Buckingham College of London
Student Attendance Policy & Procedure
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Introduction
If a student is in the UK on a student visa, where possible his/her attendance must be 100% and the student must submit all his/her work on time. To maintain attendance throughout the duration of their course, holders of a student visa are advised that Buckingham college of London(hereby referred to as College) is obliged to comply with UK Borders Agency (UKBA) TIER 4 rules.
These rules are laid down by the UK government and require that all full time courses attended by visa students comprise a minimum of 15 hours of day time supervised study per week. If a student’s cumulative attendance (For the purposes of this policy Cumulative Attendance is calculated over one academic term) falls short of 80% AND/OR in case of any student missing 10 Expected Contacts, the College is required by law to report that student to UKBA. If a student is reported to the UKBA for lack of attendance or continuous no-shows, UKBA will likely curtail the visa, which may result in expulsion from the UK.
The Importance of Attendance
Attendance is very important because for two main reasons: Students have made a commitment to work towards achieving academic success by enrolling on their programme of studies. In order to achieve success in their studies it is important that they participate in, and engage fully with, all their scheduled activities such as lectures, workshops and seminars. The College therefore regards attendance as an essential part of students’ studies. Also, under the Points Based System of immigration, the College is required by law to have robust systems in order to keep track of students. Under this new system, it is the duty of the College as a sponsor to ensure that our students are in compliance with all the requirements of their leave to remain in the UK at all times. In order to achieve this, we have an effective system of attendance monitoring so that we know that Students are not in breach of their legal duties.
Procedure for Recording Attendance
The Attendance Administrator prepares an attendance sheet before each class and hands it over to the lecturer who takes the attendance register.
All arrivals within the first 10 minutes are marked as ‘Late’ and anybody arriving after 20minutes is marked as ‘Absent’.
The tutor puts attendance codes against the name of every student on the list. At the end of the 20 minutes, the tutor initials against all entries signs the sheet and hands it to the attendance administrator who will go to the classes.
The attendance administrator incorporates any authorised absences. The administrator will input the attendance record for each class into the attendance module of our electronic Management Information System by the end of the day.This will be checked once a week by the Registrar and audited by the Principal.
Procedure for Authorised Absence
If students are unable to attend a class, they need to do the following:
  • In the case of planned leave, fill in a Leave Application Form and submit it well in time. Leave forms are available at the college reception and the student hand book.
  • In the case of unplanned absence, inform the Attendance Assistant as soon as possible (preferably on first the day of absence), to explain the reasons. On return to College following any period of unplanned absence, complete a Leave Form explaining the reasons for absence (e.g. illness, for a doctor’s or dentist’s appointment etc.).
  • Attendance administrator will be responsible for the sanctioning of any leave. Records of authorised absence will be retained on the student’s file.
Monitoring and Evaluation of the Policy
The attendance administrator is responsible for ensuring continuous and effective implementation of this attendance policy. The College Management Committee monitors the operation of this policy weekly receiving regular reports on student attendance. Attendance is discussed in the weekly meeting of Management Committee – all instances of authorised and unauthorised absence are reviewed. The policy itself is reviewed in order to make sure that it is in full compliance at all times with the relevant laws and regulations. The following is the procedure for monitoring the attendance policy:
  • Once all attendance has been entered into the system on the same day, the Attendance administrator generates a Daily Attendance Report. This report will also include the list of absentees on the day and those whose cumulative attendance has fallen below the required levels.
  • The Attendance administrator reviews the daily report and necessary action is taken. Email and SMS alerts are sent to the students who has 2 missed points of contact, First Warning Letter follows on the next working day. This letter requires the students to explain the reasons for this fall in their attendance. Also, they are required to improve on this level.
  • Second Warning Letters are issued to the students who have 5 missed points of contact.
  • Students with cumulative attendance falling below 80% or 8 missed points of contact receive a third warning letter is sent.
  • The termination letter is sent on the 10 missed contacts and students are reported to the UKBA Attendance
  • The Principal reviews attendance every week with the Cumulative Weekly Attendance Report, the files, circumstances and responses of those students who have been issued warning letters or have been reported to the UKBA during the previous week, and suggests any further action.
  • UKBA will be informed using the prescribed systems about the following occurrences, whichever occurs first:
    a. A student has missed 10 points of Expected Contacts – these include but are not limited to attending a lecture, a meeting with tutor or college official, submitting an assessed or non-assessed coursework, attending a test/examination etc.
    b. Cumulative attendance of a student has fallen below 80%.
  • If a student who has already been reported to the UKBA reports back to the college with a valid reason for his absence and the college is satisfied with the response from the student to warnings and his/her efforts to improve the attendance, UKBA will be informed of the same.
  • Students those who have been issued a final warning and been reported to the UKBA if still failed to satisfy the college about their attendance levels remaining below 80% will be expelled from the college within 2 weeks of issuance of termination letter will be issued and will be reported to the UKBA.
  • A Register of those students reported to the UKBA is maintained. A log of all the communications with students is maintained for future references and follow ups.
  • An interview conducted with a student about attendance/ absence or warning sent to the student must be recorded on the student file. The reasons for any authorised absences being granted will also be recorded.
  • The College will take all possible reasonable actions in its power to track the whereabouts of any students who have continuously been non attending or have been expelled. It will provide all relevant information to UKBA that will help it to identify and locate such students.
  • The Accrediting body of the institution is also informed about the students who are failing to attend and who have been reported to the UKBA whenever required. This decision is taken in the management meeting the minutes of which are taken.
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