The Educational and Training Services (ETS) Officers of 18 Army Education Centre enjoy close liaison with the local Headteachers, Boards of Governors and the Local Education Authority. Both the OC 18 AEC and the Individual Education & Resettlement Officer (IERO) are happy to discuss with parents any educational issue which may concern them. Interviews can be arranged by appointment or alternatively advice can be given over the telephone (Colchester 815264 or 815991).
The Right to Choose
Traditionally schools have had a designated catchment area (or priority admission area) from which they draw their pupils. Indeed LEA schools are obliged to give places to all the children in their catchment areas and are generally very keen to attract children from outside this area because funding is based largely upon the number of pupils at the school.
Parents therefore need not send their children to their catchment area school. They are free to ‘shop around’ and may choose to send their children to any school so long as the correct administrative procedures have been followed, conditions met and a place is available in the appropriate year group.
Choosing the Right School
Each school is required by law to produce a prospectus giving details of its character, policy on discipline and homework, performance in national tests and examinations, truancy rates etc. These may be requested direct from the schools allowing parents to choose the school which best suits the needs of their children. All local Headteachers welcome enquiries and are willing to arrange visits.
If you wish to use an LEA school out of your catchment area then you will need to complete a Preference Application Form. These forms are available from the Planning and Admissions Service of Learning Services at County Hall (0845 603 2200) and should be returned for consideration as soon as you have decided upon your choice of school.
Finally, do not forget that it is now a parental responsibility to ensure that your child’s school records are moved from the old school to the new school.
Essex Choice Advice Service
Choice Advice is a free, independent and confidential statutory service for parents and carers of all children applying for a school place in Essex and its neighbouring local authorities. Our adviser can inform and support parents and carers to enable them and their child to consider which schools they prefer. The Choice Adviser can organise group sessions within the school setting and/or individual meetings, if required. We want to be sure that you get the help you want knowing that it is totally independent. If your child has a statement of special educational needs, you can obtain specialist confidential and impartial support from the Parent Partnership Service.
Schools serving the Service Families Accommodation
There are a large number of schools which either directly serve SFA sites or which are within easy commuting distance. Remember, applications for places should be made direct to the Headteacher.
If you live in the Drury Meadows area of the SFA site (St Barbara’s Road, Messines Road, Aisne Road, Mons Road, Cambrai Road, Menin Road) the following schools are most convenient:
Hamilton Primary School Colchester 572362
St John’s Green Primary School Colchester 573457
If you live in the area south of St Barbara’s Road, including the Montgomery, St Michael’s and Maypole Green estates, the following schools are convenient:
King’s Ford Junior School Colchester 573807
King’s Ford Infants School & Nursery Colchester 574524
Montgomery Infants School & Nursery Colchester 570231
Montgomery Junior School Colchester 572288
St Michael’s Primary School & Nursery Colchester 546412
All schools are within walking distance from the quartering areas.
Thomas Lord Audley School, Monkwick Avenue, Colchester 547911
Philip Morant School & College, Rembrant Way, Colchester CO3 QS Colchester 545222
Sixth Form College, North Hill, Colchester, Essex CO1 1SN Colchester 500700. This is one of the largest an most successful Sixth Form Colleges in the country.
Colchester High School Wellesley Road, Colchester CO3 3HD (the only independent day school) to request a prospectus or arrange a visit to the school. Tel: 01206 217116
Essex continues to have a selective system of education. These following schools cater for the more academically able children who have attained a pass in the selective procedure. Applications for the limited places available should be made in the first instance to the school itself.
County High School for Girls, Norman Way Colchester 576973
Colchester Royal Grammar School (Boys 11-18), (Girls 16+ A Levels), Lexden Road, Colchester 509100
Roman Catholic Schools
The following Roman Catholic schools in Colchester include the SFA site in their catchment areas. Applications for places should be made direct to the Headteachers.
St Thomas More’s Catholic Primary School, Priory Street Colchester 865722
St Teresa’s Catholic Primary School, Clairmont Rd, Lexden Colchester 508445
St Benedict’s College, Norman Way Colchester 549222
Essex County Council provides transport to serve the SFA running to and from St Teresa’s Primary School. For more information on the transport service, ring St Teresa’s Catholic Primary School on Colchester 508445.
Independent Schools and Boarding Education
If you wish your child to attend an independent school or you think that your child would be better suited to a boarding school education, the OC 18 AEC is available to give you limited advice. The AEC currently offers a comprehensive computer database of independent schools information for use by Service parents. It can provide a short list of schools that match your child’s needs as well as giving a detailed pen picture of each school (including their latest public examination performance). Call the Centre on Colchester 782308 or 782310 for more details.
In addition, details of some independent schools can be found in the advertisements in this Guide and there is an Independent Schools Internet site www.isis.org.uk which contains more detailed information.
Further Education and Evening Classes
A wide range of educational courses are available to adults in the Colchester area. The main Further Education provider is Colchester Institute which provides over 70 full-time and 200 part-time courses, ranging from GCSEs to degrees. Further details can be obtained on Colchester 718000.
The Local Adult Education Centre, Grey Friars, runs academic, craft, recreational and vocational evening classes in several locations around the town. Further details can be obtained on Colchester 542242.
The Army Learning Centre offers a number of courses in the following categories:
Basic Skills, Information and Communication,Technology, Business Management.
Most of these courses are available via the Internet, which allows for a flexible way of learning. Also available is free Internet access for research or recreational use. Free e-mail accounts can also be created for you.
These facilities are available to military personnel and their dependants.
For further details please contact: ALC Civil: 01206 815272 Mil: 94660 5272.