Unexplained Absences

A class has an examination soon, but one student is suddenly absent from lessons. How can you find out what is behind this and support the student?

Vignette #30


In my psychology class one previously very conscientious student has suddenly stopped attending. We are approaching the final assessment, which is an exam, and I am concerned that the student will not be able to complete this successfully. This will be a shame given the good marks for coursework so far. I am also under pressure to ensure that there are good completion statistics for this course as it is under threat of closure if we cannot improve our retention figures.


From previous experience I wonder if there could be anxieties for this student around the forthcoming exam, but there may be other personal issues impacting on the student. The student has no close friends in the class so I have been unable to get further information about the background situation from peers. I did not get a reply to any emails I have sent to the student email address and I do not have any other contact details.


  • How can I find out what has happened to the student and work out what the issues are behind the change in their behaviour?
  • What should I do next? 
  • Who can I get to help me unravel the situation and support the student effectively?