Welcome to your area of the Columbus School and College website where you will be able to find an increasing wealth of information on how we can support you. From the practicalities of absence reporting and school uniforms to the support network of Family Link Workers and social meetings, you can find what’s on offer right here.

The School Day:

A year planner of the term dates, school holiday dates and INSET days for the current academic year can be found on this website by clicking the link above.

The school day begins on both School Campus and College Campus at 8.50am.  Pupils who arrive late must report to Reception on arrival to ensure that they are registered for attendance and safeguarding purposes.

For health and safety reasons, pupils should not arrive before 8.45am.  However, there is a Breakfast Club for the students on College Campus starting at 8.15am.  This is open to all interested students who are offered a carousel of social learning opportunities (e.g. making and enjoying their breakfast of choice with their peers).  All students are welcome - parents/carers just have to register an interest and places are subject to our ability to recruit the correct level of support staff.  Breakfast Club provides a much-needed support for parents who work and also for students who independently travel/walk to college to have some time before college starts to relax with their friends. 

In some departments lunch is taken at 12 noon and is followed by a break and social time between 12.45pm and 1.30pm. In other departments lunch is taken at 12:15pm and is followed by break and social time between 1pm and 1:40pm. 

Lunch breaks are as follows in all key stages: 

12.00 – 12.45           Lunch

12.45 – 1.30             Break

The school day ends at 3.15pm.

We hold various after school activities and clubs.  Information regarding these will be sent to parents/carers as appropriate.  

Family Link Workers:

Five Family Support Link-workers were appointed to Columbus School and College with a view to increasing the breadth of support we are able to offer families.

What can they do for you?

They have already offered support to families in a number of ways:

What plans are there to extend this service?

Social Meetings with Parents and Carers:

If you are a parent or carer of a young person at Columbus, why not come along to one of our regular Social Meetings? They are an ideal opportunity for all parents and carers to get together informally for refreshments and a chat.

We do hope you will be able to come along to as many of these Social Meetings as possible. Invitations will be sent to all parents and carers prior to each meeting.


Siblings are very welcome to attend, though we regret we cannot provide supervision.

Admissions Advice

Admissions to Columbus School and College take place following a period of consultation between the Statutory Assessment Service, Planning and Provision (SASP&P) and the school.

All young people admitted to Columbus must have a full EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan) or be in the process of having their EHCP finalised. For our youngest pupils, the EHCP process may not have yet started; in this case, admissions can still proceed following consultation via other specialist reports and implementation of the process cited below.

Columbus welcomes visits by prospective parents and carers who wish to look around and see a special school ‘in action’.

We are always happy to offer advice and support to parents even if their child may not eventually be admitted to the school.

When papers are received from SASP&P regarding a prospective pupil the school will begin a rigorous internal process to ascertain if the child would be suitably placed in its provision. The appropriate Head of Learning arranges to visit the child’s current school to see them or will visit an alternative location if more appropriate to do so.

The Phase Leader then produces a report for discussion with the Principal who will make the final decision as to whether Columbus is a suitable provision. This decision is then shared with SASP&P.

Once this information is received by SASP&P, it is ultimately their decision as to whether Columbus is named on the child’s EHCP. If Columbus is named, then the admission process can begin. Following the admission being agreed the Columbus team will liaise with families to arrange suitable transition and familiarisation arrangements.

Any prospective parents or colleagues who would like to visit the school should telephone the school on 01245 491492 to make an appointment. Columbus is prepared to consider approaches from families of children and young people outside the Mid-Essex area.

We hope you will find this information on admissions and the information contained in various other areas of the website useful and informative if you are a parent or carer.