About Us

Welcome to Colchester InstituteOur Vision, Mission and ValuesOur GoalsStrategic Plan 2021 – 2024Code of ConductOur CampusesGovernance InformationDiversity, Equity and InclusionCommitment to SafeguardingCommunity EngagementColchester Institute Foundation Trust (CIFT)

Alison Andreas

At Colchester Institute we are passionate about your success.

Colchester Institute provides first class education, professional development and technical skills training to over 8,000 young people and adults every year. The College supports individuals to launch or develop their careers, and local businesses to access the skills and talent they need to thrive. The College has two main campuses in Colchester and Braintree. 

Programmes include full and part time further education courses, degrees and Apprenticeships as well as short courses for industry.

Vocational learning is an integral part of all of our courses, where the knowledge gained from practical activities with cutting edge, industry standard resources, work placements and theory provides students with strong knowledge and skills in their chosen field. Our ambition is to ensure that all students achieve the best possible results they can, giving them a competitive edge when entering employment or taking their studies to the next level.

Colchester Institute is regionally recognised for its outstanding facilities, which are constantly being renewed and refreshed.  In Colchester, over the course of 2022 we transformed our main buildings to provide outstanding new facilities supporting Business, Accounting and Computing, and Sport and Public Services.  We opened a 40-station new state of the art commercial hair salon and a brand-new beauty salon.  In November 2022 we officially opened our new Early Years suite, that will become home for T Levels in September 2023.  In early 2023 we will complete our construction workshop expansion project to support growing demand for all construction trades. All of this activity follows on from opening our flagship £5m Health and Social Care facility in 2020, complete with replica clinical and care settings and immersive technologies. These developments complement our fabulous facilities for all other areas and especially Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing, Creative Media, Hospitality, Performing Arts and Art and Design.  At Braintree we completed our campus transformation programme in 2019, providing outstanding learning environments for all subject areas, including some of the very best facilities in the country for Digital Media and Engineering. Both main campuses feature a welcoming library, study zones, student services and refectory facilities to support students.

Our degree students, enrolled at University Centre Colchester enjoy their own building and facilities and study on a wide range of degrees and apprenticeships, which are also focused strongly on preparing them for work, or progression at work.  University Centre Colchester has an excellent track record for its graduates gaining work or further study on leaving the University Centre.

Alison Andreas, Principal and Chief Executive

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.

Our Vision

Our Vision

By 2024 Colchester Institute will be celebrated as an outstanding provider of education and training in the Eastern region, recognised for its significant contribution to the social and economic recovery of individuals and organisations following the events of 2020.

Our Mission

Our Mission

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

Our Values

Our Values

It matters to us that we’re…

  • Student-focused with students at the heart of our decision, choices and priorities
  • Ambitious for our students, our staff and for our College’s future
  • Inclusive – welcoming staff and students from all walks of life on programmes from entry to degree level
  • Collaborative – working in partnership with others to achieve our goals
  • Open and honest – acting with responsibility and integrity in all that we do
  • An employer that recognises, values and develops our staff

Over the period of this plan (2021 – 2024) we will produce an annual programme of activity that will enable us to:

  1. Provide an outstanding experience which enables students to succeed in their qualification goals, progress to the highest levels of learning and move on to destinations that fully reflect their achievements at Colchester Institute.
  2. Create a teaching and learning environment that encourages reflection on learners and learning, methods and approaches, and allows us to challenge and change the way we do things whether in a classroom, workshop or virtual environment.
  3. Offer a curriculum that not only provides the skills needed for successful careers, but also supports and develops the whole person towards being an active, effective and valued member of their community.
  4. Seek new ways to promote equality, diversity and inclusivity in all our operations, ensuring they are fully embedded into the curriculum for all students, and aspiring to parity of recruitment, achievement and opportunity for both students and staff.
  5. Become a provider of choice for more employers to meet not only their training and workforce requirements, but other business-development needs.
  6. Fulfil our social and environmental responsibility through our actions as an organisation and through our privileged position as an influencer of young people and adults, including contributing to the drive towards net zero carbon.
  7. Become an employer of choice, which recognises, trusts, empowers and develops its workforce; and takes positive steps to ensure that the workforce is truly representative of the communities we serve.
  8. Maximise the recent re-development of the Braintree Campus, through increased stakeholder engagement and a curriculum, across all provision types, that fully reflects the District’s needs.
  9. Further develop the digital and physical resources that support the ambitions of this plan; delivering sector-leading advances through ongoing strategic digital transformation and ensuring that physical resources reflect modern and future work environments.
  10. Secure the future of our organisation through strategic investment; sound financial planning and control; careful risk management and appropriate commercial decision-making.

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 Campus
Colchester Campus
Braintree Campus
Braintree Campus
Harwich (ESC)
Harwich (ESC)

Colchester Institute is a mixed economy college of Further and Higher Education, established by the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. The statutory Instrument and Articles of Government sets down the membership, the powers and the responsibilities of the Board of Governors.

Much of the further education work of the College is funded through the Skills Funding Agency and the College is required to abide by the Financial Memorandum and the Audit Code of Practice.

The Colchester Institute Board of Governors is made up of members from a wide range of backgrounds, reflecting the communities the College serves and members elected by the staff and by students. The Principal is the only member who is both a Board member and a member of the executive.

The Board has overall responsibility for the educational character and mission of the College, for the general oversight of its activities and is accountable for the proper use of public funds and for exercising a duty of care for the assets of the College.

The Board of Governors and Colchester Institute are committed to ensuring that there is no discrimination within the College on the grounds of age, disability, family responsibility, marital status, race, colour, ethnicity, nationality, religion or belief, gender, sexual orientation, trade union activity, and any other irrelevant criteria.

Visit our governance section for further information

We are a College proud to encourage widening participation. We aim to provide a welcoming environment in which all learners are encouraged to realise their full potential; where every individual is valued and offered equal opportunity to progress.

To achieve this the College aims to ensure that all actual or potential learners are treated in an equivalent fashion regardless of age, disability, family responsibility, marital status, race, colour, ethnicity, nationality, religion or belief, gender, sexual orientation, trade union activity and any other irrelevant criteria. We seek to promote awareness of equality and diversity throughout the College and embrace diversity in all its aspects.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion


Colchester Institute believes firmly that diversity, equity and inclusion are essential factors which contribute to the academic and economic strengths of the College and the wellbeing of all students and staff. This policy deals with the promotion of equality of opportunity for all at Colchester Institute College in accordance with the Equality Act 2010.

The policy states our intention to treat all members and potential members of the College community with respect and dignity and seek to provide a safe and positive working and learning environment, free from discrimination, harassment or victimisation.

The College is committed to providing a learning and working environment that values all forms of diversity and seeks to create a culture of conscious inclusion in which issues of racism, stereotyping and discrimination can be discussed openly with a shared commitment to challenging prejudice.

Equality and Diversity Annual Report

This report has been written to allow all of our students and partners to recognise and understand the current position of the College in relation to how our learners achieve and develop regardless of their characteristics. A separate Staff Equality report also outlines the make-up of our staff and the objectives we hold for the future diversity, equity and inclusion in our recruitment and HR processes. The report constitutes a summary of the College’s approach to meeting the general and specific duties of the Equalities Act 2011. Further details about the action we intend to take can be found in the College’s Strategic Plan 2021-24.

Additional Learning Support

Colchester Institute is committed to inclusive learning and widening participation; the college also take its responsibilities under the The Equality Act 2010 very seriously. This means that all applicants and learners who have disabilities and/or learning difficulties are entitled to receive support to enable them to participate as fully as possible in College life and to enable them to complete their programme of study successfully, Additional Learning Support (ALS) will include any activity that provides direct support to individual learners, over and above that which is provided in their standard learning programme and which leads to their Primary Learning Goal.  The need may arise from a learning difficulty or disability or from literacy, numeracy or language support requirements.

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Policy Further Education Students

Where do I go to get Additional Learning Support?

If you are an existing or prospective student and you feel you would benefit from ALS then please contact the ALS team who are located in room B63 on the Ground Floor of the Main Building, or by phone on 01206 712703 or 01206 712519. Text phone 07834 339739.

Colchester Institute is committed to safeguarding all of our students and apprentices, all our staff have a responsibility for the safety and wellbeing of our students and apprentices.

We are committed to promoting the welfare, protection, and wellbeing of all of our students at all of our learning locations and safeguarding them from all forms of abuse or harm. We aim to ensure that all learners attending college do so in a safe and secure environment.

We have a trained a safeguarding team available between 8:30am and 5.00pm Monday to Thursday and 8:30am to 4:30pm on a Friday, college term time.

The Safeguarding Team can be contacted on 01206 712828 or sswelfare@colchester.ac.uk college term time.

Help and Support

If something happens outside of our office hours or out of term time the following services may be of help for students, apprentices, families, carers and employers.  If you access assistance from any of the services below please ensure the safeguarding team are informed as soon as possible (next working/term time day) so that we can support the student or apprentice when back in College.

  • Police – 999 for emergencies or 101 for non-urgent issues
  • Samaritans – 116 123
  • Childline – 0800 1111
  • NSPCC – 0808 8005000
  • NHS 111 – 111 for urgent medical help or advice that is not life-threatening
  • Children’s Social Services Essex – 0345 603 7627 (emergency duty number 0345 606 1212)
  • Adult Social Services Essex – 0345 603 7630 (emergency duty number 0345 606 1212)
  • CARA – Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse – 01206 769795 or online www.caraessex.org.uk
  • Papyrus – UK Suicide Prevention – HOPELINE UK – 0800 068 41 41 or online www.papyrus-uk.org


Radicalisation is the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and extremist ideologies. If you are worried that you, or someone close to you, is becoming radicalised act early and seek help.

The College works with the local police prevent team to prevent students and apprentices who may be vulnerable to radicalisation. The College engages with the Department for Education Prevent Co-ordinator, local prevent policing team and the multi agency Channel Panel.

The College fully supports initiatives which prevent people being radicalised. Friends and family can also support our students and apprentices and are best placed to spot the signs of radicalisation, so trust your instincts and share your concerns in confidence. To find out more about how to help someone close to you visit actearly.uk

Peer on Peer Harmful Sexual Behaviour and Sexual Harassment

The College works swiftly to support students who are experiencing any safeguarding concerns.  In response to the increase in cases relating to peer on peer harmful sexual behaviour and sexual harassment being experienced by young people, not just in education but in society, the College has increased its staff training and awareness in this area, follows guidance on how students should be supported and how concerns will be handled. The College has developed a group tutorial programme which encompasses the opportunity for students to explore this topic in a safe way. We want all of our students to feel safe and encourage any students to come forward with concerns so they can be supported and listened to.  The College understands that even if no concerns are reported harmful sexual behaviour and sexual harassment will still happen at our College and between our students.  The College works within Government guidance including: Keeping Children Safe in Education, Harmful Sexual Behaviour in Schools and Colleges and guidance from the local safeguarding board and the Local Authority.

Safeguarding and associated policies

Colchester Institute welcomes the opportunity to forge relationships with the many communities that surround us, and to work collaboratively with our local contacts. These are some of the ways in which Colchester Institute provides community engagement opportunities and works with other organisations, for the benefit of local people and communities:

Supporting Community Initiatives
We’re proud to participate in community fun and information days organised by Colchester Borough Council, Tendring District Council, Braintree District Council and Essex County Council. We sponsor a number of local community organisations and activities, including business networking groups, sports clubs, youth achievement events and regional shows.

We take part in local and regional festivals and events, such as the Clacton Air Show, Colchester Free Festival and Braintree Carnival. Our students take up work placements with local community organisations and charities. The Riverside Club at our Braintree campus offers the opportunity for those who are retired to enjoy learning activities, lunch and interesting talks by guest speakers.

Working with Local Businesses
Colchester Institute maintains a close relationship with local and regional businesses, through the delivery of professional courses for business and bespoke training programmes. Together with our valued network of training providers, we are able to offer an extensive range of Apprenticeships covering over 40 industry sectors.
Environmental Awareness
The College has carried out research into energy usage and is looking at ways to reduce its carbon footprint and energy wastage. The College’s recycling unit at Sheepen Road is helping to reduce the amount of material going to local landfill sites.

Colchester Institute Foundation Trust (CIFT) is an independent charity which raises funds to benefit students residing in the catchment areas served by Colchester Institute, including students studying Further Education, Higher Education and Apprenticeships.

The principle purpose of CIFT is to benefit Colchester Institute students who are experiencing financial hardship to the extent that they are struggling to participate at College / University and complete or achieve their qualifications.

Whilst the College has access to Government awarded discretionary Learning Support Funds to provide financial support for students on low incomes, who meet pre-defined eligibility criteria, in the current economic climate there are often cases where an individual student needs more financial help than these funds can provide.  Additionally, some students who do not meet the eligibility criteria for government-funded support, can still struggle to meet the costs associated with studying on vocational programmes and CIFT can often provide support here too.

In most cases students should first approach the College / University Centre Colchester to see if funded support is available to them after which they can then submit an application to CIFT, see application form below,

Colchester Institute Foundation Trust awards can only be considered where a student can demonstrate commitment to their chosen course of study and that the impact of the award could mean the difference between them staying on the course or having to withdraw.

Support for Apprentices

As apprentices are classed as being in full time employment, the College is unable to use government funds to support their expenses, this group of students are often the ones most in need of financial assistance as they, and their families, are unable to claim most state benefits. CIFT actively encourage applications from Apprentices.

Direct Solutions Travel Bursary

As part of the CIFT support for Apprentices there is a discrete bursary set aside for apprentices who would benefit from support with the costs of travelling to work and / or College. Please apply on the standard application form below.

Apply for an award from CIFT