Student Services and SEND Support

Student ServicesStudent Support – What we offerSEND SupportSEND Support: What we offerDeaf Access TeamStudent Counselling ServiceCareers AdviceEmotional and Wellbeing Support

Colchester Institute has a wide range of support services. These are available to help you with the practicalities of life as a student, as well as planning for your future career.

Here for you

We are on hand to ensure your transition to college is as smooth as possible and our dedicated Student Services and Support team can offer support in a number of areas during your time with us. We have representatives to ensure you are given the appropriate support or assistance; whether it’s related to your programme of study or general wellbeing, we are here to help.

If you want to know, for example, whether you are eligible for a grant or a loan, our Student Services staff will help you. Staff are also able to help you with any personal problems, through confidential student support services. Specialists in careers and educational guidance are also available to assist you in your future career plans. We are here to help you be successful, whatever your age or circumstances.

How to Find Us

Where are Student services:

Colchester campus: Ground Floor B Block

Braintree campus: Student Hub

What time are Student Services open:


Monday – Thursday 8:30am – 5pm

Friday 8:30am -4:30pm

Contact Student Support Services on 01206 712078

Whether you are still at school, have been working for a number of years or are returning to your studies after a long break, going to college is exciting. However, it can also be confusing and may mean changes to your lifestyle. Colchester Institute’s Student Support Services are designed to help you make the most of your time here.

Our Additional Learning Support team can support in a variety of ways. The most important thing is that we know about your learning needs at an early stage so we can ensure the necessary support is in place for you.

We pride ourselves on the support provided to students with SEND needs. We have a dedicated team on hand to support you throughout your time with us. If you have a learning difficulty and / or disability, we encourage you to come and see us as soon as you are thinking of applying for a course. We ask that you declare your need for support on your application form by ticking the appropriate box under the additional needs section.

Our Additional Learning Support team can support in a variety of ways. The most important thing is that we know about your learning needs at an early stage, so we can ensure the necessary support is in place for when you attend an interview and subsequently before you start your programme with us.

We have a range of specialist staff including learning support practitioners (LSPs) who can support students with literacy and numeracy and with study skills. Types of support we can offer include:

  • Classroom-based learning support
  • Support for Dyslexia and Specific Learning Difficulties (spLDs)
  • Exam concessions and Access Arrangements
  • Note takers and specialist teaching for deaf learners
  • A hearing loop facility
  • Communication support workers
  • Specialist equipment

If you require Exam Access Arrangements these must be declared / requested within the first 6 weeks of a student’s programme of study. Please click here for more information:

Exam Access Arrangements

We ask that you declare your need for support on your application form by ticking the appropriate box under the additional needs section. If you wish to discuss your needs at any point during the application process or during your course, please contact our Additional Learning Support Team by emailing or calling us on 01206 712861 or 01206 712073.

Deaf Access Team

Colchester Institute is committed to supporting deaf students so they can access the full curriculum.

We have a team of professionals to ensure students achieve their full potential. The Deaf Access Team can support a range of deaf students to suit individual requirements.

You can arrange a meeting with the Learning Support Team and tell us what support you require and ask questions.

The support the Deaf Access Team can offer:
  • Communicators: Communicators transfer spoken English into BSL or SSE, whatever you prefer. They can voice over your signing if you require. Communicators sign lectures and peer input, and modify written English.
  • Notetakers: Notetakers take notes in lectures. The notes are yours to keep.

For details of how we can help, please telephone the Learning Support Office on Colchester (01206) 712073, Braintree (01206) 712978, or text phone 08834 339739.

There are times in everyone’s life when things are difficult. It can sometimes help to talk to someone outside your family and friends who won’t judge you.

We offer a professional counselling service for our students. The service is friendly and confidential and appointments can be made via Student Services.

The Student Services Student Counselling Service is currently open to students studying at Colchester and Braintree sites. If you are studying at any of our other sites please contact 01206 712310.

University Centre Colchester at Colchester Institute also provides separate counselling service to members of the public, which provides access to counselling in Colchester and Clacton-on- Sea.

What can I get help with?

The counselling service can help with a wide range of personal issues.

You might be having difficulties with:

  • Anger
  • Anxiety and panic
  • Bullying
  • Coping with College life
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Health matters
  • Family problems
  • Lack of self-esteem
  • Loneliness
  • Loss or bereavement
  • Personal relationships
  • Self-harm
  • Sexuality
How do I make an appointment?

Colchester Contact: Natasha Clement Leech

Tel: (01206) 712310


Braintree Contact: Shelia Hicks    

Tel: (01206) 812683


Our professional in-house careers service is available to provide information, advice and guidance. Our team of qualified advisers offer confidential and individual guidance interviews as well as a daily drop-in service once you are a student with us. They can provide help and support with a range of areas including:

  • Self-awareness and career choices
  • Job applications and CV writing
  • Interview techniques
  • Progression routes
  • Apprenticeships
  • Higher Education, including UCAS applications
  • Taking a gap year and holiday work

We know that there are times when you may feel overwhelmed so we have included some useful information in case you might need some extra support out of hours when the College safeguarding and welfare teams are unavailable.

Emotional Wellbeing Support – Self Care

Emotional Wellbeing Support

For out of hours support please find below a list of agencies you can contact:

  • Police emergency line: 999
    Police non-emergency line: 101
  • NHS non-emergency line (has an option for emergency mental health support): 111
  • Essex Children’s Social Care:
    0345 6037 627
  • Y.E.S (housing/homelessness/
    01206 712184
  • NSPCC, ChildLine:
  • Young Minds; access the crisis messenger by texting:
    YM 85258
  • Samaritans (suicide prevention charity):
  • The Outhouse (LGBTQ+ support):
    01206 871394
  • Papyrus Hope line UK (suicide prevention charity):
    0800 0684 141
  • Kooth (online counselling):
  • Home Office Forced-Marriage Helpline:
    02070 080151
  • Shelter (Homelessness advice):
    0808 8004 444
  • Domestic Abuse Helpline:
    0808 2000 247
  • Karma Nirvana (honour-based violence support):
    0800 5999 247
  • Community 360 (Support to families):
    01206 505250
  • RAMA (Refugee, Asylum seeker & Migrant support):
    01206 638454

Guide to living with worry and anxiety (PDF)

Keeping yourself safe online

Keeping yourself safe online

We would like to remind you of support available for you to keep yourself safe online.

If it is an emergency or crisis situation please call the emergency services on 999. 

Information about Foodbanks

Information about Foodbanks

If you are struggling to afford the essentials Colchester Institute has been approved to issue foodbank vouchers, please contact student services on campus for more information.

To find your nearest foodbank, please use this link: Find a Food Bank – The Trussell Trust

Please note this is a 3-day crisis service and can only be accessed with a voucher.

In addition, the college has a student bursary for households on a low income; please see this link: Student Fees, Finance & 19+ Learner Loans | Colchester Institute