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, as the user needs to have synchronised to Microsoft 365 first before they can be processed for Microsoft Teams via ‘School Data Sync’.

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

Please contact our support team before this change is made in your Management Information System (MIS). We can update your configuration to change the prefix used for your Microsoft Teams names. If this isn’t done, the Teams processing will result in a 2021 prefix on the Team 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 2021 Microsoft Teams active with members, and have 2022 Teams at the same time, this can be supported but a configuration change is needed by a Support Consultant. The changes to the process will need to be made before you rollover your timetable – please contact our Support Team for further guidance.

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

Microsoft Teams uses ‘School Data Sync’ (SDS). 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, except for two actions: Reset Sync and Recreating a Sync Profile. 

School Data Sync FAQ – School Data Sync | Microsoft Docs

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.

When the profile is expired, you will see a message explaining that the profile is no longer synchronised. You then need to follow the link to the ‘People’ tab and ‘Memberships’ to access the Cleanup actions. 

The actions from this point are described in the following Microsoft article: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/schooldatasync/group-cleanup.

This process allows you to choose from a combination of two options: Expire Teams (which renames them putting “EXP%Date%-“ on the front), and Archive Teams (which marks the content read only and archives). 

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

For Summer 2022, we are sending documentation-specific advice to our customers in July and August. Please contact our Support Team if you have not received this.

In a configuration where we send Classes Only, 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?

Please leave your current profile in an expired state and see our specific guidance below:

  • Multi-Academy Trust Guidance
  • Single Build Guidance

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 an interactive walkthrough here https://aka.ms/SDSClickThrough. The new profile name can be entered into the Salamander Integration suite using the School Data Sync tab within the Salamander 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 prior to the last timetabled day of the Summer Term 2023.

If you would like Teams manually created, don’t check the box shown above. Teachers of the classes can use the new Suggested Classes feature https://support.office.com/en-gb/article/create-a-class-team-in-microsoft-teams-fae422eb-58b7-4431-9ff2-a4b9b6ae7c5b

Why can’t pupils see the Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams that are synchronised through School Data Sync 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 the next Academic Year’s timetable to support planning for teaching and learning, please contact our Support Team before August 15th, 2022, and advise the date when the classes should be available from.

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