University of Bolton Attendance Policy

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University of Bolton Attendance Policy


  1. The Student Attendance Policy has been developed as part of the University’s commitment to providing a supportive learning environment which enables all students who have chosen to study with the University to achieve their full potential.
  2. The University recognises the investment that students and their sponsors make when a student enrols on a course and believes that, as a responsible institution, it has a duty to monitor attendance, and to act on non-attendance, so that students can be supported to complete their programmes of study.
  3. This policy applies equally to all enrolled students of the University, wherever and however their programmes of study are delivered.1For those programmes where specific attendance requirements are approved at validation, such requirements are published separately in programme handbooks.
  4. The attendance requirements for students at a partner institution will be determined by the partner institution, subject to any programme specific requirements which will be set out in writing in the Memorandum of Agreement with that partner.

Policy Statement

  1. Attendance is a key component in student retention, progression, achievement and employability. Regular attendance and academic achievement are closely linked. Students who actively participate in their learning by attending classes regularly are more likely to:
  • enjoy a rewarding experience in which their knowledge, skills and abilities are developed, and
  • successfully complete their course, and
  • achieve better results.
  1. The University expects students to attend all learning and teaching sessions associated with the programme on which they are enrolled. The learning and teaching methods for each programme and component module are set out in the Programme Handbook. Examples of learning and teaching sessions include (but are not confined to) lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, laboratory and practical sessions, professional placements, field trips and industrial visits, and in the case of research students, scheduled meetings with supervisors.
  2. Students should arrive on time for classes and remain for the duration of the teaching session. Late arrival at, and early departure from, teaching sessions is disruptive, discourteous, unprofessional and unfair to other class members and tutors.


The Policy does not apply to students who are registered for an award of the University, but are not enrolled as a student of the University.

  1. Unsatisfactory attendance includes failure to attend regularly learning and teaching sessions without providing a satisfactory reason to tutors for absence and/or persistent late arrival at, or early departure from, learning and teaching sessions.
  2. Students are responsible for:
  • Attending all learning and teaching sessions associated with their programme of study;
  • Notifying their module tutors/supervisors in advance (e.g. in person, by phone or email) that they expect to be absent from timetabled classes;
  • Obtaining prior permission (e.g. in person, by phone or email) from their nominated Academic Leader/supervisor for planned absences for two or more days during term time;
  • Notifying their School/Centre/Department in respect of unplanned or unforeseen absences from classes within 24 hours and, if requested by their tutor, providing a medical certificate or other corroborating evidence to explain their absence.
  1. Academic staff are responsible for:
  • Reminding students of the importance of regular attendance at learning and teaching sessions;
  • Recording student attendance in accordance with the University Student Attendance Monitoring Policy;
  • Signposting to ‘at risk’ students support services available within the School or the University e.g. the Student Liaison Officer, Disability Service, Counselling Service or other Student Services;
  1. Heads of School are responsible for ensuring that:
  • all teaching staff maintain an accurate record of student attendance;
  • appropriate systems are in place at School level for students to notify the designated Academic Leader of planned absences and to report to the School unexpected absences;
  • students are informed in writing of the importance of regular attendance at learning and teaching sessions, and through Programme Handbooks, of any approved programme or module specific attendance requirements;
  • all students have access to a personal tutor;
  • there are regular reviews of students’ progress on their programme, including attendance, completion of assessment requirements and academic achievement, and that appropriate action is taken either to help students’ achieve their academic aims or, where students are failing to engage with the course, advising them to seek alternative career paths.
  • students are advised of the support available to them, whether provided by the School (e.g. Personal Tutors) or by Central Student Services (e.g. Student Liaison Officers, disability services, counselling);
  • in the case of a tutor’s absence, students are informed at the earliest opportunity of the alternative arrangements for the class.
  1. Where a student’s attendance is unsatisfactory, one or more of the following actions may be taken:
  • School staff may contact the student to seek an explanation for their unsatisfactory attendance;
  • students may be invited to discuss with their personal tutor/programme leader how their attendance will be improved and any support that may be required;
  • students may be issued with a formal written warning about their attendance;
  • a formal report on a student’s attendance may be made to the student’s sponsor, including an employer, the Local Authority, the Student Loan Company;
  • students who fail to respond to warnings about their attendance may be required to enter into a formal Attendance Agreement;
  • students may be withdrawn from their programme if they fail to respond to

warnings or breach the terms of their Attendance Agreement;

  • In accordance with UK immigration law, a report will be made to the UK Border Agency, if an International student holding a student visa is absent from the University for more than 10 working days without authorisation, or in the case of research students, fails to attend 10 scheduled supervisions;
  • staff writing references for students may refer to students’ record of attendance;
  • Assessment Boards may take into account students’ attendance in exercising their discretion in relation to progression and awards

Equality Impact Assessment

  1. The University of Bolton is committed to the promotion of equality, diversity and a supportive environment for all members of our community. Our commitment to equality and diversity means that this policy has been screened in relation to the use of plain English, the promotion of the positive duty in relation to race, gender and disability and avoidance of discrimination to other equality groups related to age, sexual orientation, religion or belief or gender reassignment.

Other Related Policies

Monitoring and Review

  1. This Policy will be monitored by the Assistant Vice Chancellor (Academic Operations) and Heads of School.
  2. The Policy will be reviewed every three years by the Education Committee.

Dissemination of and Access to the Policy

  1. This Policy will be available on the University’s website  It is expected that reference to the

Attendance Policy will be included in Programme Handbooks and the Student Diary; and that importance of regular attendance is included in student induction.


Policy Ref

Version Number 2 (Technical update only)
Version Date March 15
Name of Developer/Reviewer Sarah Richies (Developer)
  Hilary Birtwistle (Technical update reviewer)
Policy Owner (School/Centre/Unit) Head of Quality Systems (Temporary
Person responsible for implementation Assistant VC (Academic Operations )/Heads
(postholder) of School
Approving Committee/Board Senate
Date Approved 30 March 2009
Effective from 1 August 2009
Dissemination method (e.g. website) University website
Review Frequency 3 years
Reviewing Committee Education Committee
Consultation Drafts of the policy have been considered by:
  Directors of School
  Students’ Union
  Director of Learning, Retention and
  Professional Practice
Document History Original document March 2009
(e.g. rationale for and dates of previous Review of document content took place 2012 –
amendments) no changes made.
  This version has had technical changes only to
  reflect changes to role holder and
  organisational structure – no committee
  approval required as technical changes only