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Colchester Institute is a provider of high quality vocational education throughout north Essex. Originally starting as the Colchester School of Art in 1885, we have grown to operate across campuses in Colchester, Braintree and Clacton.

We provide a large number of different courses ranging from full, part-time, apprenticeships and degrees, which can enable you to enter employment straight away or progress onto university.

Vocational learning is an integral part of all of our courses, where the knowledge gained from practical activities with cutting edge, industry relevant equipment, work placements and theory provides you with a strong knowledge in your chosen field, along with a competitive edge against others when entering employment.

Colchester Institute is regionally recognised for our art, catering and performing arts facilities where we are highly renowned within these areas for producing strong and well-equipped alumni students, where 89% of our degree students are in work or further study after six months of graduating.

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Welcome from the Principal

Colchester InstituteFirstly, may I extend a really warm welcome to you, as parents and carers of students joining (or re-joining) us, here at Colchester Institute.

These pages are designed to provide you with information which will help you to support your son or daughter to enrol and settle quickly in to College, so they can have a productive, enjoyable and successful time on their programme of study.

We have tried to include everything that you may need to know, but please use the contact details found further down the page to phone or email us if you still have other questions.

Our aim is to ensure that all our students have the opportunity and encouragement to engage positively with their programme of study; to attend regularly; to work hard and to achieve the best results that they can. In doing this, we also hope to prepare and inspire our students to take their next steps into interesting and rewarding careers or higher level programmes of study.

Experience has shown us that students are most successful when Colleges work in partnership with parents to support them. We look forward to a long and successful partnership with you, and your son or daughter, and hope to see you at future College events.

With best wishes

Alison Andreas
Principal and
Chief Executive

Our staff and students are celebrating, following the outcome of our recent Ofsted inspection which has declared our college “Good” in every single category including: Student Outcomes (results and standards of work); Teaching and Learning; Leadership and Management; and Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare. Inspectors also looked separately at Apprenticeship provision courses for Adults, and Study Programmes for the 4,000 full time 16-19-year-old students at the College, and stated that all of these were also “Good”.

“We have been on an incredible journey over the past two years, most notably introducing a culture of much higher expectations of students. We have also placed huge importance around teaching and learning which ensures the best possible progress, and outcomes, for each individual student, and provides the necessary support and opportunities for students to progress to, and succeed in, higher level learning and employment.”Alison Andreas, Principal and Chief Executive

The inspection took place over four days, from 9th-12th February, with ten inspectors visiting the College’s three main campuses in Colchester, Braintree and Clacton, as well as two of our smaller sites at The Learning Shop in Dovercourt and the Energy Skills Centre at Parkeston Quay in Harwich. Inspectors particularly commended the opportunities provided at all of the college’s sites.

They praised the easy access to learning at the Learning Shop, which has enabled hundreds of adults to improve their maths and English and gain the qualifications to secure and succeed in work. Similarly, Ofsted inspectors were impressed by the employment levels achieved at the Energy Skills Centre, where adults are gaining valuable skills in the engineering sector, including off-shore wind.

We have also been widely commended for our response to the government’s call for three million Apprenticeships by 2020. The college has never had more Apprentices on our books, well exceeding 2,000 this year, and this directly addresses employer skills needs, enabling business growth across our campuses, from Harwich through to Colchester and Braintree.

“Inspectors recognised the hard work and commitment of all staff, and in particular they commented on the success of our “tough love” approach. It’s also particularly pleasing that inspectors commended the really positive attitude of our students to their studies and the high standards of work that they produce. They praised teachers’ approaches in lessons, and the innovative ways in which they interest and enthuse students.”Jill Wognum, Vice Principal of Curriculum and Quality
“There are so many strengths identified in the report, but in particular we’re delighted that inspectors have recognised our success in preparing students for work and placing people into relevant jobs, as well as our productive relationships with local employers.Christopher Bridge, Chair of Governors

This result comes in the same month that we move into our new £10m Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) centre in the brand new South Wing. This is the latest in a series of new teaching spaces to be opened at the Sheepen Road campus, where well in excess of £15m has been secured in external funding to improve facilities over the past three years.

To download or view the full Ofsted report, please click here.

Vision and Mission

The Board discharges its responsibility for setting the strategic direction of Colchester Institute by agreeing the Vision and Mission statements and the College’s Strategic Plan.

All these statements are reviewed and updated regularly to reflect the developing needs of students and the changing educational and training requirements of the community. The current Strategic Plan, “Better Careers Begin Here” covers the time frame 2017 -2020.

Our Vision

To be an outstanding college, highly acclaimed by students and employers as central to their future success.

Our Mission

To deliver first-class education, professional development and technical skills training to develop careers and strengthen the local economy.

Our Values

  • We place the success and wellbeing of students and an outstanding student experience at the heart of our choices, decisions and priorities.
  • We have high expectations of ourselves, our students and our partners and aim for excellence in all aspects of our work.
  • We value and recognise the skills and significant contribution made by all our staff, in achieving our goals.
  • We respect each other, promote equality, celebrate diversity and break down barriers to success.
  • We are responsive, and adapt our provision to meet the needs of our students, the local economy and local and national priorities for skills development.
  • We act responsibly, with honesty, integrity and openness, safeguarding the future health and success of our organisation.

Our Strategic Priorities

The staff and board here at Colchester Institute have a five-step strategic plan that they believe will improve every area of the college and create a positive learning and working environment for everyone involved:

Colchester Institute will…

  1. Be known for its excellence in teaching, learning and assessment. This will be evidenced by exceptional rates of student progress, achievement and progression with outstanding destinations a known characteristic of the College.
  2. Play a greater role in driving local and regional economic growth.
  3. Be valued as a great place to work by staff and recognised as a good employer within the community.
  4. Build further financial resilience. This will allow greater capital and capacity development, safeguard provision for the future and enable fair reward for staff.
  5. Be a brand that is recognised locally and regionally. The brand will be synonymous with academic and commercial success.

Please view our 2017-2020 Strategic Plan Online or Download as a PDF

Code of Conduct

The Vision and Mission Statements seek to encapsulate the core purposes and aims of the College. The Board recognises its obligations to all those with whom it has dealings: students, employees, local and national employers and industries, suppliers, other educational institutions and the local community. It also recognises that it has accountability to tax payers. Board members are committed to ensuring that they conduct their business in accordance with the highest ethical standards, to this end, every Board member signs a Code of Conduct. This is based upon the seven Principles of Public Service set out in the Nolan Report, these are:

  • Selflessness
  • Integrity
  • Objectivity
  • Accountability
  • Openness
  • Honesty
  • Leadership

The Code sets out the ways in which members are expected to deal with their statutory accountability, how they exercise skill, care and due diligence, and the Board’s powers, conflicts of interests, collective responsibility, openness and confidentiality, complaints, attendance and good governance.


Colchester Institute is committed to the rights of learners within all its learning locations and campuses; it is committed to promoting their welfare, protecting their physical and psychological well-being and safeguarding them from all forms of abuse.

The College’s Safeguarding and Child Protection policy aims to ensure that all learners attending the College and any of our other training locations do so in a safe and secure environment.  Colchester Institute expects all staff to share this commitment.

Attachment Size
Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults 1 MB
Anti-Bullying Policy for Students 139.96 KB
Learner e-Safety Policy (Feb 2013) 156.6 KB

Well-being and keeping safe

Colchester Institute will not tolerate harassment or bullying on any grounds on students or employees.

The College is committed to:

  • Promoting a culture where harassment or bullying is neither condoned or tolerated where it is found to exist
  • Challenging any inappropriate actions or behaviour
  • Ensuring any complaints of harassment and bullying are investigated quickly, effectively and sensitively

What to do if I am the victim of bullying or harassment?

Students who are targets, or who are aware of any incidents of bullying or harassment, should contact Student Services Welfare Team where there are experienced staff who can help, they can be located in B66a, Ground Floor, Main Building, Colchester Campus.

At The College at Braintree, please go to Student Services A56, at The College at Clacton, please go to the Information Centre.

Alternatively phone 01206 712855

Staff who are targets, or who are aware of any incidents of bullying or harassment, should speak to their CMG member or contact the Human Resources Manager in B101, First Floor, Main Building, Colchester Campus or on 01206 712855.

Anti Bullying Policy for Staff

Equality and Diversity

Colchester Institute aims to provide a welcoming environment in which all learners and employees are encouraged to realise their full potential, where every individual is valued and offered equal opportunity to progress.

The College will treat all employees and learners with respect and dignity, and in an equivalent fashion, and will seek to provide a working and learning environment free from harassment, discrimination and victimisation.

The College will not tolerate any form of discriminatory behaviour from other employees, learners or members of the public.

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