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.
Welcome from the Principal
Firstly, 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
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.
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.
To be an outstanding college, highly acclaimed by students and employers as central to their future success.
To deliver first-class education, professional development and technical skills training to develop careers and strengthen the local economy.
- 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.
Be successful with high qualifications
Last year we had our best ever results in terms of good degrees; most of our students got either a 1st or 2:1 degree!
Our courses, developed with the University of Essex and employers, have strong vocational and industry-led content. This ensures that our students are ready to hit the ground running when they start work. Many of our students are employed whilst studying for their degree and are able to balance work and study thanks to our flexible course design.
Be inspired by our teaching staff
All of our courses are delivered by tutors with strong backgrounds in industry and business; many continue to practise in their vocational field, so you will be learning from the best. Their professional expertise and academic knowledge is valued by our students. You will benefit from studying in smaller classes, receiving regular formal and informal feedback on progress and having a high level of support from and accessibility to your tutors. Expert speakers are frequently invited to share their specialist knowledge with you too.
Be in the zone with specialist facilities
Our Higher Education Centre, opened in 2012, offers a dedicated space for our higher education students; it includes quiet and group study spaces and common room. Across our Colchester Campus students benefit from an excellent range of specialist resources and facilities, including dance and drama studios, a Cisco networking suite and programming laboratory, onsite and town centre based art galleries and studio space, a well-equipped library and resource centre.
Be involved, with our active campus
Our bustling, vibrant campus has a great mix of students and there is always something going on. The three refectories, take-away and coffee shops offer plenty of choice throughout the day. You can even enjoy a delicious meal in our award winning restaurants. Great value treatments are offered in the hair and beauty salons. The Swinburne Hall hosts live performances throughout the year and the Student Services team organises a calendar of events.
The gym is open to all students and, in term-time, you can join classes for abs and Zumba. The Students’ Union runs trips, clubs and societies – join in or create your own! A great benefit of being an Undergraduate and Postgraduate Colchester Institute student is that you are able to become a guest member of the University of Essex Students’ Union, which means you get to enjoy an amazing range of activities offered through the University. You’ll meet other students who share your interests, you can play sports, get paid work and have the best nights out of your life at the Union’s 1,200 capacity nightclub, three bars, restaurants or cinema.
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…
- 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.
- Play a greater role in driving local and regional economic growth.
- Be valued as a great place to work by staff and recognised as a good employer within the community.
- Build further financial resilience. This will allow greater capital and capacity development, safeguard provision for the future and enable fair reward for staff.
- Be a brand that is recognised locally and regionally. The brand will be synonymous with academic and commercial success.
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:
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 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
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.
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.
Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults
Safeguarding, 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.
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.
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.
Formed in 1996 as a Registered Charity (No. 1060317), CIFT Colchester Institute Foundation Trust has the main purpose to raise income for the benefit of students at Colchester Institute, overseen by an appointed Board of Trustees.
The principal purpose of the Trust is to benefit Colchester Institute students who are experiencing financial hardship to the extent that they are unable to participate at College and complete or achieve their qualifications.
The College does have access to Government awarded Learning Support Funds to support students on low incomes and who meet pre-defined eligibility criteria, however, in the current economic climate these funds have been reduced (for example the scrapping of the previous Education Maintenance Allowance), at the time when requests for financial support from students is increasing.
In a lot of cases, due to their college commitments, students are unable to undertake formal employment, and there are those whose financial situations are really desperate and there simply isn’t the financial support available within College funds to help them to continue to study and shape their futures.
Colchester Institute Foundation Trust awards are only considered where a student can demonstrate commitment to their chosen course of study and the impact of the award is the difference between them staying on the course or having to withdraw.
The CIFT funds
The Trustees aim to attract and receive donations, to monitor investment and its income, and to apply or manage the funds to the benefit of the students residing in the catchment areas served by Colchester Institute.
Trustees have access to restricted funds and non- restricted funds, they can allocate from restricted funds if a request falls directly in line with the directives from the donor. Such funds include;
Swinburne Memorial Fund
WB Lake and HJ Smith Prize
Allan Hambly Prize
City and Guilds / Crittalls Prize