For many colleges, lateness and poor attendance among students is an issue.  It's always useful to know how other colleges deal with this.

In recent years, a group of colleges in Bristol took action with hard-core poor attenders.  A working party was created, students were brought together in groups during tutorial time.  After recording their activities, this is what they recommend:

  • Ask students to work out how many days off they have had themselves so far

  • Ask students to work out what these days off calculate as a percentage of attendance

  • In small groups, ask students to think of one thing they could do to feel better about coming to college every day (obviously if 14-16 years old then attendance is compulsory, so the suggestions must be reasonable)

  • Tell students you will take feedback from groups about suggestions

  • Tell students that 17 days away from college every year means that they will probably obtain a whole grade lower in their exams/assignments than they are really capable of achieving

  • Students will be told what their current level of attendance is

  • Students will acknowledge what their target for attendance should be

  • Students will state one action they will undertake to improve their own attendance for themselves and reach their target

An immediate sharp increase in attendance of 33% (1 day per week!) for some individual students levelled out to 18% for the group.

This shows that by taking the time to make a strong impact on student attitudes, plus encouraging them to take immediate action towards absences, the college will have excellent results.