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A guide for students, by students on attendance monitoring at the University of Essex.

We monitor your attendance at teaching sessions using your student card and an electronic recording system called Count-Me-In.

Recording your attendance

You're expected to attend all of your mandatory sessions on your individual timetable.

You record your attendance using the Count-Me-In electronic reader in the teaching room. Readers are installed near the entrance(s) of all teaching rooms at our Colchester and Southend Campuses. Large rooms have more than one reader.

The system only applies to taught courses, so if you're a PhD student this doesn't apply to you. If you're at East 15 Acting school, it doesn't apply either.

count me in icon

Tap in your registration card where you see this symbol

Key points to note to when using your card:

  • The readers work by holding your registration card in front of the reader (like an Oyster card on the London Underground). Make sure you take the card out of your wallet or purse, so that the reader scans the correct card.
  • The light will flash green as it registers your attendance. If the reader doesn't flash green then your ‘tap’ may not have registered. Try tapping once more, and if it doesn't flash follow the instructions for a faulty card.
  • You should tap in for your class no earlier than 15 minutes before the start, and no later than 15 minutes after the start. For example, if your class is at 9am, you would have to 'tap in' between 8.45am and 9.15am.
  • You don't need to tap your card again when you leave the class.
  • Tap your card on the reader for each timetabled teaching event you attend. Even if you are going through a change of class, module or course, you should always tap in with your card.
  • If you have another class in the same room immediately after the first class, then you must tap in again to record your attendance at the second teaching event unless the two classes are part of a continuous teaching session of the same module.
  • If you don’t have your card you won't be able to tap into the reader and will be recorded as having missed teaching, so it’s important to remember to carry your card with you at all times.

It's your responsibility to look after your registration card and to have it with you for all of your teaching events. If you attend a teaching event without your card, or forget to tap in, you will be marked as absent.

If you find that you have forgotten your card, or have problems registering your attendance, please continue to attend all your timetabled teaching events.

If you lose your registration card you should go to your Student Services Hub to get a replacement card. Please bring with you a form of identification. There is a charge of £5 for a replacement card. You won't have to pay if:

  • your card is damaged or worn
  • your card has been stolen (you need to have a police crime number)
  • your card has expired due to a change in your expected completion of study date
  • you were under the age of 18 when the card was issued and you've since turned 18
  • your card is faulty (see the 'faulty cards' tab above)

When you're given your replacement card, a note will be made on file and your attendance record will be adjusted up to a limited period of time, so it's important that you get a replacement card as soon as possible.

If you think that your card is faulty you should go to your Student Services Hub to have it checked. Please bring with you a form of identification. If your card is faulty you will be given a free replacement.

When you're given your replacement card, a note will be made on file and your attendance record will be adjusted up to a limited period of time, so it's important that you get a replacement card as soon as possible. Please note that there is a difference between faulty and damaged. If you damage your registration card, it won't be replaced free of charge.

If you find that the reader in the room is faulty, tap in anyway. In some classes you may be asked to note your attendance on a paper register. Processes are in place to quickly identify faulty readers and to ensure that faults are rectified as soon as possible. Your attendance record won't be affected if the reader in your classroom isn’t working.

Viewing your attendance record

During the year you will be able to view your attendance on your Learner Engagement Activity Portal (LEAP), and also see detailed attendance data on MyEssex. If you have a question about your attendance record, contact your department in the first instance.

Reporting your absence

If you have missed or will miss one or more teaching events or tests, you must report your absence in your MyEssex portal:

You should select the 'reason' category on the form and where necessary provide a brief, factual statement of the circumstances that prevented you from attending the teaching event.

  • Accepted reasons for absence from teaching

    Extenuating circumstances

    Extenuating circumstances are formally defined by the University as circumstances which are beyond your control, such as a medical or personal issue, and which cause you to be absent from a timetabled teaching event.

    Your department will consider the reasons for your absence and decide whether it should be recorded as an authorised absence, so please make sure your department know by reporting your absence in MyEssex.

    You may need to provide supporting evidence if you're absent frequently for short periods of time, or if you're absent for more than ten days.

    Participation in certain events

    • Representing the University in British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) competitions, or in regional, national or international competitions.
    • Being selected for, and being required to train with, or compete for, a national sports team (e.g. Home Nations or Great Britain).
    • Participating in a significant extra-curricular University or SU Society event or one-off activity.

    Jury service

    We have some guidance available for students called up for Jury service.

    University work based placements

    If you are on a University organised work based placement and your timetable shows that you should be in a teaching event/s you must submit a notification of absence.

  • Reasons not accepted for absence from teaching

    Examples of unacceptable reasons for absence

    It's not possible to list every circumstance that a department wouldn't accept or take into account. However some examples are:

    • oversleeping or missing a bus/train
    • general pressure of work such as working on coursework or studying for a test
    • demands of employment, which could have been arranged around your timetable
    • personal disruptions which could have been anticipated such as travel, holidays or family events, which could have been arranged around your timetable
    • other demands of University life, which could have been arranged around your timetable
    • missing a teaching event where reasonable prior notice had been given of a change to the timetable

    Action taken by your department

    It's at the discretion of your department to decide whether an absence should be recorded as known (reported but not authorised) or authorised, in accordance with these guidelines. In the case of participation in a sporting competition, a Students' Union staff member will verify the reason for absence and decide when it should be recorded as authorised.

  • Absences from teaching exceeding ten days

    If you're absent for more than ten days, you will need to provide medical evidence (in the case of illness) or a detailed statement with any supporting evidence.

    You should contact your Personal Tutor, departmental staff or your Student Services Hub for advice and support, particularly if you're likely to be absent for several weeks.

    University work based placements

    If you are on a University organised work based placement for over ten days and your timetable shows that you should be in a teaching event you must submit a notification of absence for the whole time you are on placement.

  • Intermitting

    If you have missed, or are going to miss, a significant amount of teaching, you should discuss the option of formally taking a break from your studies (intermitting) with your Personal Tutor, other member of departmental staff or your Student Services Hub.

Your responsibilities

You must not tap in for someone who isn't attending the class and you must not tap in if you then immediately leave the teaching event. If you do this then disciplinary action may be taken against you, and anyone else whose card you have used.

For further information about the University’s rules and its procedures for dealing with allegations of breaches of the Code of Conduct, see our Conduct Regulations.

Why we monitor attendance

We monitor your attendance so we can identify where you might need guidance or support. This is part of our commitment to supporting your success at Essex. We know that attending your classes is one of the most positive things you can do to be successful in your studies.

You're expected to attend and contribute fully to lectures and other teaching events. Engagement in classes, seminars and practicals is an important part of your learning and also contributes to the learning experience of your fellow students.

If you have questions about your course or encounter any difficulties which affect your studies, speak to your Personal Tutor or Student Services Hub.

  • What happens if you don’t attend

    If your engagement in your studies, as measured by attendance and/or submission of assessed work, causes concern, you will be contacted and offered guidance and support. You will be initially contacted by your Personal Tutor or equivalent and then by the Departmental Progress Officer. Where serious concerns persist, you may be referred to the Deputy Dean Education and your case formally considered by a Progress Committee. For more advice and guidance on what happens if we are concerned about your progress and attendance please see Monitoring attendance and progress.

How we use the information

We use attendance information to help identify students who may be experiencing problems so that we can offer support and advice. This data also one of the data sources used in the LEAP project. The University holds attendance data in accordance with our Data Usage Policy (.pdf).

Contact details

If you need any further help or guidance please email

If you have any queries about LEAP, please email