User Administration


I'm having a hard time working out the best way to administrate my users. Our installation (1.8) is for a school type organization. This is the process we need to make work: 

1) User is added (this is ok)
2) User validates (I need a notifcation for this ideally)
3) User is added to the correct group.

The problem I have is that I don't get a notification when the user validates, which means I have to keep manually checking to see if they have validated and then add them to the group, which is a nightmare with a few hundred users. 

The best solution would be for be to be able to add them to a group at the time of creation, or without having to wait for them to validate. I'm using the "Tom" plugin, but that only kicks in once they've validated, I know I can force them to be friends on the admin panel, but again - cumbersome. 

Failing that, a validation notification system? 

Or any other ideas? Is there a heavyweight User Administration plugin out there which will be similar to Joomla (where we've come from) which was very strong in this area.