This document aims to guide LSME staffs and students on monitoring attendance, managing and developing effective systems and policies to promote and ensure attendance and punctuality. Promoting good attendance is a priority for LSME as part of our due diligence. The development of an effective attendance policy can have a substantial impact on improving rates of attendance and learner achievement. A successful policy will form part of the LSME strategy for managing learner’s welfare.
a) Attendance Register Procedures
LSME students are expected to make a minimum of 2 expected contacts on two consecutive days per week during term time, for tuition and personal tutorials.
- The register is a legal document that must be maintained in good condition, kept accurately and marked in ink.
- The class teacher or another member of staff, who is informed of the registration procedure, may complete the registration. Staff should never allow a student to mark a register.
- Registration must be taken twice daily for daytime students and once daily for evening students. The first registration must be taken fifteen to thirty minutes into the start of the class session (9.30 am to 10.00 am/5.00 pm to 5.30 pm) and again in the afternoon (4.00 pm for BSc programmes and at 4.30 pm for HND programmes).
- Learners should be marked as either present or absent. Blank spaces should not be left in the register.
- Where a learner arrives late (between 10.00 – 10.30 am for day-time/5.30 pm to 6.00 pm for the evening) before the close of registration, the learner should be marked as Late but Present (LP) for the session.
- Where a learner leaves early with or without the lecturer’s authorisation before the end of the session the code LE (Left Early) may be applied. Where permission was obtained from the lecturer, the information should be entered in the comment section of the attendance register.
- Where a learner arrives after registration having attended a GP, dental, optical or another medical appointment, the code EA (Excused Absence) may be used.
- Where a student arrives after the attendance register has been marked for the morning session (after 10.30 am) or leaves the class before the end of the afternoon session without a tangible reason, the learner should be marked Absent (A) for both sessions.
- Black/Blue ink should be used to mark registers.
- A pencil and other coloured inks should not be used.
- All attendance registers are submitted to the administration department at the end of the day for entry into the student attendance database which generates the overall attendance percentage for each student.
b) Holidays During Term Time
Holidays during term time must be discouraged. Learners will be reminded of the effect that absence can have on their achievement. LSME may consider authorising up to 10 days of absence (or more in very exceptional circumstances); learners must apply in advance for permission.
c) Definition of Contacts and Days
If the same tutor/lecturer is handling a group of learners for the same unit/module for the AM and PM sessions; then the sessions on the day is regarded as a contact. However, if a different tutor/lecturer is handling a group of learners for the AM session and delivering a different unit/module; whilst another tutor/lecturer is delivering another unit/module in the PM session, then it will be regarded as 2 contacts and a learner who is absent for both sessions would have missed 2 contacts. If a student communicates by phone or via email with the lecturer on a contact day, it will not be regarded as a missed contact.
d) Procedures for dealing with poor attendance
Unauthorised absences or missing contacts attract poor attendance reminders by e-mails and phone and where this persists without any communication with the student; poor attendance warning will be issued followed by suspension/withdrawal and notification to the appropriate authorities. The following procedures are followed.
Occasional LEs and LPs may not affect the overall attendance percentage of a student. However, should this behaviour become persistent, it will affect the student’s overall attendance. Four consecutive LPs or LEs will automatically be converted to an absent on the student attendance database. Such students will receive warning emails from their lecturers to improve their punctuality. Students who are persistently late or leaving early for two consecutive weeks (i.e. 4 consecutive lateness or leaving early) will be invited for a meeting with their Programme Leader and if this behaviour persists the Attendance and Attendance and Disciplinary Committee (ADC) will be notified for further action.
Any learner who is absent without permission will be sent a reminder/warning email, to remind him/her of their absence and find out from them the reason for their absence without permission. This will be done on each day of unauthorised absence.
At the end of the 2nd consecutive week of unauthorised absence, the student will receive the first warning email from the lecturer. A second warning email will be issued after the third consecutive week of unauthorised absences. Persistent unauthorised absences with no communication for up to four consecutive weeks will be referred to the Administration department with a Final Warning Notification.
With the FINAL WARNING LETTER, Admin Team / Programme Team will refer the student to the ADC for further action(s). The ADC will invite him/her for a final disciplinary meeting to address any mitigating situations that have prevented him/her from attending.
Any learner who is absent without permission for up to five consecutive weeks and did not show up for the disciplinary meeting with the ADC, nor respond to any of the correspondence weeks, the ADC will recommend to the Admin team to suspend the learner, and temporarily withdraw their studentship. The learner will be issued with the SUSPENSION LETTER and followed by a subsequent notification to the Student Loans Company if the learner receives funding support or to the Home Office if the student is on a Tier 4 Student Visa.
With each notification of absence (whether authorised or unauthorised), persistent lateness and leaving early, the student is asked to attend extra days to cover all their lost hours. Extra attendance is registered by the tutor and the information is used to amend the attendance records in the database.
Welcome Back Strategy
It is important that when a learner reports back with a tangible reason backed by evidence, he/she is considered and made to feel welcome. This should include ensuring that the learner is supported to catch up on missed coursework and brought up to date. An action plan for missed coursework is agreed with the learner followed by strict monitoring of the academic progress by the lecturers. This is not binding on lecturers/tutors, but they are encouraged to provide the necessary academic support to motivate the learner.
LSME will use the following system to reward pupils who have good or improving attendance:
- Students who wish to become student representatives are selected based on their attendance as one of the eligibility criteria.
- Acknowledging students with special recognition awards and certificates for having outstanding
LSME expected attendance target is 100%, but a minimum threshold of 80% is acceptable. A system for analysing performance towards the targets has been established by the ADC and monitoring measures are in place. Students with an overall attendance below 80% receive notification from the administration department to improve their attendance. This notification is sent after the ADC meeting, and their lecturers are also required to help monitor their attendance.
Review of Policy
The Attendance and Disciplinary Policy will be reviewed annually by the Attendance and Attendance and Disciplinary Committee (ADC) and will be amended and updated in accordance with any significant changes in the policies of concerned regulatory authorities.
Standards by which the Success of this Policy can be evaluated
- Annual targets for attendance are met;
- Continually improving attendance and punctuality;
- High levels of attendance and punctuality when measured against relevant benchmarks;
- Swift action to support students with below acceptable benchmarks for attendance and punctuality;
- Improved student success;
- Staff compliance with the policy during quality audits; and
- Positive feedback in self-assessment reports.
Next Review Date: October 2022