School Ticket Prices

To qualify for school prices, visits must be booked a minimum of 5 days in advance.

Ticket TypeAugust to MayJune & July
Nursery Pupil (under 3 years old)freefree
Nursery Pupil (age 3-5) £7.00 £8.25
Primary Pupil (Reception – Year 6)£7.00£8.25
Secondary Pupil (Year 7 – Year 11)£7.00£8.25
Post 16 Student£8.99£9.75
Additional Adults£10.99£11.99

***VAT at 20% is included in these prices which goes directly to the Government.

School Prices Ts & Cs

Visits must be booked by a teacher or group leader on a school visit, visiting from an official DforE registered school or Ofsted registered nursery. Groups of students making a general visit to the zoo (i.e. without a teacher) do not qualify for the school rates. 

The entire school group must enter the zoo together; we do not issue individual tickets.

Schools must book a minimum of 5 days in advance via our online booking form.

Home educators, playgroups, and kids clubs do not qualify for our school rates, but may qualify for our  Group Booking Rates.

Guides, Scouts, etc. do not qualify for our school rates, but may qualify for our Youth Group Rates.

Carers / Assistants

Adult carers / assistants 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 / assistants 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 / assistants at entry. A letter on school letterhead is acceptable proof.

If you require a higher ratio of carers / assistants, please contact us at

Are you a SEND registered special school who visits Colchester Zoo frequently?

If so, we offer prepaid school tickets. Click here to find out more.
Contact the education department directly via phone at 01206 332511 or 01206332512 or email ( with any questions or to book these tickets.


Payment is not required at the time of booking, nor in advance of your school visit.
Payment options for schools are on the day or via invoice after your visit.
There is no charge or fee if you need to cancel your school visit or change the date of your visit.

Paying by cheque – Cheques for payment are only permitted for local authority groups and should be made payable to Colchester Zoological Society. 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 card with ‘card-not-present‘ – For security reasons, we have a limited number of ticketing tills that have this capacity, and require specific staff in order to process these types of transactions. If you are paying via card on the day with card-not-present (e.g. calling the office and providing card details over the phone), please be aware that there may be delays in processing payment in this method, which may slow your entry into the zoo.

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.


These supervision ratios are guidelines only, while we require students to be supervised, we do not require these exact ratios.  Please base your supervisory ratios on the behaviour of your specific students.

You are offered free adult places for supervision. The ratio of free adults to children is:

  • Nursery – 1 free adult per 6 paying pupils
  • Reception and Primary (year R-6) – 1 free adult per 6 paying pupils
  • Secondary (year 7-11) – 1 free adult per 8 paying students
  • Post 16 – 1 free adult per 10 paying students

Pupils who qualify for carer places (as detailed above) are provided free adult carers / assistants at a 1:1 ratio and therefore these pupils will not count towards your free adult ratio.

Nursery Pupils under 3 years of age are admitted free of charge but do not count towards your free adult ratio

Children using Zoo Passes (gold cards) are admitted free of charge but do not count towards your free adult ratio.

Nursery and 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 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.

Goody Bags

Schools have the option of preordering Goody Bags in advance at just £2.75 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 Outpost Shop, on the day of your visit, as you are leaving the zoo.

Colours may vary depending on stock available.

Ice Lollies

Schools can preorder Orange Calippo Ice Lollies in advance for £2.20 (save 10p off our on-the-day prices).

Colchester Zoo requires two weeks notice that you wish to purchase these. It is fine when booking if your numbers are estimates, we will confirm exactly how many you require when you arrive on the day.

If you have ordered Calippos, please collect these from the ‘Penguini’s Restaurant’ food outlet during your visit. Please note that all Calippos must be collected at the same time.

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)
  • Free entry for coach driver (their job sheet must be shown at entrance)

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