About Us

About Us - Principals Welcome | Alison Andreas

Welcome to Colchester Institute

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 three main campuses in Colchester, Braintree and Clacton.

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.  Recent developments include a brand new STEM Innovation Centre at our Braintree campus, extensive new facilities for Creative and Digital Media in Colchester and Braintree, a Construction Skills Centre in Clacton and a welcoming library and study zones in Colchester.   These developments complement our existing fantastic facilities for Hospitality and Food, Performing Arts and Art and Design and many well equipped classroom spaces. Projects currently underway include a new Learning and Technology Centre in Braintree and a new Health and Care Development Centre in Colchester, with realistic clinical and care facilities.

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.  UCC has an excellent track record for its graduates gaining work or further study on leaving the University Centre.

Alison Andreas, Principal and Chief Executive

Our Vision, Mission and ValuesStrategic PrioritiesCode of ConductOur CampusesGovernance InformationEquality and DiversityCommitment to SafeguardingCommunity EngagementColchester Institute Foundation Trust (CIFT)

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

Our Vision

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

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

  • 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

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
Clacton Campus
Clacton Campus
Harwich (ESC)
Harwich (ESC)
The Minories
The Minories


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.

Equality and Diversity Policy
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.

Download the Additional Learning Support Policy

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

The College’s Safeguarding 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, students and visitors to share this commitment.

Well-being and keeping safe

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
Bullying or harassment

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 712354

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 712333.

Anti Bullying Policy for Staff

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.
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.

Colchester Institute Foundation Trust awards
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 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
Art Fund
WB Lake and HJ Smith Prize
Allan Hambly Prize
City and Guilds / Crittalls Prize

Apply for an award from CIFT

Donate to Colchester Institute Foundation Trust