Support FAQs | Teaching and Learning Resources - Teams for Education via School Data Sync

This section covers our processing of Teams for Education using School Data Sync. Please also see the section on our website regarding Cloud Synchronisation (link to Cloud Synchronisation page), as the user needs to have synchronised to Microsoft 365 first before they can be processed for ‘Teams for Education’ via ‘School Data Sync’.

We are going to use our next academic year timetable during the current academic years’ summer term. What do we need to be aware of?

Please contact our support team before this change is made in your MIS. We can update our configuration to change the prefix used for your Team names. If this isn’t done, the Teams processing will result in a 2020 prefix on the classroom name, and if the same class names are used – the membership will be swapped over. This will mean students will not have access to the work they completed this year. 

If you need to keep 2020 Teams active with members, and have 2021 Teams at the same time, this can be supported but a change is needed. The changes to the process will need making before you rollover your Classes in your MIS - please contact our support team.

How long does it take for Teams to be shown, and Members to be added?

‘Teams for Education’ uses ‘School Data Sync’. We provide the data to this service via a Profile (often called “Salamander-” followed by your school's name). Once the data has been sent by us it is entered into a queue within the Microsoft service. At busy times of year, it can take a long time for changes to be seen. You can see some performance examples here SDS Performance Examples - School Data Sync | Microsoft Docs.

If we remove a user, or add a user manually, what happens?

Manually updating the membership of a Team will not be overwritten when the next sync runs. School Data Sync makes changes based on the last sync, and not based on manual changes, with the exception of two actions: Reset Sync and Recreating a Sync Profile. Aside from those exceptions, here is how SDS treats manual additions and deletions.

Example 1:

  1. A class is synced with a teacher and students
  2. The teacher goes to Classroom to add a co-teacher to the class
  3. The class is subsequently synced with no changes to teacher enrolment
  4. (Correct behaviour) The co-teacher's membership is unaffected
  5. The class is subsequently synced with the co-teacher added
  6. (Correct behaviour) the co-teacher's membership is unaffected
  7. The class is subsequently synced w/ the co-teacher removed
  8. (Correct behaviour) the co-teacher is removed from the class

Example 2:

  1. A class is synced with a teacher and students
  2. The teacher goes to Classroom to remove a student from the class
  3. The class is subsequently synced with no change to the student enrolment
  4. (Correct behaviour) The student's non-membership is unaffected
  5. The class is subsequently synced with the student removed
  6. (Correct behaviour) the student's non-membership is unaffected
  7. The class is subsequently synced w/ the student re-added
  8. (Correct behaviour) the student is re-added to the class

This has been taken from School Data Sync FAQ - School Data Sync | Microsoft Docs, where the most up to date guidance from Microsoft can be found.

What happens with ‘Teams’ in ‘Microsoft Teams for Education’ from this year?

‘Teams for Education’ uses ‘School Data Sync’. We provide the data to this service via a Profile (often called “Salamander-” followed by your school's name). Within the settings for a profile is a setting to control when the end of the academic year is (called the Expiry Date), which will stop it accepting and processing any further data until an end of year process is run with the profile. This is a manual process. Further  details about end of year management in School Data Sync and Teams for Education can be found https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/schooldatasync/sds-term-transition-and-expired-class-management.

This process allows you to choose from a combination of three options: Expire Teams (which renames them putting “EXP%Date%-“ on the front), Archive Team and content (which marks the content read only and archives) and Remove Student Membership (note – Teachers will continue to have access). 

Once the chosen processes are completed, you are prompted to choose a new expiry date – which would usually be the end of the next academic year.

We do not automate the end of year SDS transition, they are manual processes which need to be completed by you.

In our standard configuration, we will also stop sending data when there are no classes in the class data (usually once the Summer term ends). Once your new Classes are scheduled, we would start to process these – and can process in advance if you advise our support team of the date from which you’d like the Teams to be available.

Do I need a new profile in School Data Sync?

In most cases, no – you can reuse the current one once the end of year process has been run. Please see section “What happens with Teams in Microsoft Teams for Education from this Year”. If however, you need to run current year, and next year access to classes at the same time – you will need a new profile.

You can create a new profile using the Microsoft advice here How to deploy School Data Sync by using CSV files - School Data Sync | Microsoft Docs and a click though here https://aka.ms/SDSClickThrough. The new profile name can be entered using the SDS Tab within the Status Viewer application.

What happens with Teams in Microsoft Teams for Education from this Year?

The new information will be sent to School Data Sync when the new academic year timetable becomes active (published and applied). This will create the Office 365 Groups. 

Microsoft have recently updated the “Begin New Year” process which you need to run once the End of Year archive has been completed. This will prompt whether you would like Teams to be automatically created or not, as well as the date when the profile should expire again. The date for expiry should be set to the last day of the Summer Term 2022.

This replaces advice from earlier in the year where the automatic creation by SDS was removed for profiles created from March 26th 2020. If you would like Teams not to be automatically created, don’t check the box shown above. Teachers of the classes can use the new Create a Class Team experience to create the Team from the group as per https://support.office.com/en-gb/article/create-a-class-team-in-microsoft-teams-fae422eb-58b7-4431-9ff2-a4b9b6ae7c5b.

Note, Teams also require activation before they will be visible to Pupils 

https://support.office.com/en-gb/article/activate-early-access-class-teams-created-with-school-data-sync-0d154696-66ab-4fcf-b22f-c3d9a82aaf78

If you would like these to be created earlier than the first day of next year’s timetable to support planning for teaching and learning, please contact our support team and advise the date when the classes should start from.

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