In line with legislation from the ‘National Code 2007 standard 11’ providers of education to overseas students are required to have a documented policies and procedures for monitoring student attendance.
Under Australian visa regulations, holders of student visas are required to attend a minimum of 80% of scheduled course hours, and as a provider, Australia Christian College(ACC) is responsible for monitoring attendance records. Students whose attendance falls below 80% must be reported to DEEWR through PRISMS.
The purpose of this document is to outline processes for monitoring student attendance. ACC is responsible for its administration systems to ensure attendance monitoring and compliance.
ACC accepts the responsibility to monitor and to educate students about attendance compliance at all stages of a student’s enrolment and tuition.
The policies and procedures outlined here apply to the staff and students of ACC and are consistent with all course documents provided to students and the material provided to staff.
Satisfactory Attendance – a minimum of 80% of scheduled course contact hours (with or without medical certificates)
Compassionate or compelling circumstances are those beyond the control of the student and which have an impact upon the student’s course progress or wellbeing.
- Policies Implementation
ACC must comply with the ESOS Act and its regulations. Each staff member involved in the promotion, recruitment, admission delivery, management or administration of overseas students on student visas is responsible for the implementation of this policies. The policies will be filed electronically in the public folder.
The course director will review the attendance monitoring process for each semester by the last day of that semester. A Summary of monitoring attendance sheet will be kept up-to-date by the course director to ensure all steps of the procedure have been followed.
The following records will be kept for two years – class rolls, attendance monitoring summary sheet, copies of warning letters, medical certificates or other evidence of compassionate or compelling reasons for non-attendance, correspondence and documents related to students’ Complaints or Appeals.
- Policy Review
The general director will review these policies annually, or in case of legislative changes governing the delivery of education services to overseas students on a student visa.
- General Principles
All student absences are marked daily on the weekly attendance roll by the class tutor. It is a tutor’s responsibility to maintain class rolls so that they accurately reflect attendance. Tutors are the first line of inquiry and it is their responsibility to discover why a student is absent, late or leaves early.
Students that have not attended for five consecutive days are contacted and also asked to attend counselling with the course director.
All students are subject to attendance requirements. It is made known to the students prior to enrolment, after enrolment and throughout their course by their tutors and staff.
80% is the minimum attendance required for a student to complete a course. Students with less than 80% attendance may request a letter to prove their study, which will have their course, dates, level attained and overall attendance.
Attendance thresholds for enrolments, i.e. how many absences can be taken whilst achieving the minimum attendance requirement, are not advertised, but may be given to an individual student at the discretion of ACC, per individual case.
Students receive up to two warning letters relating to poor attendance. When a student’s attendance falls to 80% or below, they are issued with an Intent to Report to Immigration letter. Students have 20 working days to appeal in writing their absences. Medical certificates must be produced during this time. For student visa holders, it is necessary to explain why ACC should not report them to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).
Although student visa holders are told that they will be reported if their attendance falls below 80%, it is at the discretion of ACC whether to report a student whose attendance is 70%-80% and who is making progress in the course.
It is important for all staff to be aware that accepted non-attendance are serious illness accompanied by a medical certificate, national disaster, and family emergencies, where there is supporting evidence.
In the same way, long-term non-attendance, without regard for the rules of the study visa, may be a cause for suspension of course (see ACC Policy for Deferring, Suspending or Canceling the Student’s Enrolment).
At any time, a student may initiate the school’s complaints and appeals procedure. (see ACC Complaints and Appeals Policy and Procedure)
- Policies Content and Procedures
7.1 Procedures for informing students of the attendance regulations
Students will be advised as follows:
- At the time of enrolment, students are advised of the attendance requirement. They
are also advised of the consequences of poor attendance. All students at the time of
enrolment are asked to accept the conditions of enrolment which includes an undertaking
to maintain at least 80% attendance.
- Information on attendance is included in the Student Handbook. It includes:
* the 80% attendance requirement
* the consequences of not maintaining satisfactory attendance
* the requirement to notify ACC if the student is sick
* provision of a doctor’s certificate for one or more days absence due to illness
* the information that a student’s attendance may be affected if they are late to a class.
iii. Students are advised again verbally during orientation, and by their tutor on the first day
7.2 Procedures for monitoring attendance
7.2.1 Marking the roll and assessing satisfactory attendance
- Tutors mark the class roll for each session.
Marking of Roll
If a student is absent from the whole session for any reason, mark (a) on the roll.
From 10-30 minutes late for a class session, at any time of the day: (L)=Late
(4 x L=2% absence)
More than 30 minutes late for a class session, at any time of the day:(AL)
(2 x AL=2% absence)
- Tutors advise their course director if any student is absent for five consecutive days without notifying ACC.
iii. Tutors advise their course director of any students who are habitually late or regularly absent. Class attendance is calculated weekly.
7.2.2 Students as being absent for five consecutive days without ACC approval, or whose attendance is at risk of falling below 80%.
- Telephone contact is made with any student who have been absent for more than five consecutive days without approval or where the student is at risk of not attending for at least 80% of the scheduled course contact hours for the course.
- The student is asked to make an appointment with the course director to discuss reasons for the absence and to be counselled about attendance requirements. A verbal warning is given and an action plan is agreed with the student. If appropriate (eg if poor attendance is due to homesickness, social or psychological issues), the student is referred to the general manager for further discussion, advice or referral. The course director is informed about the outcome of the interview. A student file note is made to document the meeting.
iii. If the problem is repeated, up to two written warnings may be given and the student will be asked to attend an interview with the course director or General manager. Documentary evidence of the reason for absence(eg medical certificates) will be requested. A student file note is made to document the meeting. The student signs the bottom portion of the warning letter to indicate she/he received it and attended an interview.
A copy of the evidence will be retained in the student’s file.
7.2.3 Students unable to achieve satisfactory attendance
- Should a student receive a first and second warning letter, they have 20 working days to provide a written response explaining why ACC should allow them to continue studying at the ACC and should not report them to DIAC.
- Students who are no longer able to achieve 80% attendance for the period of their CoE will be given written notice of the intention to report to DEEWR through Prisms. The student will be given twenty(20) working days to make an appeal through ACC’s appeals process and warned that attendance will continue to be monitored during that period. The ACC Complaints and Appeals policy is documented and available to students on the ACC website; www.accu.edu.au.
iii. If the student’s appeal is unsuccessful, s/he is reported to DEEWR through PRISMS. PRISMS generates a Section 20 breach notice which is sent to the student. A copy is kept on the student’s file. An appeal may be lodged and can be successful if supported with genuine medical certificates and the student’s attendance is above 70%. The appeal decision will be made by a committee of various key ACC staff who will meet to discuss each individual case.
- Upon advisement by DEEWR, it is at the discretion of ACC whether to report the student to DIAC if the student has finished their course of study prior to the 20 day time period after the first and second letter. All students with less than 70% attendance will be reported to DIAC.
- After discussion with the course director and general Director, a student may be reported to DIAC via the PRISMS system. Detailed information relating to the individual student’s case is input into the PRISMS system. A system-generated “Letter of Non-compliance”is given or sent to the student.
- Although the matter is now in the hands of DIAC, ACC can provide some guidance to the student in terms of assisting the student in understanding the process DIAC will take. At any stage, the student is welcome to take advantage of ACC Complaints and Appeals Policy & Procedure.
A copy of the evidence will be retained in the student’s file.
7.3 Compassionate or Compelling Circumstances
In the following circumstances, the course director, in consultation with the general manager, may decide not to report a student for breaching the 80% attendance requirement.
* The student is maintaining satisfactory course progress.
* The student’s attendance is at least 70%, and
* The student produces documentary evidence clearly demonstrating that compassionate or compelling circumstances apply.