Student Attendance and Punctuality Policy

Student Attendance and Punctuality Policy 1 INTRODUCTION This policy outlines the approach taken by Richmond upon Thames College to encourage exce...
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Student Attendance and Punctuality Policy



This policy outlines the approach taken by Richmond upon Thames College to encourage excellent attendance and punctuality, in order to help improve student retention and success rates. It also covers the specific monitoring of attendance for students in receipt of bursary. This policy applies to full-time and part time FE students. Separate arrangements apply to students enrolled on apprenticeships and higher education courses. Students are expected to establish and maintain excellent attendance and punctuality at all College classes and other learning activities which are part of their timetable. At Richmond upon Thames College the expectation is that excellent attendance and punctuality is 100%. Good punctuality demonstrates that students are committed and that they are keen to learn and progress. Punctuality will be monitored and if there is cause for concern, 16-19 year old students will be advised by their Personal Tutor or the Attendance Officer and adult students by their Tutor. Targets for improvement will be agreed with the students. Students should attend and be punctual to all timetabled class unless there is an unavoidable reason. (See page 2) Students are expected to: •

Ensure they attend all lessons on their timetable and arrive before the start of the lesson properly equipped and prepared.

Always inform their Personal Tutor, Attendance Officer, Tutor or Bursary Administrator in advance (where possible) if they have genuine reasons for lateness or absence. This can be done by using the self-certification form, telephone or email and providing the evidence or documentation required.

Know how to find and regularly monitor their own levels of attendance on the Student Portal.

Understand the expectations of attendance, and the consequences of poor attendance as outlined in this policy.

Arrange doctors and other appointments out of College hours where possible.

Not have work commitments that clash with their College timetable; any absence for work will be unauthorised by the college.

Make arrangements to catch up on any work missed during their absence with support as appropriate.

Unavoidable Absences 1

At Richmond upon Thames College we recognise that there are rare occasions when students may not be able to attend because of circumstances completely out of their control. These unavoidable situations are dealt with on an individual basis. The following unavoidable absences will be authorised by the Attendance Officer or Tutor and ‘U’ (Unavoidable) will be marked on the register. Proof will be required. (Please see Appendix1). • • • • • • • • • • • •

Serious illness, recovery from operation or recuperation after illness. Known medical condition Hospital appointments Jury Service. Court appearances, Probation or YOT appointments. Job interview. Attendance at HE open day (up to two) or interview. Funerals of relative or close friend. Recognised religious holidays. Practical driving test. Participation in significant extra curricula activities. Large scale transport disruption, as decided by the college.

. These reasons for absence are not acceptable and will not be authorised: • • • • • • • • • • •

Isolated illnesses (headache/cold etc.) will be noted on Pro-Monitor but not authorised on the register Regular transport delays Routine dentist, doctor or optician appointments (proof still required). Holidays. Work. Leisure activities. Birthdays or similar celebrations. Driving lessons or Theory test Shopping. Babysitting or looking after siblings. Waiting at home for arrival of delivery/service

The above is not an exhaustive list. The College reserves the right to decide what is and is not an authorised reason for absence. In doing so we will consider what a reasonable employer would be prepared to accept.

Care Responsibilities The College recognises that care responsibilities for dependent children, relatives or disabled parents may affect a student’s ability to attend College. The College will take these responsibilities into account when agreeing an authorised absence 2

provided there is advance warning: however if attendance falls below 80% no further absences will be authorised.

Students should advise the College of any Absence/Lateness using the following methods: 16-19 year olds • They must call the 24hr absence line before 10.00am on each day of absence, unless a Doctor’s Certificate is submitted. • Email the Personal tutor or [email protected] • Go to 1D17 (Tutor room) or 1D13(Attendance/Bursary Office)and complete a Self-Certification of Absence form (example attached) Adults • Email the Tutor They need to provide details of name, I.D, Personal Tutor and the reason for absence, and how long they expect to be absent. If under 19 they will need to obtain a letter from parent or guardian for any illness lasting more than a week. Known conditions: They should advise and discuss with Personal Tutor, and/or Student Support any pre-existing or on-going medical conditions so that specific arrangements can be made. With agreement the information will be shared on a need to know basis so that the College can provide support. If students need to go home they should go to the attendance office (1D13) or Personal tutors (1D17) where their absence will be recorded.

Actions in cases of unauthorised absence, poor attendance or punctuality •

If students are under 19 and have not informed the College, the Attendance officer or Personal Tutor will contact student’s parent/carer after 3 incidences, if within a two week period.

If there are concerns about the student’s attendance and punctuality, this will be addressed by the Attendance Officer or the students Personal Tutor. The reasons for the absence, any support required and ways to catch up on missed work will be discussed with the student and teaching staff. Targets will be agreed with the student, identifying any support needs, to improve attendance and punctuality.

If students’ level of attendance and punctuality remain unacceptable a meeting with their parent/carer will be arranged and they will be place on a ‘Warning contract’.


Where appropriate parents/carers will be involved to address issues of attendance and punctuality. Parents will receive information on attendance and punctuality via the Parent Portal.

The College reserves the right to withdraw students from a programme of study if absences are excessive and it is judged that it is not possible for the student to catch up on missed teaching and learning or achieve the assessment outcomes of the course.

If students do not attend the College for at least 4 continuous weeks and have not informed the College of any reason for absence they will be withdrawn from their programme of study.

Bursary payments for 16-19 year olds The Student Attendance and Punctuality policy applies to all students whether or not in receipt of a Bursary. Discretionary Bursary payments will only be paid if students attendance each half term is 90% or above (Including unavoidable absences). They will not be paid the Bursary if attendance falls below 90% in that half term. Those students in receipt of the Guaranteed Bursary will be paid provided their attendance is above 80% in that half term. The payment of Bursary will take into account specific student circumstances and the decision to pay a portion of it may be considered. If a bursary payment is stopped the student will be notified by an email. If the student dispute’s the stopped payment(s) they should talk to the Attendance Officer/ Bursary Assistant or tutor. They will attempt to resolve the issue and inform student of the outcome. The conditions of the Bursary payments may be subject to review during the academic year. If the student continues to dispute a stopped payment they should appeal in writing to the Head of Student Services within five working days of the decision. They should provide full details of dates and reasons for absence and explain why they think the Bursary should be re-instated. The Head of Student Services will consider the appeal and respond within five working days of receipt of the appeal. The decision of the Head Student Services is final.


Appendix 1 Unavoidable reason for absence

Evidence Required

Serious Illness, recovery from operation or recuperation after illness

Hospital card/doctors letter. If under 19 a letter from parent/guardian/carer to explain the nature of illness

Known Medical condition

This should be discussed with students Personal tutor/Attendance Officer and medical proof will be required Hospital letter Official letter of notification is required in advance

Hospital Appointments Jury service

Attendance at probation/YOT meeting or court

This will be authorised if notified in advance with the official appointment letter

University visit /HE interview/job interview

Must be notified in advance with letter/email inviting student to the appointment (2 open days can be authorised in an academic year)

Attendance at family funeral

Will be authorised if notified in advance with a letter from parent/guardian if under 19

Recognised religious holiday

Must be notified in advance

Practical Driving test Participation in significant extra curricula activities. Large scale transport disruption, as decided by the college Care of a family member where you have formal caring responsibility

Official appointment letter/email Email from member of staff organising activity This will be clarified and a decision made by the college This absence must be notified in advance.

Absence as a consequence of disability or other equality reason

This will be authorised if it meets the requirements of legislation and is a reasonable adjustment



ID Number

First day of absence: Last day of absence: Personal Tutor: Course: Are you receiving a College bursary? Classes missed

Date and time

Yes/No Teacher

I was/will be unable to attend the sessions listed above because

SECTION 2 (To be completed by Personal Tutor or Attendance Officer) This absence is authorised/unauthorised. Added to Pro-monitor The absence was not authorised for the following reason.