This article is designed to explain the key principles of Attendance Pro, helping to ensure you have all of the underpinning knowledge you need prior to launch. We recommend that all Attendance Officers read this as a refresher of good practice when managing attendance on Satchel One.
Once you've read this, we'd recommend exploring the following articles which detail the daily use of Attendance Pro:
If you have any questions about using Attendance Pro, please reach out using the blue chat bubble at the bottom right of your screen.
Before launching Attendance Pro
Please share any inactive Attendance codes
By default, all attendance codes will be available for staff in Satchel One, even if they are marked as 'inactive' in your MIS. If you have any codes you'd like to be omitted from Satchel One, please let us know prior to your launch, otherwise this will cause writeback failures.
Custom codes (Wonde schools only)
There are also some additional points to consider if your school is using Attendance Pro with Wonde.
Any custom codes used within your school must be approved by Wonde; if these codes are used without being approved, a writeback failure will occur. To get approval, your school must email firstname.lastname@example.org with your custom codes.
These custom codes can be used for lessons, but cannot be used for AM / PM sessions. A writeback failure will occur if a custom code is used to mark a session, because sessions require a DfE approved mark.
⚠️ IMPORTANT: We cannot permit the launch of Attendance Pro until we have confirmation that custom codes have been approved. If custom codes are not used at the school and this is not relevant to you, please confirm this in writing.
Understand how changes to Timetable can affect Attendance Pro
It's important to avoid making timetable changes during the day wherever possible. Because timetable changes made on SIMS do not import into Satchel One instantly (please see the Data Import Schedule for more information), if the timetable has been changed on your MIS but not reflected in Satchel One yet, you will be trying to mark attendance for a student who is no longer in that lesson, and the writeback will fail.
The importance of recording marks in Satchel One
For schools using Attendance Pro on Satchel One, a school-wide adoption is essential in order to avoid data conflicts and confusion.
When a register is taken in Satchel One, it will write back to your MIS almost instantly, ensuring that you have accurate data in both locations. However, when a register is taken in your MIS, it will only import this data back into Satchel One at very specific times of the day: 7am, 9am, 1pm, 2pm, 4pm.
This means that if you were to take a register on your MIS at 10am, it would not appear in Satchel One until 1pm, leaving 3 hours where the register would appear blank in Satchel One.
The risk is that, during this time, staff could mark the seemingly missing register in Satchel One and thereby overwrite the mark that was originally logged in your MIS.
Wherever you most recently updated the attendance mark, that is what will override any previous recordings.
To summarise, it's crucial that all registers are marked in Satchel One in order to preserve data integrity and for all features to function as expected.
Using third party software to manage Attendance
You may be using third party software e.g. SIMS InTouch / SchoolComms / Truancy Call / WeDuc to communicate with parents / guardians about student absence. If parent / guardian responses are received through your third party software and then written directly into your MIS, this will cause data conflicts when using Satchel’s Attendance Pro.
This is because Satchel One only imports data from your MIS at specific times (7am, 9am, 1pm, 2pm, 4pm), therefore any marks logged in the MIS in between these times would not appear in Satchel One until the next import time. A teacher taking their register on Satchel One would see a blank space, which they may then fill with a new mark, overwriting the mark originally entered in the MIS.
Parent informs the school via InTouch that their child is ‘Ill’ today
The Attendance Officer imports this straight into their MIS at 8am
Because this mark has been logged in the MIS, it will not be visible in Satchel One until the next import (10am)
As staff can’t see this mark yet in Satchel One, they may log an ‘N’ mark instead as they do not know why the student is absent
The ‘N’ mark they record in Satchel One would then overwrite the original ‘Ill’ mark that was put in the MIS, causing data conflicts and confusion
Therefore it is imperative that any parent / guardian responses received through any third party software are manually logged directly into Satchel One, not written back to the MIS.
This can be done quickly and easily via the ‘Daily Absences’ or ‘Students’ tabs in the Attendance area.
Similarly, if using Inventry to record and update student attendance throughout the day, these marks can be viewed in Inventry but must not be written back to your MIS. Instead, they can be collected in Inventry and then manually written into Satchel One in order to maintain accurate records throughout the day.
By logging all marks in Satchel One directly, you ensure that staff have real time Attendance data at their fingertips and this is all written back to your MIS almost instantly.
Marking attendance for the future
The only time it's necessary to take a register in your MIS is if you're marking attendance for a future date; this is because in Satchel One attendance can only be taken for today or historical dates.
If marking a register for the future in your MIS, you can rest assured that this will import across to Satchel One when the date in question arrives. The register in Satchel will already have the mark saved and accounted for as it was prepopulated in your MIS and there will be no data conflict.
Linked lessons / sessions
You may have set up lessons / sessions in your MIS that are linked, so when you mark a register for one, it automatically copies across and populates the other register i.e. Period 1 populates AM reg / Period 5 populates PM reg.
At present, if you mark a register for a linked lesson in Satchel One, it will not automatically copy across and populate the other lesson / session within Satchel.
It will, however, write this mark back to your MIS as expected and, once there, it will copy across to the other as expected, provided you have established the correct setup in your MIS.
💡 IMPORTANT: It's important to remember that Satchel does not receive attendance data from your MIS instantly, therefore your linked lesson will appear blank in Satchel One until the next MIS import time (please see the Data Import Schedule for more information). At this point, you should see your linked lesson / session populated as expected ✔️
Alternative curriculum / cover lessons
Attendance Pro will sync with the core Timetable only; adjustments made outside of this structure (i.e. SIMS Cover App / alternative curriculum via Nova T-6) will not be reflected in Satchel One.
Due to a Groupcall specification, it is not currently possible to overwrite a 'legitimate' mark i.e. present / ill / holiday etc. with an 'N'; this will trigger a writeback failure because a seemingly genuine mark is being overwritten by a more ambiguous alternative. Should you need to apply an 'N' mark instead of an authorised mark for any reason, please do this in your MIS.
What is Attendance Pro?
Attendance Pro is a feature on Satchel One that helps schools manage attendance. It allows schools to take registers, record marks, and maintain accurate attendance data.
Why is recording marks in Satchel One important?
Recording marks in Satchel One is important to avoid data conflicts and confusion. When a register is taken in Satchel One, it writes back to the school's Management Information System (MIS) almost instantly. However, when a register is taken in the MIS, it only imports data back into Satchel One at specific times of the day. Marking registers in Satchel One ensures accurate data integrity and allows all features to function as expected.
Can I use third party software to manage attendance?
Yes, but it's important to log any parent/guardian responses received through third-party software directly into Satchel One, not the MIS. This is because Satchel One only imports data from the MIS at specific times, and any marks logged in the MIS between these times may not appear in Satchel One until the next import, causing data conflicts.
Can I mark attendance for future dates?
Yes, marking attendance for future dates is possible in the MIS, but in Satchel One, attendance can only be taken for today or historical dates. If marking a register for the future in the MIS, it will import across to Satchel One when the date arrives, and there will be no data conflict.
What about linked lessons/sessions?
If lessons/sessions are linked in the MIS, marking a register for one in Satchel One will not automatically copy across to the other. However, it will write back to the MIS as expected, and once in the MIS, it will copy across to the other lesson/session, provided the correct setup is established in the MIS. It will then re-import the copied mark back into Satchel One at the next scheduled import time.
How do I reach out for help with Attendance Pro?
If you have any questions or need help with Attendance Pro, you can use the blue chat bubble at the bottom right of your screen to reach out for assistance.