FE Attendance and Punctuality Policy 2023/24


Policy Review This policy will be reviewed in full annually

The policy was last reviewed and agreed by Terry Patterson, Quality Manager in November 2023

It is due for review in August 2024


Aim of Policy

This policy is in response to the quality agenda and requirements of the Common Inspection Framework (OFSTED); to improve retention and achievement by raising standards of attendance and punctuality across the Academy.

Learners are more likely to complete and achieve their qualification if they attend classes regularly.  Students who arrive late have a negative impact on their learning and also on the progress of their colleagues.  High expectations of attendance and punctuality are required by staff at the Academy and employers in the industry and therefore the Academy expects learners to achieve 100% attendance.


  • The expectation is for 100% ‘present’ at all scheduled classes. Students should arrive promptly at least five minutes prior to the start of the lesson.
  • Progress reviews held by the tutor and learner throughout the course will be used as part of the quality monitoring process.
  • Student absences are followed up by the staff member teaching on the given day with the support of the Programme Coordinator and/or Pastoral Care Lead.
  • Students will be expected to explain in person or via email the reason for their absence and the authorisation will be limited to specific situations.
  • Employers are contacted if an apprentice is absent.
  • There will be clear consequences for students whose attendance falls below 90%. Attendance monitoring is part of the Academy’s commitment to the Quality of Teaching and Learning.
Learners are expected to:
  • Attend all lessons (in the Academy or via remote online delivery) on time and be ready to learn.
  • Inform their tutor before the lesson, by an agreed contact route, if they are unable to attend.
  • Obtain a letter from their parent or guardian [learners aged 18 or under] if illness lasts more than one week.
  • Keep health and other appointments out of learning hours.
  • Not take on work commitments that clash with time at the Academy; any absence for work will be counted as unauthorised absence.
  • Complete outstanding work from missed classes due to poor punctuality or attendance.

If a learner is absent for four consecutive weeks, the Academy has the right to withdraw the learner.

Prior to any disciplinary stages a student can receive up to two formal warnings (via email) regarding lateness and/or attendance below 90%.


Actions that may lead to a formal warning include:

  • Attendance: Below 90% ‘present’; or absent two or more sessions in a week or 5 or more absences in any 4 weeks period
  • Lateness: late twice in a week or more than 5 times in any 4 weeks period or patterns of lateness
  • Patterns of absence (e.g. Monday, functional skills lessons) or concerns about sickness occurring on a regular basis
  • 3 unauthorised absences will result in any Learning Support Fund (LSF) issued by the Academy to be suspended and will be reviewed by the Quality Manager.

Stage 1

Meeting with the main tutor to review the Academy’s Learner Charter and agree targets and deadlines.


Stage 2

Where absence and/or lateness continues, targets from Stage 1 have not been met and there is no improvement, the learner will be required to attend a meeting with the Pastoral Care Lead.  Following the meeting, in most cases the learner will receive a written statement outlining the consequences for further absence/lateness.  This statement will also contain the length of time the attendance and/or lateness will be monitored.   If the absence and/or lateness is repeated, further disciplinary action will follow.


Stage 3

Where a learner has breached the conditions outlined in the letter issued at Stage 2, they will be required to attend a Disciplinary Meeting with the Quality Manager.



Authorised Absence

An absence is authorised where:

  • It is agreed in advance with a tutor

Authorised absences may include:

  • Long term sickness – 2 weeks or more – must be supported by a medical certificate or doctor’s letter
  • Medical appointments
  • Court appearances
  • Appointments with government or voluntary organisations
  • Funerals
  • Religious holidays
  • Driving Tests
  • Exceptional circumstances as defined by college/Department for Education

Reasons for absence that are NOT acceptable:

  • Holidays
  • Part or full time work which is not part of the learner’s programme of study
  • Leisure activities
  • Birthdays, weddings or similar celebrations
  • Babysitting younger siblings
  • Shopping
  • Driving lessons

This list is not intended to be exhaustive.


Related policies

We also have the following related policies: Learner Disciplinary Policy, Withdrawal/transfer/suspension/ exclusion and resumption of study policy and the Learner Charter.


Implementation, monitoring and review of this policy

This policy will take effect from 13th September 2021. The Senior Management Team has overall responsibility for implementing and monitoring this policy, which will be reviewed on a regular basis following its implementation and may be changed from time to time.

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