Temporary leavers

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, available in the downloads section below. 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 them on their decision including discussion of the possible impact on finance and/or visa, and to direct them to further resources. 

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 studentrecords@leeds.ac.uk. 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 submit 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 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.
  • An expected return date must be agreed upon and entered for temporary leavers, usually for the start of term 1 or 2 following, depending on what the student is required to progress to or resit.
  • Only one reason for leaving should be selected, we cannot record multiple reasons for leaving.
  • The student should sign the taught student leavers 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 that they intend to withdraw.
  • A member of staff in the parent school should counter-sign the form.

Returning students from temporary leave 

Schools must confirm the return of all students from temporary leave to the Programmes and Assessment (Operations) team. 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 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 temporary leave. Any extension to this must be agreed by the Head of Student Cases. See the Secretariat SharePoint site for further information.

What is considered the leaving date for a student?

The leaving date is the date that the student informs the University in writing of their decision (also referred to as intention) to leave, principally via the taught student leavers' form. This form must be submitted within two weeks of the leaving date stated on the form. If this timeframe is not met, the date the school signed the form (if within two weeks) will be taken as the leaving date. If this date is not within two weeks, the date of receipt of the form will be taken as the leaving date. For details on form submission, see above.

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