To qualify for our school rate, the visit must be booked by a school teacher on a school visit, visiting from an official registered school. Groups of students do not qualify for the school rate if they are making a general visit to the Zoo (i.e. without a teacher). Nurseries, Preschools, Playgroups, and Daycares do not qualify for our school rates and are instead included in our group rates. Please see the group booking page for more details.
Students and teachers must enter the zoo together as one group to benefit from these discounted rates; we do not print out individual tickets.
We require all schools book in advance, which can be done via our school booking form. Please note that when booking your visit it is fine if your numbers are estimates. We will confirm your exact final numbers of pupils and adults on the day of your visit.
All school visits are charged the following providing they are booked in advance:
|Ticket Type||August to May
||June & July|
|Primary Pupil (Reception - Year 6)||£6.99||£7.50|
|Secondary Pupil (Year 7 - Year 11)||£6.99||£7.75|
|Post 16 Student||£7.50||£8.25|
***VAT at 20% is included in these prices which goes directly to the Government.
Adult carers are admitted free of charge at a 1:1 ratio for any pupils with physical or emotional disabilities, are the subjects of SEND statements or EHCPs, or can provide other evidence of specific needs. Please note that you must declare the need for these carers on the day of your visit based on the pupils who attend on the day.
You may be asked for verification of the need for carers at entry. A letter on school letterhead is acceptable proof.
If you require a higher ratio of carers, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paying by cheque – Cheques for payment are only permitted for local authority groups and should be made payable to Colchester Zoo Ltd. If your numbers change after your cheque has been written (e.g. a child is sick on the day and doesn’t attend), a refund for the difference can be provide in cash at the till at the time of payment. However, this must be made obvious at the time of payment as the refund cannot be issued at a later point in time.
Paying by invoice - Invoices are sent out to the school after your visit after confirming exact final numbers on the day, invoices cannot be sent in advance of your trip. Invoices for payment can only be issued to local authority groups. Please note, there is an admin fee of £10 (incl VAT) for schools requesting to be invoiced.
You are offered free adult places to ensure your school group has adequate supervision. The ratio of free adults to children is:
- Reception and Primary (year R-6) - 1 free adult per 6 paying pupils
- Lower Secondary (year 7-9) - 1 free adult per 8 paying pupils
- Upper Secondary and Post 16 (years 10+) - 1 free adult per 10 paying pupils
Please note that any pupils who qualify for carer places (as detailed above) are provided free adult carer at a 1:1 ratio and therefore these pupils will not count towards your free adult ratio.
Children using Zoo Passes (gold cards) may enter free of charge, but do not count towards your free adult ratio.
Primary children must be in supervised groups at all times. Children in year groups 7, 8 and 9 must also be in supervised groups at all times and should not, under any circumstances, be allowed to go off in groups on their own. Responsible students in year groups 10 and over can be unsupervised. Please ensure that your unsupervised pupils either wear school uniform or an identity badge with the school logo on so that we know which school leader to call in case of any problems.
Schools have the option of purchasing Goody Bags in advance at just £2.00 per child (or bag). Just add your requirements to the booking form and these can be arranged for you.
Colchester Zoo requires two weeks notice that you wish to purchase these.
If you have ordered Goody Bags please collect them at the Ark Shop, on the day of your visit, as you are leaving the zoo.
Schools also receive:
- Free coach parking
- Free access to all Colchester Zoo's educational resources
- 2 free tickets for teachers to make a familiarisation visit beforehand (once a formal booking has been made)
- A free meal voucher and courtesy day out for each coach driver (their job sheet must be shown at entrance)