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Students may take temporary leave from the University for a variety of reasons. A summary of the processes can be found here.
For full guidance on student leave, please see the Taught Student Leavers Guide for Staff document. Please note, the main information below is for taught students. Research student processes are managed by the postgraduate research department.
When a student is considering temporary leave
The appropriate member of staff in the school should meet with the student to advise and direct them to further resources, so that they are aware of the impact their decision has, including discussion of the possible impact on finance and/or visa. Further details are in our above guide.
For temporary leavers, conditions of return should be clearly recorded between school and student. The conditions of return form is available to help structure and record such conversations.
Secretariat Regulation on temporary leave
In certain circumstances, approval of requests for temporary leave must be sought from the Student Cases Team. For further guidance on exceptional circumstances of temporary leave, please visit the Secretariat SharePoint site, where you can download the application and reinstatement forms if required.
Submitting a taught student leavers' form
If a student decides to withdraw temporarily or permanently, the school should complete a manual leaver's form, scan and email this to email@example.com. The form must be submitted within 2 weeks of the leaving date (see leaving date information below).
The school should also then enter this leaving data in the Banner form SWATSLF. Importantly, SWATSLF must be opened in the current term on the student's file, and once completed, the "Activate Leaver's Workflow" button should be ticked before saving SWASTLF (this is often missed). The Operations team will then receive a notification to update the Banner record and certain information will be pre-populated in Banner. The Banner training course B260: Record Keeping covers the SWATSLF process in full.
Details of the leave submission should be as follows:
- The leave date requested is to be entered as the date the student informed the University in writing of their decision (also referred to as intention) to leave, however this must be within 2 weeks of submitting the request to Operations.
- For temporary leavers, an expected return date must be agreed upon and entered, usually for the start of term 1 or 2 following, depending on what the student is required to progress to or resit.
- For temporary leavers, conditions of return should be clearly agreed and recorded as temporary leave guidance indicates, though details are between school and student and not required for submission to Operations.
- Only one reason for leaving should be selected, Banner cannot record multiple reasons for leaving.
- The student should sign the taught student leavers form, agreeing to the leave as described on the form. If it is not possible to get the student's signature, a member of staff in the school can sign on the student's behalf so long as the form is accompanied with verified written confirmation (email or letter) from the student indicating that they agree to the leave as described on the form.
- A member of staff in the parent school should counter-sign the taught student leavers form.
Returning students from temporary leave
Schools must confirm the return of all students from temporary leave to the Programmes and Assessment (Operations) team as below. This should be done 2-4 weeks before their return or from April onwards if they are returning for the main September/October registration period.
The team can then update the student’s Banner record ready for a) the student to enrol on any optional/elective modules if required and b) the student to re-register.
Programmes and Assessment (Operations) can be notified of a student's return in two ways.
- If the student was made a temporary leaver using SWATSLF: use the SWATSLF return tab (in the same term as they made the student a temporary leaver) to enter the return date, click on the submit workflow button and save to send the notification.
- If a paper leavers' form was originally used: email Programmes and Assessment (Operations) to confirm the student's return.
In both scenarios, a confirmation email will be returned to the listed contact on SWATSLF/the individual that emails the return, when the student's Banner record has been accordingly updated. The school will be reminded to check the student's modules, and importantly to ask the student to register in a timely manner.
Frequently asked questions
How long can a student take temporary leave for?
Schools can only authorise one year of continuous temporary leave. Schools must ensure the leave keeps the student's expected completion date within the maximum study duration (programme duration plus two years). Any leave requests beyond these time limits must be submitted to Student Cases for approval. See the Secretariat SharePoint site for further information.
What is considered the leaving date for a student?
The leaving date requested (such as on a taught student leavers' form) is used as an indicative date only. The leaving date finalised on the student record (Banner) by the University’s Operations team reflects when the leave request is fully approved by the University.
The leaving date in Banner will be used to notify external organisations e.g. Home Office and Student Finance England. To ensure the consistency of this information, only the central Student Education Service teams, in particular the Student Services Counter team (not Schools) provide verification of the leaving date.
Fees for temporary leavers
If a student is studying a reduced number of credits, or returning from temporary leave Schools must notify the Student Fees team for approval. You can find out more information on the Returners and reduced fees page