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Attendance /Absence


Parents/carers should encourage their children to attend and be punctual to college and lessons at all times as this not only reduces interruptions to their learning but also teaches them the importance of being reliable and conscientious.

Maximum attendance to college is vital in order for students to achieve their full potential and avoid gaps in their learning.  Students are expected to attend punctually for the 190 days per year that the college is open.  We recognise there may be unavoidable absence such as genuine illness and occasional medical appointments.

Medical appointments during school time
Please try to avoid appointments during the school day.  GP, dentist and opticians appointments are usually available outside of school hours, but if a student must attend an appointment, for example at hospital where there is less flexibility, please ensure that they attend school for part of the day at least and provide evidence of the appointment, such as an appointment letter or email from the hospital/clinic, etc

To help decide if a child should or should not go to school, parents/carers should use the guidance provided via the link below:
Is my child too ill for school? - NHS (

If a student requires medication during school hours, we can usually help with this rather than them being away from school.  Please see the 'Medication in School' section below.


If a student is going to be absent, their parent/carer must advise the college as early as possible.  This can be done at any time of the day or night via any of the methods listed below:

  • Class Charts This is by far the easiest and most efficient way to report an absence or lateness.
  • by leaving a message on the 24 hour absence telephone line: 01803 408841
  • by email to


Sixth Form absences can be reported via Class Charts, by sending an email to or a calling 01803 408852.


Government regulations regarding school attendance include that schools are not permitted to authorise absence during term except for in exceptional circumstances.  It is specified that time off for holidays or family events do not qualify as an exceptional circumstance. 

The regulations state that exceptional leave must be requested in advance from the Principal and must come from the parent with whom the child normally resides.  This is done by completing an absence request form, which are available from the main reception office.  A student who is absent for more than four college weeks may be removed from the school roll.

Unauthorised absences
These are absences for which permission has not given.  They may include: parents keeping children off school unnecessarily; going on holiday; truancy; absences that are not properly explained; or times when students have arrived at school too late to be marked as ‘present’ for the morning. 

The Spires College will refer unauthorised absences to the Local Authority to be considered for a Penalty Notice.  Please see the Attendance Policy on the Policies page of this website and the information letter from Torbay Council regarding the consequences of student absence on the Letters page.


Students must arrive at college before the first bell has sounded at 8.25 am.   Students must be in tutor rooms by 8.30 am for registration.

Students who arrive after the first bell at 8.25 am are late to college and will receive a lunch-time detention.  Students will also receive a lunch-time detention if they arrive in College on time but are late to registration and if they are late to a lesson.  Failure to attend the detention will result in escalation to an after-school detention until 4 pm.  Parents/carers are notified of detentions via Class Charts.

Unauthorised late marks
These marks are used when a student has arrived at school after 8.25 am without an acceptable and verified reason.  Dropping off a sibling at school, the alarm clock not going off or ongoing problems with transport, etc., are not valid reasons for lateness and will be recorded as unauthorised late marks.


If students need to take or use medication during the school day, their parent/carer will need to complete a form to request that the medication is administered in college.  These forms are available from the main reception office.  All medication must be in the original packaging, clearly labelled with the following information:

  • Child’s name
  • Name of medication
  • Dosage
  • Frequency of dosage
  • Date of dispensing (if applicable)
  • Storage requirements (if important)
  • Expiry date

Students must not bring any medication, including painkillers available over the counter, into college without the above conditions being met.  All medication must be kept in a locked cabinet in the first aid room and will be administered only by specific members of staff.


Arrangements may be made for children with injuries that affect their mobility so that they can attend school, for instance, they may be able to use the lift and / or avoid corridors at busy times.  Please contact Student Support before your child returns to school so that arrangements can be made in advance. Support staff team contact details