Current Attendance Strategies

Health and Caring Services
Richard Leak has been formatting a data sheet fortnightly for all the students in the Health and Caring Services faculty who have under 90% attendance. I take this to a FMT meeting every fortnight to share with the 5 CAMs and HOF. This is then sent to all the CLs are action and feedback is given back to CAMs. Some CAMs and CLs are more proactive than others. The faculty is just starting to use Monitoring Tool sheet to aid student tutors to have a greater awareness of the data of their group and the impact on college targets.
Student tutors are chasing students and I witness the phone calls daily.
Student tutors have also been told that they can forward details to Richard Leak for extra support in chasing up students, although not many student tutors are using this method.

In the past we have given Love2Shop vouchers but I don’t actually think they do make a difference.
I do believe we need a college approach, I did email Janette on the 25th Sept and Kerry on the 8th Nov with lots of ideas (see below). I did also find the Vivo scheme which I sent to you.

Christine’s star cards sound good to me, but when I introduced to the CAMs last year, they didn’t want to initiate it.

I do think that attendance incentives need to be often and go to as many students as possible.
Don’t think students are bothered if they might win £10 or go into a draw for a larger item as they think they won’t have a chance in winning. I think we have to do many methods.

1. I have done some research on the topic and I think all staff in the faculty really need to emphasise the importance of attendance and maybe parents should get a letter home actually explaining the college target, absence reporting system and the consequences of poor attendance. We have to raise the profile of attendance.
2. Staff should also use the notes section on WebSTaR to record reasons and actions.
3. Maybe staff rewards for high group attendance and having all students over 90%.
4. Even though the Blackpool trip was great – students just saw it as a great day out and not related to attendance. Maybe every month – the group with above 90% could get £50 to go towards a group trip of their choice. This could be displayed so they can see it growing.
5. SMT to go round and actually say well done to groups with 90%.
6. Automatic texts sent to say ‘well done’ or ‘need to improve’. If this coming from ‘the college’ and not the student tutor as I do think that sometimes they switch off the student tutor. If it comes from the college, they might think it is from the principal.
7. Another idea (totally out of box and maybe not right) – could we pay some students in the faculty to be campaigners.
8. A priority lift pass.
9. Reward card to use in the canteen, could do for one week every month. When their card is full they can get something free from canteen.
10. We promote a college attendance matters week where students are encouraged to attend fully and punctually for a week, receiving a sticker for each attendance. Letters go out to parents prior to the scheme requesting their support. After the week, all pupils with full attendance receive a certificate and can be entered into a prize draw. Maybe L1 students could make posters to display for promotion.
11. Actually show the students the data. Our faculty compared to other faculties. There course compared to other courses within the faculty. Maybe posters can be made monthly to discussed and display.
12. Arrange a promotional speaker (someone famous).
13. £50 Love2Shop voucher for getting to the end of each year of their course with 90%. A college apparently got funding help through ESF.
14. Maybe college needs a team of attendance staff to chase and reward.
15. Gold, silver and bronze certificates given out monthly. Promoted by Lizzie Armitstead. Can’t marketing find someone famous to come in or do a video and co-ordinate with the local papers to get the message out to students and parents.
16. What happened to the college ‘Apple’ rewards? I was gutted I never got one because it was only for 100% and each year I had 1 – 2 days off.
17. Each student gets £1 per week for 100%. They can then log in to WebSTaR to see their register and watch the pound growing each week. PROBABLY FAVOURITE IDEA.
18. Send out a question on student zone (or a text to students) to ask students for their ideas on incentives. They could email me their ideas. If an idea is implemented then they get £100.
19. The FLT star card incentive for behaviour and attendance, maybe could be adapted for all college.

Emma Langford Senior Tutor Health and Caring Services

Hospitality, Travel and Tourism
Hi Howard, to confirm all students are contacted. The phone call method is followed by all staff, this may be a text if they are unable to get hold of them. If any of the staff are unable to make contact a letter is sent to them inviting them in for a chat.
I attend all faculty meetings and attendance is a major point on the agenda. (Each member of the team states the name of the student they are having problems with – the team then responds with various strategies:-
a one to one chat about improving their attendance, invite parents in to discuss attendance, set up an improvement plan. Rewards have not been given other than the general award such as the iPod which was offered at the end of last year.
Carol Armitsted Senior Tutor Hospitality, Catering, Travel and Tourism

Computing Technologies
Hi Howard

I have been helping the Computing Technologies faculty since September chasing their students attendance.

The route I have taken with their tutors is to ring the student as soon as possible when the student is not in lessons. If no contact is possible either leave a voicemail or send a text message. At this point I feed back to the course tutor and note webstar.

If there is a reoccurring theme and with the tutors agreement I will either ask for a letter to be sent to the student or I will contact the parents of the student to raise our concerns. If required I will also send the parents supporting information like timetables of breakdown of register. Hoping that a coordinated approach tackles the issue at the root cause.

If there is a particular problem with a group I will also organise a mail drop to those students. This has happened with Functional Skills English.

If the student is still a persistent problem it is at the point I will try and refer to Amanda and Gordon for more support.

If you need supporting data let me know and I will forward this too you.


A Levels
We actually gave students Love2shop vouchers last year for having above 90% attendance (and doubled it for those that had 100% attendance), £30 and £60 respectively.

We are being vigilant with students who are repeatedly absent and they are being referred and placed upon improvement contracts/cause for concern and letters are being sent home.

Will have a think about other incentives.
Debbie Gibson Progress Coach ACAG

Hi Howard,
The system I have put in place in the A level Centre has resulted in a 5.5% rise in attendance since this time last year- a very significant increase in my experience of attendance. To be frank, just contacting non-attenders doesn’t even scratch the surface! For us it’s all about constant close monitoring and consequences. We have a structured referral system with staff involvement at different stages: Subject Tutor, Student Tutor, Progress Coach, Senior Tutor – all set out in a handbook for staff and communicated to students at key points. All students under 80% are on our customised At Risk Register which is divided into Red and Amber zones. I interview personally all students with less than 70% attendance, while Debbie focuses on those between 80 and 70%. Once they have seen me there are a series of consequences which they are aware of: formal contract, parental interview and ultimate withdrawal. It is extremely hard work. Debbie and I between us see up to 100 students per week. We work on the basis that attendance is a condition of their continuation here, and therefore rewarding them seems contradictory. Having said that, we did give some shopping vouchers to students who achieved 95% or over at the end of last year. This did not, however, work as an incentive because these students would do it anyway. For those who are less conscientious, fear is more effective!

If you would like me to give a presentation on this to SLT I would be happy to do so.

Best wishes


Foundation Learning
From: christine berrisford
Sent: 25 January 2012 13:15
To: emma langford
Subject: RE: Star Rewards

Right here we go…!

We have had hundreds of STaR cards printed up, the same size as ID tags.
We have bought enough self inking mini stamper pens for every tutor in the Faculty.

Every STaR tutor did a little selling job in their session when we launched, to encourage the learners to participate; it is not compulsory.

Each lesson the tutors them award STaR stamps to the learners for all the things that we want to see more off…being on time, reading aloud, great answer, brilliant bit of work etc etc etc
The learners collect these on their cards.
Once a card is full it goes into a box/bag in the CLs office (bit of competition between programmes to add spice!)and the learner takes another one to continue collecting.
At the end of each half term each programme does a lucky dip into the box and the winning student gets a £10 voucher from a shop of their choice.

All cards are kept in the box and at the end of the year a Faculty ‘STaR of STaR’ draw will occur for an ipad. The more complete cards a learner has in the box the more chance they have of winning the big prize.

We also keep a record of the winners, so that we can fix the half termly ones a bit so different learners win!

Pop down if you want to look at the cards.

Stamper pens are 5mm pre inked pen stamps of stars.
They come in different colours.
They can be found via

All the best

Christine J

Senior Tutor for Foundation Learning


3 thoughts on “Current Attendance Strategies

  1. I could do with a few ideas for motivating adults on part time evening courses. Regardless of how motivated they seem initially, as soon as the nights get colder the thought of staying at college until 9 p.m., stops being an attractive proposition. I have thought of providing flasks of soup for when they arrive. I know that in Denmark they provide sandwiches and coffee for part time students and fruit and orange juice for the students who start on a morning (I believe they receive funding from the government to do this).

    The adults would probably prefer a book token but I am not sure if this would act as an incentive.

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