Version 0.1 - Last Updated: 05 May 2021

Attendance confirmation

Exceptional arrangements in AY 2020/21


For the academic year 2020/21 many higher education providers have needed to alter the way they run their courses. Due to these unavoidable circumstances, we are offering more flexibility in when you can make attendance confirmations and receive payments.

The information under this chapter will cover how this year's exceptional arrangements affect:

  • tuition fee payments
  • confirming attendance
  • Change of Circumstance notifications 

Tuition fee payments in 2020/21

We have changed the way we pay tuition fees for academic year 2020/21 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For this year we will allow the payment of term 2 tuition fees during term 1. This process will enhance your cashflow and provide you with greater flexibility. We hope that this will help you in this difficult time.

This change will be available for all higher education providers. However, you cannot confirm the term 2 attendance of SAAS students in term 1.

For all academic years, you need to confirm attendance at 3 separate liability points throughout the academic year. This applies to all students who receive tuition fee loans.

These liability points correspond to the 3 terms that make up a student’s academic year. For academic year 2020/21 you will be able to submit attendance confirmations for both terms 1 and 2 in term 1.

You can submit attendance confirmations after the course start date, depending on your cooling off schedule.

The date of the first payment for term 1 was the third Wednesday in October (21 October 2020). If you confirmed attendance for term 2 by this point, you would have received the term 2 payment on the fourth Wednesday of October (28 October).

The full payment schedule is below.

Season (academic year start)

Payment 1

%

Payment 2

%

Payment 3

%

Autumn (September to December)

3rd Wednesday in October

21/10/20

25%

4th Wednesday in Oct

28/10/20

25%

1st Wednesday in May

05/05/21

50%

Winter (January to March)

1st Wednesday in February

03/02/21

25%

2nd Wednesday in February

10/02/21

25%

3rd Wednesday in October

20/10/21

50%

Spring (April to June)

1st Wednesday in May

05/05/21

25%

2nd Wednesday in May

12/05/21

25%

1st Wednesday in February

02/02/22

50%

Summer (July to August)

3rd Wednesday in July

21/07/21

25%

4th Wednesday in July

28/07/21

25%

1st Wednesday in May

04/05/22

50%

You must submit attendance confirmations by the Thursday before the payment date to ensure payments are made on the dates in the table.

The fee amount attributed to each attendance confirmation will remain the same, despite the change to when you can submit them. An attendance confirmation for term 1 will trigger a payment of 25% of the student’s tuition fee. This is the same for term 2. A term 3 attendance confirmation will trigger a payment of 50% of the student’s tuition fee.

There will be no change to the payment schedule for term 3. The first of these will be received from Wednesday 5 May for Autumn starts.

To summarise, if you choose to submit term 1 and term 2 attendance confirmations within the first term, the tuition fee payment profile for academic year 2020/21 will change from 25%, 25%, 50% to 50%, 0%, 50%.

Confirming 2020/21 attendance

The change you will notice in AY 2020/21 is that both term 1 and term 2 attendances will appear in your worklist from the course start date. However, there is no change to how to confirm attendance. Please follow the usual steps in the Confirming ongoing attendance section of this guide.

You will still be able to import attendance confirmations, but you will need to import the term 1 and term 2 attendances in separate files. If you upload an attendance file, the first attendance confirmation will automatically be attributed to term 1. This is usual practice and the case for all academic years, not just this one.

For this academic year only, term 2 attendances will be available at the same time as term 1. You do not need to confirm term 2 attendances the same time unless you want to. If your university or college has decided to wait until term 2 to confirm these attendances and receive the payment within term 2, please do so.

Accuracy of 2020/21 confirmations

You must submit accurate and timely attendance confirmations. These let us release fee payments to your university or college on behalf of students.

Usually this will mean waiting until you can confirm that the student is in attendance for the relevant term. This year, you can confirm attendance for term 2 before this term has started. This is an acceptable process for AY 2020/21 only.

You may have cases where you confirm a student's attendance for both terms, but the student withdraws in term 1 or does not return in term 2. In these cases, you will need to submit a Withdrawal CoC as soon as possible. 

As the student has withdrawn, you will have received too much funding. Once you have submitted the Withdrawal CoC, we will deduct any overpayment from your next scheduled payment. You will see this as a negative number in the Fee Amount column of the remittance report.

An image of the remittance report displaying the fee amount as a negative number.

Change of Circumstance notifications for 2020/21

The changes we have put in place for AY 2020/21 mostly affect attendance confirmation. They have very little effect on Change of Circumstance notifications (CoCs).

Please continue to submit accurate and timely CoCs, as well as the corresponding attendance codes. We will continue to process them:

  • within 30 working days during the peak period (from August to the end of November)
  • within 20 working days outside the peak period

The one change that you need to know about is to external transfer CoCs.

Example

University A has confirmed a student's attendance for both term 1 and term 2 during term 1. The student transfers to University B at the beginning of term 2.

You should submit the Transfer CoC as normal. However, once we have processed this, the student will appear on the attendance worklist at University B. University B will then need to confirm their term 2 attendance.

University A has received payment for term 2 already. Our system will deduct this value from their next scheduled payment.

If you submit a CoC for a student, you should submit the corresponding attendance code for the next available attendance period. If this is the term 1 attendance period, please do not submit an A code for term 2 until:

  • we have processed the CoC
  • an A code has been submitted for term 1