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Attendance Policy

All students are expected to attend all of their programme sessions

For each absence, a designated member of staff makes a telephone call to the student and parent/ carer /employer, where appropriate, as early in the day as possible. Unless a satisfactory explanation has been received, a letter is sent to the student and parent/ carer /employer, where appropriate, regretting the absence and asking for an explanation for every session missed.
Student Attendance and Behaviour Procedure
Aim / Objective or Purpose

This document covers the Procedure for the action to be taken by teams to manage learner attendance and behaviour.


Attendance refers to the scheduled time spent on college study programmes, and this can be categorised as lectures, workshops, work placement, independent learning, tutorials etc. as specified in the student’s handbook/learning agreement or individual learning plan. Regular and consistent attendance and good behaviour at college is expected and is critical to any student’s success and achievement of their learning goals. Poor attendance can be one of the main signs of disengagement with the student’s programme of study and the college will attempt as far as possible to ensure that learners remain fully engaged and succeed on their programme. Therefore all attendance will be fully monitored throughout their programme. It is good practice for those with a vested interest in the student’s achievement to be informed of persistent student absenteeism and this will be the required practise unless an alternative arrangement has been discussed and agreed with the personal tutor. In respect of full time learners, funding is directly related to attendance and is monitored on a termly basis. Each case of absenteeism is different and will be treated individually. The college accepts that many causes of absenteeism exist and will work with learners on an individual basis to best address the needs and wants of each learner.


1. Responsibilities

All students are expected to attend all of their programme sessions, unless prior agreement has been made and agreed with the personal tutor and the English/maths tutor, if this forms part of the programme. The attendance of each student must be looked at as a whole with the monitoring of attendance, and the management of attendance issues including every session on the timetable. Personal tutors are responsible for the timely response to student attendance issues, and the reporting of such issues to Learner Tutorial Liaison Officer, Student Services and/or MIS where appropriate. Personal tutors are required to monitor student attendance (via registers, EBS agent reports or direct communication) and to address issues of absence according to this procedure. Completion of registers, student transfer forms, withdrawal forms and exit interviews remain the responsibility of the personal tutor. Individual instances of absenteeism should always be raised as soon as possible by personal tutors, either with the student informally or through tutorials and targets/actions for improvement logged in the EILP. It is the responsibility of the Personal Tutors to fill in withdrawal forms as soon as a learner is known to have withdrawn from their programme. It is the responsibility of the MIS office to remove students from the EBS system on receipt of withdrawal forms.

2. Actions to Implement and Develop Procedure for all Learners

All students are expected to report absences as soon as possible to the Faculty Administration Office. The student should also advise if they have an English or maths lesson so that the English/maths team can be informed. Students expecting prolonged absence should contact their personal/course tutor to discuss the possibility of an alternative study arrangement or where necessary initiate the mitigating circumstances procedure. In addition, students can contact Learner Services if they wish to discuss reasons for prolonged absence, and where pastoral support can be offered. In the case of prolonged absence, learners will be expected to provide a medical certificate to maintain “enrolled” status at the College. Lecturers are expected to make a professional judgement on whether or not an attendance mark is given (e.g. in the event of a late arrival due to weather conditions) or an absence is approved in advance. This judgement will also consider whether equality issues could have any bearing on the student attendance levels, and make suitable allowances where this occurs. Examples could include: attendance at recognised religious events or festivals, change in mobility arrangements for less able bodied learners. If a student has had four consecutive weeks of non-attendance across the whole programme then they must be withdrawn from the college in line with funding regulations. This ruling applies, unless, for example there are specific individual student who have protected characteristics under the Equality Act i.e. gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, disability, pregnancy and maternity, medical conditions, carers etc. Students may also be experiencing personal problems and then the need to extend would be discussed and agreed between the learner and tutor concerned. It is the responsibility of the Personal Tutor to inform the Sector leader/PAM and to complete the withdrawal form.

Managing Attendance/Behaviour – Personal Engagement Plan

This is a meeting to review attendance/behaviour, explore patterns or barriers, recommend action as appropriate, and set targets and deadlines. The student and, where appropriate, the parents/carer/employer will be invited to attend and be notified in writing three working days before the meeting.

The meeting should include:

  • The right to representation for the student – for students under 18 years of age the right is extended to include the parents/carer.
  • An opportunity for the student’s case to be heard in full.
  • An opportunity to review the learning support needs of the student and, where appropriate, referral to other student support services.
  • A right of appeal for the student, which must be made in writing (with the reasons for their appeal) within 5 working days of the decision.
  • An explanation of the consequences of the failure to meet standards and targets, including the potential for disciplinary action.
  • A formal letter sent to the student and, where appropriate, the parents/carer/ employer notifying the student of the recommended actions including the required future improvement in performance, with deadlines.

If the student fails to attend the meeting to review attendance, the decision on action will be made in the student’s absence. At each stage of the procedure, dependent on the full consideration of the evidence and circumstances, different actions may be recommended or no action at all. Failure to meet the targets and improve attendance/behaviour may result in the formal stage of the Disciplinary Procedure being followed in the order of the stages set out in the student regulations.Time-scales

In the case of students who are on one year courses or in the final year of their course, every effort should be made to identify and rectify poor attendance at an early stage. In any event, no referrals for exclusion relating to attendance will be accepted in the summer term.

3. Attendance for English and maths

It is the responsibility of the personal tutor to respond to, and address attendance concerns, which are raised from these areas. It is the responsibility of the English/maths tutor to notify the personal tutor so that they are aware and can respond to the absence. To be effective in managing the attendance of English and maths there needs to be effective liaison and communication between both the personal tutor and the English/maths staff through face to face, email and use of VITAL.

4. Additional procedure for apprentices

Student absences are reported to Employers on a weekly basis, to enable them to monitor the absence records. Where the cumulative absence reaches 10%, then this will be flagged to the Employer and the student will be issued with a warning letter. Should the cumulative absence reach 20% then this will be brought to the attention of the Employer and a second warning letter will be issued. If the absence record of the student does not improve after these warning letters, then the College will advise the Employer that the student should be withdrawn from the course as it is likely that the achievement of the student will be damaged by this continual poor absence record.

5. Additional procedures for overseas / students

The college has a duty to report to the Polish Government:- o Students who fail to report within 10 days of the start date o Students who are absent for more than 10 consecutive sessions of their course of study o Students who discontinue their studies. o Any student absence record which is not consistent with a full time study of over 15 hours/week All students are required to provide changes to their personal details to the College so that the College MIS system can be updated. This will ensure College staff can contact them to clarify all periods of non-attendance that may affect their permission to study in the UK. Unless the student immediately contacts the College to provide evidence to support their absence, they will be reported to the UKBA as having left their course of study, and that they are no longer sponsored by the College.

6. Monitoring and Evaluation

Members of the College Management Team will monitor the operation of this policy by receiving regular reports on student attendance which are monitored at the Performance and Business Review meetings. The UKBA monitoring team will review overseas student’s attendance on a weekly basis.

7. Personal Engagement Plan Interventions – PEP

The PEP is the “Personal Engagement Plan” that we put in place with “At Risk” students to try and provide a support system to address the concerns – refer to Annex 3. The tutor will meet with the student and discuss the concerns (anything from attendance, punctuality, behaviour, falling behind with course work etc.) During the meeting targets will be agreed with the student with tight deadlines for showing improvement and achievement of the targets. These would usually not be any longer than 2 – 4 weeks when a further PEP review would be scheduled to see how progress is going. If improvements are seen there may be no further action required or it may be decided to continue with PEP targets and review each 4 weeks until all concerned feel progress has been made. If the student does not respond to the PEP targets they would be moved onto the disciplinary process (warnings etc.). The ILP would be used to record the PEP meeting and would need to include the following headings:

  • Reasons for PEP
  • Targets with review dates
  • Support Agreed (this could be anything from referrals to additional support / suggestions of attending additional timetabled sessions / suggesting use of behaviour report cards / linking to an welfare advisor etc.)
  • Student Comment
  • Review Date
  • Parental Involvement

If the student is 16-18 years a copy of the PEP would go home to the parents /employers. The PEPs also provide evidence of support offered to students.

Students with attendance at, or above, 95%

For each absence, a designated member of staff makes a telephone call to the student and parent/ carer /employer, where appropriate, as early in the day as possible. Unless a satisfactory explanation has been received, a letter is sent to the student and parent/ carer /employer, where appropriate, regretting the absence and asking for an explanation for every session missed.

Students with attendance between 90% and 94%

Make first day calls as above. Send a standard letter to student and parent/ carer /employer, where appropriate, explaining deterioration in attendance levels, with reminder of targets / need for regular attendance / impact on continuity of learning / tear off slip. Ask for an explanation and comments. Keep in contact on a weekly basis. Provide encouragement where improvement has been made.

Students with attendance of 89% or less

Hold an attendance review meeting with the student, asking parents/carer/employer to attend with tutor/ Sector Leader/PAM, where appropriate. Use the meeting to investigate why student is now a persistent absentee. Discuss detrimental effect on attainment and continuity of learning. Negotiate and agree a PEP aiming at minimum 95% attendance.

Monitor attendance very closely and keep in weekly contact with the student and student and parent/guardian/employer, either to praise improvements or to show on-going concern. If concerns persist, the formal stage of the Disciplinary Procedure will be followed in the order of the stages set out in the student regulations.

Manager actions to support attendance procedure

  • Monitor attendance weekly and evaluate progress towards the targets. Identify pupils who are likely to jeopardise the faculty attendance performance and plan early intervention to avoid bad habits being established.
  • Keep attendance at the forefront of each member of staff’s mind. Convince all staff that attendance is their responsibility.
  • Promote regular attendance, by making use of reward systems, assemblies, parents’ evenings, performance reviews, etc.

Tutor actions to support attendance procedure

  • Do not accept poor attendance. Make 100% attendance the expectation.
  • Promote regular attendance through rewards and other encouragement. Make it your business and make it clear that poor or erratic attendance is not expected.
  • Ensure that registers are always completed appropriately; never leave blank spaces.
  • Look carefully at attendance data. Make it your business to spot patterns of absence and overall levels of attendance of individuals.
  • Make a personal connection with parents/carers/ employers and students who have regular absence, or patterns of irregular attendance.
  • Ensure the Sector Leader/ PAM is informed of concerns over attendance.
  • Following absence, do your best to provide catch-up opportunities so absentees do not fall behind. Where appropriate, ask parents to play a part in reinforcing missed learning.

Administrator actions to support attendance procedure

  • Do not show sympathy over absence unless you are convinced it is genuine.
  • Support tutor in issuing attendance letters where required.
  • Check and file all absence notes that are received, and ensure that details are reflected appropriately. Assist the tutor/ sector leader and PAM in collating paperwork for inclusion in reports, attendance returns, disciplinaries etc.
  • Record and communicate messages from students/carers/parents/employers efficiently to the tutor, English/maths team or other relevant member of staff


The real impact of attendance – Some case studies as exemplars and guidance

Over an average day how many sessions and breaks do our learners have, and therefore how many opportunities do they have to accumulate late minutes?

09:00 Break Lunch Break Finish Daily lost minutes Annual lost days
5 minutes late 5 minutes late back 5 minutes late back 5 minutes late back 5 minutes early 25
If we then add the effect of 90% attendance we arrive at total loss of 18½ days a year