CAL Attendance Recording and Reasonable Diligence 2019/2020 - A Guide for Students

This handbook explains how and why the College of Arts and Law records and monitors student attendance.

While studying at the University of Birmingham students are expected to attend all scheduled teaching sessions, all compulsory academic sessions, and to submit all work on time. Student attendance is monitored to offer students support and to ensure the University provides the best service possible.


We want you to succeed and therefore expect you to attend all scheduled teaching sessions and to submit all work on time.


Why does the College of Arts and Law review my attendance?

So that we can offer you enhanced support.

Non-attendance can sometimes be an indicator that a student may benefit from further support or guidance from either an academic or wellbeing perspective. Similarly, improved attendance and continuous attendance can lead to higher academic achievement. By recording and monitoring student’s presence and engagement we aim to provide you with suitable support, and help you perform to your highest standard.

So the University can hold students to principles and standards.

The University Regulations and Codes of Practice contain principles and standards designed to control or govern conduct or provide direction at a more detailed level than Ordinances. As such, the University of Birmingham requires that all students attend and engage with their programmes; this is done by attending their teaching sessions, such as Lectures, Seminars, Supervisions or Personal Tutor Sessions, and submission of all assessed and unassessed work on time.

It is a legal requirement.

All students are liable for the tuition fee set by the University which is payable in full at registration, unless they have opted to take out a UK government loan or opted to pay via an instalment plan. In order for the Student Loans Company (SLC) to accurately assess a student’s eligibility for fee and maintenance support and for the University to receive correct tuition fee payments our internal attendance monitoring systems must be effective.

The UK Visas and Immigration Office (UKVI) requires that international students on a Tier 4 (G) Visa are monitored for academic engagement through a series of contact points throughout the academic year. Recording and reviewing attendance helps the University demonstrate that students are not only meeting the required contact points, but are also engaging academically.

So the University can offer the best service possible.

By monitoring and recording attendance and engagement the College and the University can continually review the standard of resources and provisions and provide the best possible service to its students.

What is expected of me?

The College of Arts and Law expects all students to attend teaching and compulsory sessions, in addition to submitting all assessed and unassessed work. 

Scheduled teaching sessions include, but are not limited to:

  • Seminars
  • Personal Tutor Sessions/Supervisions
  • Exams

Your compulsory teaching sessions will have a register that will be circulated during or at the outset of the sessions.

You are expected to attend the teaching sessions allocated to you on your personalised timetable and meetings arranged with your personal tutor or supervisor.

Please ensure you sign available registers to confirm your attendance at the session. It is advised that you use the same signature throughout your programme.

If your name is not listed on a register, you should inform the academic leading the session. We also ask that you make contact with the Student Attendance Team so that the omission can be reviewed. Please do not add your name to a register as this may not be counted towards your attendance.

If you cannot attend a session then you must notify the Student Attendance Team of your absence (for more information, see the section "What do I do if I cannot attend?" below).

How will my attendance be recorded and monitored?

  1. You will sign a register at the start of your compulsory session (for more information, see the section "What is expected of me?" above). For those sessions that do not have a register of record of attendance, such as Personal Tutor Sessions, the Academic leading the session will make a note of your attendance.
  2. The academic will return the register to the Student Attendance Team, or provide evidence of your attendance. The team will record any absences and track students that are regularly missing teaching sessions.
  3. The register or evidence will then be kept on file for each student, and handled in line with General Data Protection Regulation Compliance Guidelines (for more information, see the section "Where can I find more information?" below).
  4. The College will review attendance rates at given points throughout the academic year to identify those students who are at risk of not meeting the Code of Practice on Student Attendance and Reasonable Diligence and the Code of Practice on the Supervision and Monitoring Progress of Postgraduate Researchers requirements who will then be assisted as follows:
    • Taught Students with less than 75% attendance – are at risk of not meeting the 70% attendance requirement. If you fall into this category you shall initially be invited to attend a meeting and offered the opportunity to disclose the reason(s) for the absences. You will be provided with an appropriate action plan to improve your engagement as you progress through the year.
      If, subsequently, engagement does not improve the Student Attendance Team or Wellbeing team shall make further contact with you.
    • Taught Students with 75-80% attendance – are potentially at risk of not meeting the 70% attendance requirement. If you fall into this category you shall receive an email strongly encouraging you to meet with your Personal Tutor or, if more appropriate, your Wellbeing Officer, to discuss any obstacles to regular attendance.
    • PGR Students repeatedly failing to engage with supervision or improve progression – are potentially at risk of not meeting their programme requirements. If you fall into this category you shall receive an email strongly encouraging you to meet with your Head of Postgraduate Research or, if more appropriate, your Wellbeing Officer, to discuss any obstacles to regular attendance.
  5. For more information, see the section "What will happen to me if I do not attend?" below.

Your attendance is reviewed so that we can give you the support you need, provide the best possible service, and help you achieve to your highest standard.


 

Capture

A flow diagram explaining the Reasonable Diligence Process.

 

 

What do I do if I cannot attend?

If you cannot attend then you will need to submit a "Declaration of Absence" either in advance or up to 5 days after a teaching session by completing a "Declaration of Absence" form.

Please download the below "Declaration of Absence" form and submit to the Student Attendance Team.

Declaration of Absence Form.

Appropriate reasons for declaring an absence are defined according to the University's Codes of Practice (for more information, see the section “Where can I find more information?” below). These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Absence due to poor health
  • Emergency or last-minute medical appointments (where no alternative was available)
  • A family emergency
  • To attend a job interview (where no alternative date was available)
  • Jury service

Once you have submitted a “Declaration of Absence” it will be processed by the Student Attendance Team, who may then ask Wellbeing to contact you to offer further support. It is your responsibility to inform your tutors of any absences, and it is your responsibility while absent to catch up with any and all work you might miss.

Please be aware that any absence, whether declared or not, will impact on your attendance rate.

We encourage you to discuss your absence with your Personal Tutor, Supervisor or a Wellbeing Officer, particularly if you are likely to have further absences in the future. You can find a list of Wellbeing contacts at the following link:

Wellbeing Contacts

They may be able to work with you to try and resolve these issues, or provide you with support in another way. For more information, see the section “Where can I find more information?” below.

What will happen to me if I do not attend?

The College of Arts and Law regularly reviews attendance to support students. The process is as follows:

  • You will be contacted by a member of the Student Attendance Team to remind you of your responsibilities to attend and advise where you can find support to help you attend.
  • If you continue to not attend, you will be invited to a meeting with an opportunity to disclose why you have not been attending and create a plan of action to help you engage with your programme of study:
    • 1st & 2nd year Undergraduate Students are invited to a College Attendance and Wellbeing Support Meeting which will be a supportive session led by Academic staff, Wellbeing, and representatives from the International Student Team.
      For any students who would rather attend a one-to-one meeting with an Academic staff member opportunities will be made available on request.
    • Final year Undergraduate Students and Postgraduate Taught Students will be invited to attend a one-to-one meeting with an Academic staff member.
    • Postgraduate Research Students will be invited to a meeting with the Heads of Postgraduate Research.
  • If you fail to attend the designated meeting without notice, then your case may be escalated through the Reasonable Diligence procedure, which can include any and all of the following:
    • Invitation to a Reasonable Diligence Intervention Meeting
    • Informal Warnings
    • Written Warnings
    • Specific sanctions
    • Referral and escalation through the Code of Practice on Health, Wellbeing, and Fitness to Study
    • Withdrawal from your Programme of Study

At all stages the Academic staff, Wellbeing and Student Attendance Team will endeavour to support you to engage with your programme. It is therefore recommended that you are open and honest with us regarding your engagement as soon as possible so that we can find the most appropriate ways to assist you. You can find contact information for the Wellbeing Team and the Student Attendance Team below:

Wellbeing Contacts

Student Attendance Team Contacts

If you miss a number of teaching or supervisory sessions and do not communicate to us the reasons behind your absence, the College will follow the reasonable diligence procedure described in the Code of Practice (for more information, see the section “Where can I find more information?” below). Ultimately, failure to attend without reasonable explanation may result in you being withdrawn from your programme of study.


Ultimately, failure to attend without reasonable explanation can result in you being withdrawn from your studies.


I have a problem, who do I talk to?

If you are experiencing personal difficulties you can speak to your Wellbeing Officer, the Student Attendance Team or Personal Tutor/Supervisor. The University also has a number of support networks and staff who you can talk to:

If you need to submit a "Declaration of Absence", please download from the link below and return to the Student Attendance Team.

Declaration of Absence Form.

If you are an international student and you are experiencing a problem with your right to study or work in the UK, including Visa issues, you can contact the International Student Team (IST):

If you have a problem that is not covered by the above, then it is suggested that you speak to your Personal Tutor/Supervisor or Wellbeing Officer.

Where can I find more information?

Please click on any of the links below to find more information.

Colleges

Professional Services