Student Attendance Policy

In line with the expectations of the College, the validating University, and accrediting professional bodies, students on all taught programmes of study are responsible for attending the timetabled classroom or video conference learning activities for each module, and all of their scheduled teaching within the teaching clinic for programmes with a clinical education content. All students are also expected to engage with all of the e-learning activities embedded within the course, and any other prescribed activities. Unauthorised absence is not acceptable and may attract academic penalties and/or other penalties.

Each course has a minimum attendance requirement which is specified in the Student Programme Handbook[1].

If a student is unable to attend they must inform the Course Director, and/or the Clinic Supervisor, of their illness or exceptional personal circumstances.

A student’s attendance record will be discussed within the teaching team.

Successful completion of each module is based on attaining appropriate pass marks in coursework and meeting the attendance requirements.

Attendance is assessed both in terms of the sessions attended and time-keeping. Students are required to be punctual for classroom, clinic or video conferencing since being late means that they run the risk of missing the start of the lesson where an overview of the session is provided, and links are established to the previous information. These are essential components of establishing the context of the lesson.

The College should be kept informed about any circumstances which may affect attendance so that appropriate advice and assistance can be offered. This is in the interests of both the College and the individual student.

For UK/EU students in receipt of tuition fee and/or maintenance loans, unsatisfactory attendance may affect your eligibility for a student loan

Students who do not respond to communications concerning continuous unauthorised absence may be deemed to have withdrawn from the programme. The date of withdrawal will be recorded as the last day of attendance in class, clinic, video conference or e-learning session, whichever is the later. For UK/EU students in receipt of financial support, the appropriate Student Finance body will be informed.

Attendance at e-learning sessions

For programmes which include compulsory e-learning sessions, students’ engagement with the e-learning sessions is monitored in a variety of ways. When there are concerns due to a student failing to engage in e-learning sessions these will be referred to the Student Progress Committee. Repeated failures to engage with the e-learning sessions may lead to the student failing the module.

Should technical problems which originate with the College lead to errors in the recording of students’ engagement with an e-learning session, the affected session will not be considered in relation to engagement.

E-learning sessions may also include formative assignments/exercises. In line with NCA assessment regulations, these formative assignments/exercises do not have to be passed but do have to be completed. Failure to do so can lead to the student failing the module.

Extenuating Circumstances

If a student misses more than the permitted number of sessions for a module, this may be the result of exceptional personal circumstances. The College aims to work in a supportive manner in such cases. The procedure for students to follow is:

An explanation of the missed attendance must be sent to the Course Director within four weeks of the missed attendance. Written evidence of mitigating circumstances (e.g. a note from the GP or other healthcare practitioner, letter from employer etc.) should be provided whenever possible.

The Course Director will then decide upon compensation arrangements in consultation with the Module Tutor(s). Usually, additional written or practical work will be set to make up for the missed attendance. The relevant Module Tutor(s) for the sessions missed will set and assess this work. The aim is to ensure that the student does not fall behind in their studies at this stage.

In the case of missed clinical hours or days, the student will be required to re-schedule and to make up the missed time.

The student then has to submit a claim for extenuating circumstances, following the procedure described in the Assessment section of the College Handbook. This will go to the Module Assessment Board for the programme, which meets in June. The Board will decide whether or not the circumstances justified the missed attendance. Circumstances which are usually seen as valid in relation to missed attendance include illness, accident, close bereavement or other compassionate grounds, or employment difficulties such as sudden crises at work, or unanticipated overtime or travel. Circumstances such as misreading of timetables or scheduling of holidays are not usually accepted.

If the Board decides that the circumstances do not justify the missed attendance, the student fails the module.

If the Board decides that the circumstances do justify the missed attendance, the Board will then consider the student’s academic progress as well as the amount of contact time missed. The Board may then decide to accept the completed and assessed additional work as compensation for the missed attendance. However, if there is sufficient concern about the student’s academic progress and/or the amount of time missed, the Board may still decide that the student has to re-take the module.

Late arrivals and early departures

It is important to attend each classroom, clinic or video conference session from start to finish. This ensures the student does not miss out on information etc. and shows courtesy to the rest of their cohort and the tutor. Late arrivals and leaving early will be noted in the register, and in all cases lost time will be accumulated as missed attendance.

The College recognises that there can be occasional difficulties due to personal circumstances, transport delays, weather and technological failures for example. These circumstances must be reported to the tutor who will make a record in the register. All instances of late arrival will be counted as missed attendance, and be accumulated and monitored as part of the attendance monitoring process, but where there is good cause see “Extenuating Circumstances” above.

Similarly, students leaving a session early can expect time lost to be accumulated and monitored as part of the attendance monitoring process.

If a student misses a test or other piece of assessment due to late arrival, they may be able to take it during a break in proceedings. If not, they should arrange a resit with the tutor.

The attendance requirement for any clinical hours in a programme is 100%. Students are expected to make up any time lost due to late arrivals.

Version Information: Version 1 Approved by: Academic Board 24/04/14   Next review: April 2018

[1] This is typically 80% for timetabled classroom or video conference learning activities for each module, 100% for the e-learning activities embedded within the course, and 100% of the teaching within the teaching clinic for programmes with a clinical education content.