Presumed leavers

Unexplained absences of over four weeks should be addressed using the Unsatisfactory Work, Attendance and Progress Procedure (UWAPP) (DOCX) and Standard Operating Procedures for Attendance and Engagement (SOPAE). This page covers actions that need to be taken when it becomes clear a student is no longer engaging with their programme. 


If a student fails to engage and attend and the school suspects that they may have withdrawn, the School must refer to the SOPAE available from the process library, which addresses the presumed withdrawn processes, and references contact attempts that are discussed in the UWAPP (DOCX).

Schools must ensure they record at least 2 specific attempts to contact the student as well as inviting the student to a meeting, across a minimum 4-week period. This information is defined by the SOPAE. Appendix C of the SOPAE should be used to document the relevant contact attempts and attendance issues and submitted to Operations by emailing as a request to instigate the presumed withdrawn process.

Following receipt of a presumed withdrawn request, Operations will produce and send a letter to the student and confirm with the School that the presumed withdrawn process has been instigated. Operations does not update the students record until 10 working days has passed, to allow students to re-engage with the school. It is important that Operations are informed if a student re-engages in this time so the process can be halted. This does not confer the right for the student to be readmitted. Schools should then contact Student Cases via email (subject line: FAO Head of Student Cases) to seek advice. Student Cases will advise the School and Operations if the student record is to be updated to withdrawn or reinstated. 

After 10 working days, the School will receive confirmation of record updates and the student withdrawal process is finalised. If a student is in contact with the School after this period, they will need to follow Admissions process and reapply.   



For information on process to follow if a student is withdrawn due to failure to register, please see the Registration guidance pages or contact for information on reinstatements.  



For information on process to follow if a student fails to return from temporary leave, please see ‘Supporting Return from Temporary Leave’ section within the Temporary Leavers webpage. 


If you have any questions or feedback about this page, please email