Borders College

Attendance Requirements

Bursary, EMA & Student Funding Attendance Requirements


Special measures during COVID restrictions

In order to limit the number of people on campus at any given time, all courses are likely to have an element of off-campus learning. College students always undertake some independent work for courses but this autumn there will be a higher proportion of course time where students study while not on Campus. This could be through classes that are taught online in timetabled times, pre-recorded lessons, online tutorials, activities or projects.

For the duration of online teaching funding payments will continue provided we are able to demonstrate that you are engaging in the activities set for your course. However, we understand that this may not always be possible. If this is the case, please contact us on or as there may be ways we can help.

It is also important to let us know if you have symptoms that make you too unwell to study, or indeed receive a positive diagnosis for COVID-19. Details of how to notify us can be found below.


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.

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.

Where students have unauthorised absences the College will consider whether they have taken reasonable steps to continue their studies, despite their absence from class, before making deductions to the student’s funding award eg. kept up to date with learning by obtaining lecture notes, online resources or other learning materials from college staff.

The College may withhold payment and seek refunds for periods where students have unsatisfactory attendance and have not taken reasonable steps to continue 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. 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. Please note that student support funds cannot be paid for periods where students are abroad.

If you are absent for any reason please:

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. Our professional and dedicated staff in the Student Advice Centre are also available to discuss mental health issues and wellbeing. 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:

Examples of authorised absences from college include:

  • Religious holidays (but not other holidays).
  • Exam
  • Attendance at children’s hearing, court, meeting related to caring responsibilities or care needs,
  • Unexpected caring responsibilities, either for the student’s child(ren) or an adult dependant.
  • Severe weather and transport
  • Attendance at a family
  • 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.

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.