the system:
- If your password has expired over summer, you can reset this yourself by clicking the Forgot your password? link on your login page. If you are still experiencing issues, work through these troubleshooting tips with your office team.
- Staff being asked for a date of birth or being logged into the wrong account? Check for duplicate email addresses
- Make sure teachers can access their registers from their calendar so they can all take attendance. There are three steps to check if they are having trouble.
- If you want to give more staff access to registers. There are a few different ways to manage access: Giving permission for other staff or teaching assistants to take attendance registers
- My Classroom – You can use layouts from past years as these are linked to the room, but you will need to set up seating plans each year as there will be different students in your classes. You can see how to do this here.
Need to change your timetable
As you welcome students back, you might need to make some changes to your timetable over the next few weeks. Here are Arbor’s top articles:
- Staggered starts – If you have students who don’t start right away take a look at this article: Staggered Start Dates
- Editing your timetable – If you need to make changes to your timetable, we recommend making edits in Arbor from the Timetable Slots page as this is usually much quicker than importing a new timetable. To make edits to your timetables, such as editing rooms and staff, or deleting unneeded slots, take a look at this article: Editing timetable slots and lesson times
- Timetable periods can be used to help align your attendance marks into set groups. If you want to use this feature again, you will need to set them up by following the instructions in this article.
- Adding new lessons – To add new timetable slots just go to School > Programmes > Courses and click the lesson, and follow these instructions: How to set up Course, Class, Registration and Lesson registers
- Adding more rooms – If you need to move students to new rooms to keep them distanced, you can see how to set up a new room in this article, and move classes into a new room in this article.
Student enrolments and registers
Here’s how to make sure all your students are in the right registers:
- Add new students – If new students join you who were not added as part of the Applicants process, you can see how to add them then enrol them into registers: Adding a new student
- Enrolling in bulk – If you have lots of students you need to add to registers, see your options here: Enrol students into lesson registers in bulk
- Moving students to the right classes – Check your students are enrolled in the right registers and move them if needed: Moving students between classes or registration forms
- No registers If you were expecting to have registers today but don’t, you won’t be able to take attendance, follow these instructions: Why don’t we have registers today?
- Students missing from your registers. You’ll need to check their enrolment using this article.
- Don’t have any meal registers or students in your meal registers? Check out this article to help resolve this.
- Duplicate students or enrolled applicants who are no longer joining may need to be removed. See this article to find out what you’ll need to do.
Copying over Assessments
If you used Arbor Assessments last year, you’ll need to copy over your setup to next year. Take a look here for how to copy over your assessments.
Data Collection Policies are linked to the Assessment policy. Because you need to select the assessments to create or copy over each year, you also need to define your Data Collection Policies each year if you use them at your school. You can see how to add Data Collections here.
If you’ve copied over your assessments but teachers can’t access them or the boxes are greyed out, follow these instructions: Why can’t the teacher mark the assessment?
We’re new to Arbor Assessments –
If you didn’t use assessments last year, you can set them up for next year to start learning from your data with simple, visual analysis screens.
- Primaries – See Arbor’s ready-to-go assessment approaches for reading, writing and maths assessments. Use Arbor’s handy quiz to pick the approach that’s right for you, and save time on setup with Arbor’s step-by-step guidance.
- Secondaries – take a look at Arbor’s Introduction to Arbor Assessments for a feel of what Arbor offer, then use our easy-to-follow setup templates for English Literature and Language, and Double/Triple Science here, or more basic setups here.
If you’re looking to manage your assessments in a bespoke way, our expert consultants can work with you to help you tailor Arbor to suit your approach – contact our helpdesk for further details.
If you’ll be using Behaviour in Arbor from September, you’ll need to copy over your setup to next year. Using behaviour for the first time? Take a look here for how to:
- set up your behaviour policies for the first time if this is your first year using Arbor
- schedule your detention and internal exclusion sessions if you used behaviour in Arbor last year
If you can’t select detention or internal exclusion sessions to add students to, this means they haven’t been scheduled for next year – you’ll need to set them up following these instructions:
Make sure the right people can send email, SMS and in-app messages to the right people:
- Make sure you’ve completed the New School Year setup process to be able to choose the group in the To field for classes, registration forms, year groups, houses or custom groups.
- Sending communications -To send different communications, as themselves, the school or others, staff will need to be a Permitted Sender of the communication type they want to send. They will also need to have the right permissions. Check these settings here.
- Wrong signature at the bottom of emails sent – This is set from the staff contract, so check contract names on staff profiles to ensure the right job title appears in your searches and in communication signatures: Wrong job title or role in search and email
- In-app messages – Have guardians download the Arbor App and enable push notifications, or log in to Parent Portal to be able to receive in-app messages
Parent Portal and Arbor App
If you use the Parent Portal and Arbor App, guardians may have trouble logging in for the first time. Please advise parents not to contact Arbor directly, as Arbor won’t be able to make changes to their data.
- Logging in – If you need to send login details to guardians you can follow these instructions.
- Why can’t parents log in? – Follow these steps to get guardians logged in if they’re having trouble: Troubleshooting login issues for parents
- See what a guardian sees – troubleshoot issues and check your setup by Logging in as a guardian.
- Guardians may have issues if they have a profile set up for multiple children. See how this works here: Child at more than one school using Arbor
- Can’t access a child – Make sure the guardians are linked to all their children to be able to switch between them on the Parent Portal or Arbor App: Linking siblings to each other and linking a guardian to a child
API and 3rd party connections
If your data hasn’t updated in your 3rd party application, follow Arbor’s Top tips for managing your APIs
Please contact the 3rd party first if you are having issues. If you have checked with the third party but still need to contact us about your app, please do so via email. Include screenshots and as much information as possible.
Efficient Way To Check Staff Permissions
Arbor now have a permissions checker. You’ll need the School: Permissions: View permission to access and use this page. If you don’t have permission, you’ll need to ask your admin team to give you permission using these instructions.
To check permissions go to Go to School > Users & Security > Access Control > Check permissions.
- Staff member – Select the staff member at your school, from a list of all staff on this Arbor site who have a currently active business role.
- Arbor page URL – You can use various formats to check, including the full URL, or excluding your school’s domain name (student-ui/browse).
Then click the Check permissions button.
If the user has access to the page, in the slide over you’ll see a message saying Access Available.
You’ll also see a list of the permissions needed to access this page, and whether the user has each permission.
More information can be found here
What Else Is New?
Statutory DfE Assessments
- You can now flip between different academic years on the DfE Assessment Analysis pages on the MAT MIS.
- To enable you to compare data with past years, Arbor have switched to using live data on school sites and from your schools on the MAT MIS, rather than Insight (as this dataset will soon no longer be available).
- Report on any DfE Assessment results from any academic year using the improved Custom Report Writer field.
Statutory Attendance for Schools and MATs
Arbor have added a new Statutory Attendance KPI to include only students aged 5-15 who are not enrolled as Guest pupils. Take a look at the guidance here for the MAT MIS, or here for guidance on your School MIS homepage KPIs.
- When accessing exam information on student profiles, there’s a page for each section.
- When printing candidate labels your selections will be saved the next time you open the slide over.
- import times are now improved for results files.
- Arbor have also updated the integration settings to prevent API partners from retrieving embargoed exam results (unless given permission to do so, like 4Matrix).
New fields in the Custom Report Writer
- Report on your Formative Curriculum assessments using the new Curriculum Mark (by Statement) and (by Module) fields.
- Arbor have added a new SEN Notes field to the Student report. You can pull in all notes for a student in one cell, or add a filter just for specific date ranges or summary content. This feature is particularly useful for reducing double entry in multiple systems for IEP Reports.
- Arbor have also added an Actions Taken field to the Behavioural Incidents report, enabling you to see or filter on the follow-ups and outcomes of incidents.
ScholarPack Year End Process
Please see the link below for guidance on this. Please be aware you cannot complete the Year End process until the last day of the summer term, and this must be after the PM register, however there are aspects of the Year End that you can start before the last day of the summer term.
There are 6 essential steps, which will need to be completed and a 7th step which is optional. The process is a linear function, and the elements should be carried out in the order indicated by the timeline and you can’t go back to a previous step once you have passed it. To start your Year End procedures, you can use the icon via Admin > Year End.
End Of Year Procedures
By now you should have made good progress with your End of Year (EOY) process and should ideally have completed the following:
All school phases:
- Setup the next academic year
- Add staff only days
- Add half terms dates
Those using period structures (mostly secondary):
- Setup period structure
Remember you can check your full tasklist for EOY using the End of Year Dashboard.
Need additional guidance or training? Use the link below to access Bromcom guides, book onto a webinar or drop in or book with a CSM:
My Child At School (MCAS) Login Process Changes
There are some important changes to the way parents log in and view the MyChildAtSchool (MCAS) portal. These are now planned to be released on 14 July.
The changes being made are:
- Simplified MCAS log in process (no more invitation codes!)
- New MCAS log in for existing users
- New MCAS log in for new users
- New forgotten password process
- New parent dashboard
Please read the full guidance at the link below:
Upcoming Training Courses
The remaining training courses for the academic year 2022/2023 are listed below. We will soon be posting the dates for the new academic year training courses, and don’t forget that we also have our Distance Learning courses to help you develop your knowledge of SIMS and get the most out of your MIS (Management Information System).
Booking is now open. Please visit https://www.schoolicts.co.uk/online-training/
More details via this link:
|SIMS SEN User||
Thursday 6th July 2023
Friday 7th July 2023
|Arbor New Office User||
Tuesday 11th July 2023
|Arbor Payments and Meals||Wednesday 12th July 2023 (Half Day)||https://www.schoolicts.co.uk/events/arbor-finance-half-day/|
|SIMS Managing Results Day||Wednesday 12th July 2023||https://www.schoolicts.co.uk/events/managing-results-day-online/|
|SIMS Analysing Exam Results Using SIMS||Thursday 13th July 223||https://www.schoolicts.co.uk/events/analysing-exam-results-sims-online/|
|SIMS Managing Results Day||Wednesday 19th July 2023||https://www.schoolicts.co.uk/events/managing-results-day-online/|
|SIMS Analysing Exam Results Using SIMS||Thursday 20th July 2023||https://www.schoolicts.co.uk/events/analysing-exam-results-sims-online/|
Training courses for the Autumn term are now available to book via the School ICT website: –
Are you in need of non-teaching staff for September?
Working alongside School ICT, School ICT Resourcing place both permanent and temporary specialist support staff into schools.
Candidates are available from a days placement through to a whole school year. All candidates have completed the safer school recruitment process, and have enhanced DBS clearance.
For further information please call: 0113 372 0039 or visit: www.schoolictresourcing.co.uk
As the end of the academic year approaches are you due to retire? If yourself or any colleagues are retiring soon, and would consider working on a temporary or ad-hoc basis, please contact Helen who would love the opportunity to speak with you about the potential of adding you to our candidate list.