Some teachers do/take the roll call and then if the student shows up until 15-20 minutes after the beggining of the class the teacher can mark him/her tardy, after that you could mark him absent.
In Brazil teaching staff would mark present (by way of a letter P-presente) vs. Absent (by checking with the letter F), or by using X vs dots. Etc.
The wording I used above is more American than British way, but you can find more on the topic by searching Wordreference, etc. Anyway, it isn´t supposed to exhaust the subject or be a comprehensible answer, just for participation´s sake. Certainly others EE participants will complement it.