Borders College

Attendance Requirements

Bursary, EMA & Student Funding Attendance Requirements

The attendance of all students is assessed from the start date of the course. Those in receipt of support funding must adhere to set criteria in order to maintain their payments.

Payment Periods
Details of qualifying weeks and associated payment dates for both Bursary and EMA are available to check and download on the College website under the ‘Student’ area.

Student Funding awards are made on the basis that students appropriately engage in their studies. Students are expected to attend all of their timetabled classes every week in each payment period in order that they continue to be paid at the full rate of their award. However, it is recognised that students may need to have periods of absence and some suggested reasons for authorised absence are set out below. The College may withhold payment and seek refunds for periods where students have unsatisfactory attendance and the student has not taken reasonable steps to engage in their studies during periods of unauthorised absence.

Students are expected to arrange personal appointments e.g. to attend Doctors, Dentists etc outwith scheduled timetabled classes. However, students have an overall allowance of 16 days for absences (split into two periods) that can be used for a range of reasons, including short-term illness, and which prevents them from attending a timetabled class during their academic session. These days can only be used for unavoidable absences and cannot be used for additional holidays taken during term-time. Please note that student support funds cannot be paid for periods where students are abroad.

If you have an on-going medical condition which means that you may need more time off, please ask your doctor for a letter confirming this and we will hold this on file for the year. If you are then absent for that reason please email us on or text us on: 07520 633950 to let us know. Please remember to include your name in your text. It is really important that you remember to contact us because we cannot assume that you are off due to illness.

Please note that, even if you only miss one class in a day, you will use one of your allowable absences for that day.

  • Number of Absences – 8 days
    Attendance Period – 28th August 2019 – 21st January 2020

  • Number of Absences – 8 days
    Attendance Period – 27th January 2020 – 16th June 2020

Students are not required to complete or submit any documentation to evidence one of the 8 absences within the periods shown above.

Some absences can be authorised outwith these days. If you think you are absent for a reason that should not be taken from your allowance please email us with details on:

or text us on: 07520 633950 – Please remember to include your name in your text.

Where students have unauthorised absences or have exceeded the 8 days in the above periods, the College will also consider whether they have taken reasonable steps to engage in their studies, despite their absence from class, before making deductions to the student’s funding award. Some suggested examples of appropriate student engagement are set out below.

Examples of authorised absences from college include:

  • Where a student has an absence for a medical reason for more than 5 working days, this must be covered by a ‘Fit for Work’ note (sick line) from a GP. We can only continue payments based on a medical certificate for 4 weeks per block.
  • Religious holidays (but not other holidays).
  • Exam preparation.
  • Attendance at children’s hearing, court, meeting related to caring responsibilities or care needs, etc.
    Unexpected caring responsibilities, either for the student’s child(ren) or an adult dependant, such as the illness of a child or dependant.
  • Severe weather and transport breakdown.
  • Attendance at a family funeral.
  • Medical or dental appointments for either the student, or a child or adult who is dependent on the student. This can include non‐emergency appointments if these cannot be arranged outside college hours.

Examples of student engagement include situations where the student has:

  • Maintained contact with relevant college staff and has explained the reasons for absence and the steps they are taking to engage.
  • Kept up to date with learning by obtaining lecture notes, online resources or other learning materials from college staff.
  • Demonstrated that they have engaged in independent study to keep up to date with their learning.
  • Handed in assignments or classwork.
  • Continued to meet their learning objectives.
  • Engaged with the college in any other way which demonstrates that they are continuing to participate in their studies.

Please make an appointment with your course tutor/achievement coach if you have complex circumstances or health issues, including mental health issues, which you feel will impact on your attendance at College. Please remember that any information you give us will be treated in confidence.

If your payments have been stopped and you feel you have special circumstances which may explain an extended absence you should appeal, in writing, to the Student Funding Manager within 30 days, explaining your circumstances and seeking a reversal of the reduction in your funding. What you say will be treated in confidence. Our appeals procedure and Terms and Conditions of your Funding Award can be found on our website at: