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The Key acquires Arbor Education to become the leading provider of cloud-based MIS

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Wednesday 2 December 2020: The Key, owner of primary school MIS ScholarPack, has today confirmed its acquisition of Arbor Education, the fastest-growing MIS platform in the UK. 

Together, ScholarPack and Arbor provide more than 2,800 schools with an ‘access it anywhere’ cloud-based MIS, that has provided the sector a much-needed lifeline and unparalleled support during COVID-19. 

Arbor’s cross-phase MIS was built with MATs and local authorities in mind and perfectly complements ScholarPack’s primary-only MIS offering. With both MIS brands on board, The Key is now able to offer a modern solution for all schools, fundamentally transforming the way they work for the better. 

Chris Kenyon, CEO, The Key said:  “School leaders deserve tools that support school improvement and enable them to focus on pupils. Arbor is a great fit with The Key, our organisations share a common ethos and focus on making sure that school leaders have both the context and knowledge to make meaningful change.”

The Key will also increase its investment in supporting local authorities and MATs, who want to help schools move to a better way of working, across all phases. DfE census data has shown that schools are open to exploring other options with partners, with figures in some regions indicating that where a local authority has broadened its MIS options for schools, 50% will switch to a cloud MIS in 3 years, and 75% will switch in 5 years. (1)

Migration to a cloud-based system takes as little as one day, and delivers huge time-savings, better insights for school improvement and continuous new feature releases.

James Weatherill, CEO, Arbor said: “The next few years will see unprecedented adoption of cloud-based MIS systems by schools. Joining forces with The Key and ScholarPack instantly makes us the largest supplier of cloud-based MIS systems and allows us to accelerate our mission to transform the way schools work. Importantly, this investment will also ensure we grow while preserving our commitment to making a lasting, positive impact to the sector.”

The acquisition signals the acceleration of new features across both platforms.  Greater customisation, analytics, new assessment tools, updated parental apps and streamlined reporting are all underway, as well as a sustained focus on producing more agile features to keep schools ‘on the front foot’ in tackling COVID-19 issues.

With both ScholarPack and Arbor in the group, as well as The Key’s market leading products The Key for School Leaders and GovernorHub,  The Key will now support more than 16,000 schools across the country. 




Source: (1) Department for Education census data October 2014 - January 2020

For more information about this announcement, please see the latest blogs from Chris Kenyon, Rich Harley & James Weatherill

Or contact:

Laura Scott, Head of Brand & Corporate Comms

[email protected] / 0208 106 5437

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