About Us

Welcome to Colchester InstitutePrincipal’s WelcomeOur Vision, Mission and ValuesReasons to choose UsStrategic PrioritiesOur CampusesGovernance InformationEquality and DiversityCommitment to SafeguardingCommunity EngagementColchester Institute Foundation Trust (CIFT)

About Us

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

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.

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.

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!

Be employable

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…

  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 Campus
Colchester Campus
Braintree Campus
Braintree Campus
Clacton Campus
Clacton Campus
Harwich (ESC)
Harwich (ESC)
STEM Centre
STEM Centre
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

Equality and Diversity Policy

1. Policy Statement

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.

To this end, the College aims to ensure that all actual or potential learners and employees 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.

2. Key principles

  • The College believes that all forms of prejudice and discrimination* are   unacceptable.  In recognition of the fact that they can take a variety of forms, depending on the group against whom they are directed, the College will adapt/develop policies embodying the issues specific to discrimination on the grounds of the following protected characteristics:
    – Age
    – Disability
    – Gender
    – Race
    – Religion or Belief
    – Sexual Orientation
    – Gender Reassignment
    – Pregnancy and Maternity
    – Marriage and Civil Partnership
  • The College will seek to challenge inequality, prejudice and discrimination.
  • The College will seek to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
  • The College embraces diversity in all its aspects, and aims to have a workforce, governing body and learner population which reflects, at every level, the community it serves.
  • The College will treat all employees and learners with respect and dignity, and seek to provide a working and learning environment free from harassment, discrimination and victimisation.  The College will not tolerate any form of discriminatory behaviour against its employees and learners either from other employees, learners, or members of the public and will work to eliminate bullying and harassment in all its forms. Prompt and considerate action will be taken to investigate incidents of bullying and harassment.
  • In seeking to achieve a balanced workforce and learner population at all levels, the College will ensure that no employee, learner, job applicant or candidate for promotion will be disadvantaged, or treated less favourably because of conditions or requirements that are not related to the job or programme of learning.  Reasonable adjustments will be made to arrangements and premises to ensure equal access for people with disabilities.
  • In order to ensure that all staff and learners and potential staff and learners are treated with equality and fairness at all stages of employment and the learning programme, and that their treatment is based solely on objective and job/programme of learning related criteria, the College will ensure that equality issues are embedded into all its policies and procedures.
  • The College will seek to actively promote equality and diversity throughout the College. For learners we will ensure it is adequately covered within student induction, the group tutorial process and embedded fully into the curriculum.
  • The College will establish links and contacts with local community groups and other relevant organisations, which will include the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) community sector, working in partnership, where appropriate, to encourage and facilitate access to education, training and employment.

3. Structures

  1. The Vice Principal for Quality and Support will have delegated responsibility for equality issues.  The designated person will ensure that regular reports are made to the Corporation. The Learner Services and Equality Manager will have the remit to promote Equality and Diversity across the College and support teams and individuals.
  2. The embedding of Equality and Diversity in the Curriculum will be reviewed and monitored through Teaching and Learning Observations, and through other Quality processes, including Boards of Study the Self-Assessment Review.
  3. A standing agenda item to discuss issues relation to Equality and Diversity will be included in College meetings.

4. Monitoring

  • The College undertakes to conduct comprehensive and effective monitoring of all aspects of staffing and the learner population.
  • The College is committed to the collection of statistics, analysis of data and presentation of data, as well as monitoring on an ongoing basis and as policies and practices change. Equality and Diversity will also be monitored as part of the Course Review and Self Assessment Review processes.
  • The main forms of monitoring used by the College will be the composition of the existing workforce, governing body and learner population, the recruitment processes, learner retention and achievement with particular reference to ethnicity, age, disability and gender.
  • Action plans will be drawn up to address any imbalances and in particular to narrow any identified achievement gaps between groups of learners identified as a result of monitoring and reviewing this data.
  • An annual Equality and Diversity report will be produced to summarise all monitoring data, analysis of feedback including any complaints and the annual review of the Equality Objectives.

5. Positive action

The College undertakes to follow positive action measures allowed by law to rectify disadvantages in employment and learning revealed by monitoring.

In particular to promote equality as detailed in the College’s Equality Objectives.

6. Training

Equality and diversity training will be provided to all staff as part of the induction process, including mandatory completion of the on-line Equality and Diversity Essentials modules. Specific training will also be provided for throughout the year on different aspects of equality and diversity as appropriate.

A review of Equality and Diversity related training, including attendance will form part of the annual Equality and Diversity Report.

7. Raising concerns

  • If an employee believes they have not been treated fairly within the scope of this policy they may raise the matter through the College’s Dealing with Bullying and Harassment at Work or Grievance Procedures.
  • Similarly, if a learner believes they have not been treated fairly within the scope of this policy they may raise the matter through the College’s Dealing with Bullying and Harassment at College or Complaints Procedures.

8. Publicising the policy

The College’s commitment to equal opportunities and the Equality and Diversity policy will be communicated widely to employees, learners, work placement providers and the public at large through:

  • College prospectuses and annual Equality and Diversity report
  • employee and learner induction programmes
  • copies available throughout the College, and visible on posters
  • through the College web site and Portal
  • copies of the policy provided to work based learning and work placement providers, with a requirement for them to adopt the Policy if they do not already have one in place.

9. Review

This policy will be reviewed on a regular basis in accordance with legislative developments and the need for good practice.

10. Supporting policies/procedures

  • Dealing with Bullying and Harassment at Work
  • Dealing with Bullying and Harassment at College
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 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.

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.

CIFTFormed 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
Art Fund
WB Lake and HJ Smith Prize
Allan Hambly Prize
City and Guilds / Crittalls Prize

Donate to Colchester Institute Foundation Trust