Attendance and absence is a vital aspect of student progress on the course.
Full attendance is essential for two reasons:
- The PGCE course is an intensive period of training.
- There are specific guidelines for the amount of time to be spent in school.
- If a trainee misses a session in the university, he or she misses a part of the taught course which cannot be repeated.
- As the majority of such sessions are practical-based or involve working collaboratively with other trainees, it is not possible to make up missed work through reading or by copying notes as might be the case for courses which are more conventionally academic.
- Regular attendance is a significant aspect of teachers’ professionalism.
- One important aspect of the PGCE year is that frequent absence is disruptive to the progress of pupils and causes significant additional burdens to departmental colleagues.
- For this reason we expect that trainee attend school on exactly the same basis as regular members of staff. They are expected to be on time for the start of the school day and to attend meetings scheduled beyond teaching hours.
- Any trainee who cannot attend school due to illness or for pressing personal reasons must inform the school and the university at the earliest opportunity.
- School-based Mentors are asked to keep a note of attendance and to inform the university if there is any reason to be concerned. The exact number of any sessions missed by a trainee must be noted on the appropriate Abyasa section (Weekly Training Meeting records) so that university Tutors have an overview.
Reasons for absence and course requirements
St Mary’s takes great care not to disrupt the school-based programme in any way. If for any reason your trainee is required to attend the University during periods normally allocated for school-based training then you will be informed officially.
Illness and absence for personal reasons
Short term absence
- It is not unusual for trainees to miss a few days due to common illnesses.
- The ITT criteria requires a trainee to undertake 120 days in school.
- During the summer term trainees will be applying for their first teaching posts. It is normal practice for schools to release trainees for interviews.
- Whenever a trainee is absent from school and the reason is known in advance, they must provide the planned work for their teaching groups in the same way that a regular member of staff would, so that the continuity of work is not disrupted for the class.
- Trainees are all aware that they should inform the school at the earliest possible opportunity of any absence.
Long term absence
- Unfortunately trainees sometimes have a more prolonged illness or need on-going medical treatment. Occasionally there are circumstances that mean a student has to ask for time off the course for pressing personal reasons such as family illness.
- There is no blame attached to this, but there comes a point when the trainee will not have sufficient time available to meet all of the Teachers' Standards.
- If the absence is prolonged and the trainee misses a substantial period, then he or she may not be able to complete the programme in the current year.
- Any cases of unauthorised absence should be reported immediately to the University of the trainee concerned.
Mentors should be aware that trainees are expected to remain on the school premises throughout the normal school day and they are never required to return to the University to prepare materials or use the facilities there during these times.
It is extremely important that everyone involved monitors absence carefully so that all of the facts are clear if attendance becomes a problem for an individual trainee.
The Examination Board in the University will consider the facts of each case and may recommend that the student completes the course in the following academic session in order to make up for time lost.