School Day

Times of the school day

The times of the school day are as follows.  If there are any changes due to specific events you will be informed in writing from a member of staff at Portland Academy.

08:55 – 9:05      Registration

09:05 – 09:45    Lesson 1

09:45 – 10:45    Lesson 2

10:45 – 11:00    Break

11:00 – 12:00    Lesson 3

12:00 – 13:05    Lunch

13:05 – 14:00    Lesson 4

14:00  – 15:00   Lesson 5

15:00 – 15:15    Leaving school for transport home.

Attendance (including what to do if your child is unwell)

At Portland Academy, we expect all students to attend regularly to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them. Regular school attendance and educational attainment are inextricably linked. We recognise that regular attendance at school is essential for good learning and continual progress and ensures that students get the best possible outcomes from their period in compulsory education. All school staff will work with students and their families to ensure each student attends school regularly and punctually.

We expect all of our students to aspire to 100% attendance and appreciate the full support of parents and carers in encouraging this. The minimum level of attendance for this school is 94% attendance and we will keep you updated regularly about progress to this level. The school has targets to improve attendance and your child has an important part to play in meeting these.

What to do if your child is absent

If your child is unwell and unable to attend school, please ring the school on 0333 999 1455 and report their absence to the Business Support staff in the main office before 9 am.

Sickness and Diarrhoea

In recent times, a number of parents have raised concerns over the school policy concerning sickness and diarrhoea.

The school follows the Northumberland Tyne and Wear Health Protection Unit (HPU) guidelines which state:

‘A child should not return to school following a bout of diarrhoea and sickness until they are symptom-free for 48 hours to minimise the risk of a recurrence at school’

School also follow further guidelines set by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention as directed by the Local Authority, which also clearly states:

‘Swimmers who are sick with Diarrhoea or have been sick in the last 2 weeks risk contaminating pool water with germs’

Even if a pool is well maintained, certain germs that cause Diarrhoea can live from minutes to days in pools. This is why the school does not allow students to access the swimming pool for 14 days after a bout of diarrhoea.

Term Time Holidays

As you may be aware the Department of Education has announced that as of 1st September 2013 Headteachers will no longer be able to grant permission for any leave of absence for students (including holidays) during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances, this includes any holidays already booked.

Our Attendance Policy can be found here: Attendance Policy


No school can claim that “there is no bullying here”. Every school has some degree of bullying, even if only slight and infrequent. However, it is our school’s aim to demonstrate to students and parents that there will be a positive and effective response to any incident of bullying whilst recognising that each incident will have to be based on its individuality and treated as such.

Our Anti-Bullying Policy can be found here: Anti-Bullying Policy

Home school transport

Portland Academy does not arrange the home to college transport for our students, this is organised and paid for by the Local Authority. Each student is assessed individually taking account of their specific needs and transport is arranged accordingly. Parents/carers must contact Education Transport on 0191 5612284 if there are any changes to these arrangements.  If you have any issues with transport whatsoever, please contact Education Transport.

Pupil Behaviour Guidelines

In line with our Mission Statement, staff value and respect all people in school and support pupils to value and respect others in the school.  On occasion, some pupils find this difficult and their behaviour can be challenging which may cause hurt or injury for others. On these occasions, staff will work together and attempt to help individuals recognise more positive means of interacting and expressing their feelings. Our Behaviour Policy can be downloaded here: Behaviour Policy

School Meals

Sunderland School Meals Service have specially designed school meals menus for special school students, these are based on the primary school menu (see link below).  The menus are devised to provide students with the energy and nutrition they require across the whole school day. Students can choose from a variety of freshly cooked meals that change on a daily basis over the three-week menu cycle. They can also choose a dessert and a drink.

All our menus meet national school food standards.

Paid School Meals

School meals cost £2.30 per day or £11.50 per week. Parents/carers can pay weekly, 1/2 termly or termly by sending cash or cheque to the school office. Please mark any cheques payable to Portland Academy.

Autumn Term: 4th November – 18th December 2019 – £80.50
Spring Term: 7th January – 14th February 2020 – £66.70
Spring Term: 24th February – 2nd April 2020 – £66.70
Summer Term: 20th April – 22nd May 2020 – £55.20
Summer Term: 1st June – 17th July 2020 – £80.50

Free School Meals

Students whose parents receive the following benefits and tax credits are entitled to receive free school meals:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Child Tax Credit, provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual income, as assessed by the Inland Revenue that does not exceed £16,190 or
  • Guarantee element of Pension Credit

Students who receive Income Support or Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance in their own right are also entitled to receive free school meals.

The application process has changed recently – Free School Meals Application Changes

Please click on the link to apply online Free School meals online application or telephone 0191 5611417 for further information.


School Uniform

Many parents tell us that their child likes to wear school uniform and that it makes ‘morning routines’ easier for them! By wearing the uniform, pupils can be easily recognized when out of school, it’s easy to wash and develops a sense of identity. Please will you encourage your child to wear the uniform for school.  Pupils who come to school in inappropriate clothes may be required to change into different clothes when they arrive.  We ask all parents and carers who send their children to our school to support the uniform policy.  If any parent would like the school to modify the uniform policy, they should make representation in writing to the Head Teacher.  If there are serious reasons, for example, religious grounds why parents want their child to wear clothes that differ from the uniform outlined then the school will look sympathetically at such requests.

The Trustees monitor and review the school uniform policy by:

  • Considering the views of parents and looking at requests to modify or change the policy
  • Requiring the Head Teacher to report to the Trustees on the effectiveness of the policy

 Uniform Policy

  • White Polo Shirt with (or without) the school logo
  • Black, Grey or Navy trousers or skirt
  • Dark blue sweatshirt/fleece/cardigan with (or without)
    the school logo
  • Dark shoes which give good protection to feet

6th Form: The sixth form uniform has recently been updated and will now include our new 6th form logo.  The new polo shirts will be dark grey, and the current zip-up jacket will change to a zip-up hoodie.  We really like the varsity styles jackets, but they will change from black and white to navy and grey.

School UniformSchool Uniform Y7-Y11School Uniform 6th Form

 PE Kit

All pupils who participate in PE will be required to have a change of clothing and must wear appropriate footwear.  Pupils will shower after PE sessions wherever possible.  Please provide a named towel and wash bag and ensure your child brings their kit into school at the relevant times during the week.

P.E Kit order form