Based on 33 reviews and 289 answers
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Jun 11, 2024

Dont care

Bad school

It don't care if your child is geting bullied
Aug 31, 2023

3 quid for a stale chicken burger

while this school does have some good gcse results, the ways in which teaching is presented are often boring, with teachers mainly following a powerpoint created by the exam board and then forcing students to work from more exam board textbooks (in silence). if you dare to talk dont even bother reasoning with the teacher because theyll just give you a one way ticket to isr.
now for the main issue, the school cafeteria will charge around 3 quid for a southern fried chicken burger that contains 2 dry chicken fillets between two stale buns. if you want to try and add flavour to this burger, theyll also charge you extra approx 20p for a single sachet of ketchup. considering the daily spend limit is 6 pounds i believe, this is barely enough to get you through the day. this will only get you a burger, drink, and dessert, leaving no room to buy anything before lunch at break. the quality of the food isnt very great either, as the pizzas have hardly any toppings as they are quite literally a fat piece of dough with a dried out layer of tomato puree and cheese on top.
after reading various reviews on this forum, it has also now made clear to me that the school does indeed, worry about their 'precious' reputation more than the student's needs and wellbeing.
and dont even bother coming in if you're late. many times theyll see you coming and still shut the gate on you, then giving you a 20 minute detention, even if you were only a minute late. doing this prevents you even further from getting to lesson as theyd rather sit all of you down in a hall and force you to write your name down so they can further punish you. the aggressive approach the school takes towards a punctuality statistic which they care way too much about is easily beaten if you have forgiving parents who are willing to call the school and take you out of detention (which they can do nothing about). the school also seems to believe in collective punishment as before, there has been a whole class sitting in silence due to one single comment that was heard by the teacher, patiently waiting for about 20 minutes for someone to give themselves up until it finally came to the conclusion that the student who made the comment had already left the room (for some unknown activity). stopping half the student's learning time.

some teachers are nice tho, some aren't. youll pretty quickly find out after a couple lessons.
Aug 30, 2023

Honest review


I have enrolled both of my child to this school after going through such a warm and welcoming introduction day, rather this was the moment I have realised I have made the biggest mistake of my life, taking away their childhood and their joyful personality…..

I have raised two wonderful children, (which i’m not going to mention names) incase the school senior team chases them down for ruining their so well proud and well deserved “reputation” as being the best school in colchester. One of my daughter would come home everyday crying and locking themself into their room after school, every. single. day…. I finally noticed and asked her what’s wrong and was replied with a rather horrifying and dissatisfying answer. She said that “Miss Oldham” quote on quote (I’m not 100% sure with the names of the staff) has been picking on her and embarrassing her in front of her classmates because she has anxiety and doesn’t enjoy talking out infront of 20 other teenagers her age.

I have phoned the school to see what could be done and how we would solve the conflict. The school said that they would have a word with the staff and a staff meeting would take place and this would stop. Only if I could tell the future that NOTHING HAS HAPPENED!!!! my daughter still COMES HOME CRYING FROM THIS PIECE OF SHIT SCHOOL!
Aug 18, 2023

Bad school

Absolutely horrible school the introduction days for all the year 7s are nothing what they seem like when u have your proper school days teachers are so horrible and don’t send u to medical room when you feel unwell don’t send ur child to this school
Former Student
Jun 26, 2023

My experience of the Gilberd

It’s not the worst but it’s still pretty bad.I have just left this year and think that there were way too many petty and not needed rules.Furthermore the separation between sets and students is rather insulting to those who are in the bottom sets like 5 and 6 as they are usually put with misbehaving kids.The food is alright a bit overpriced but it’s pretty good.They are also extremely pushy with studying and revision which is great if your child can handle it.Overall the Gilberd School isn’t the worst and as a student who has just left it is recommended as the best one in the area but not the country
May 13, 2023

It’s actually really good.

Many people moan about issues. I will say, the claims of harassment are false. The claims of unfair treatment are not real. As a autistic student with ADHD also, the school has “mostly” supported me, and never has unfairly treated me because of it. They have even pulled me out of trouble when my meds were wrong, and lowered my punishment due to the situation. The teachers are amazing, and while some claim that the school unfairly treats children by locking them away, I have one thing to say. If your in IER/ISR/RR or whatever you call it, you were a pest to others. So yeah, great school for those who decide to actually try and behave, and be on time. JUST GET A WATCH, as I have seen far to many students be late due to them choosing to arrive close to the gate closing. Just arrive earlier, it’s easy.
Apr 15, 2023

Stupid ass school

What the HELL are u?I'm not going to this school but my cousin is. U think that having a bad hairday can result in bad grades! What if a student has cancer and t is doing chemotherapy? Are u just going to give them a bad grade?AND FOR WHAT?
For being SICK!? If u are responsible (which thousand of people think that ur not) then CHANGE the BLOODY SCHOOL CODE OF CONDUCT! HONESTLY, U ARE A SHIT SCHOOL!!!!!!!!!
Mar 5, 2023

don't go

ik someone really bad who went there
physics teacher.
Feb 17, 2023

Absolutely do not send your child here

I really don’t understand what is wrong with this school! Wish I never sent my daughter here. She got her skirt banned for a term because it was too short (it was only a bit above her knees?) and this made her feel very upset as she didn’t want to be in trousers as they made her feel masculine. They basically said they didn’t care about how she felt, and that it was the rules, so they don’t care about the students feelings. Meanwhile, Year 10 and 11 girls have their skirts rolled about 4 times and they can go around like that all they want? What a stupid school. I had never even heard of skirt bans before this school. Absolutely ridiculous. Seriously don’t recommend. OFSTED need to come again because this school is not outstanding, not one bit.
Feb 8, 2023

Miss sibley to hell

Female pe teachers bully the overweight and shy kids, very strict school where teachers are unreasonable
Jan 25, 2023

Amazing school

I've heard some good things about this school and I may even transfer there myself. I've heard good things about your educational system, your eating area, your teachers and your food. Its just brilliant. Keep up the good work guys! :)
Jan 19, 2023

prisons are better

this school has ruined many peoples mental health. when you are trying to talk to a teacher about it (even if you're crying) they say their main aim is to get you back to lesson. I was at the school a minute before the gates closed and they decided to close them early and I got 20 minutes out of my 40 minute lunch and was unable to get food. this is a prison, not a school. Ofsted should ask to speak to students other than the 'perfect' ones. see how their opinion sways.
Dec 29, 2022

The school really needs to change their ways

Absolutely awful, the school only cares and focuses on their reputation.

Students have been sexually assaulted by other students and even a teacher yet no action is actually taken to address and prevent these incidences from reoccurring (despite countless student reports!). When students threatened to get higher powers involved the staff were dismissive and demeaning towards them, discouraging and scaring them out of speaking up.

The environment is heavily sexist and racist where students are constantly put under immense pressure. Which for many, will lead to burnout and the school giving up on you.

When there are visitors (such as governors/ofsted) any child who they deem as ‘badly behaved’ (even if they haven’t done anything wrong!) will be concealed and confined in isolation/ empty classrooms. This is where no sufficient educational support is provided which is unjust and not beneficial in any way. Their treatment of such pupils is dehumanising and wrong on so many levels.

Only academically strong, ‘model’ students are favoured and given respect. Therefore, if you don’t fit their preferences the school will be treat you bad and they will impose it on any other student who tries to defend/ call out the bias by wrongfully isolating and punishing them for minor actions which other students wouldn’t have been penalised for.

When looking to apply here at first glance, you may think ‘what an amazing, outstanding school’ but the reality is if you are of any other ethnicity you will be treated awfully. They may preach ’equality and diversity’ but it is only for show and no discipline or support is actually provided to prevent and help those experiencing discrimination.

Overall, the atmosphere is so toxic it will drain any individuality you have left and just turn you into another person, another number and another set of exam results.
Nov 6, 2022


Great opportunities, very kind staff. Lunch queues are long though and corridors get busy during lesson changeover! Apart from that all good.
Former Student
Aug 31, 2022

Highly recommend this school

While the head of year’s clearly had favourites, they still cared about everyone. If you had a genuine concern or problems, they tried their best to help you.

In my past experience, the pastoral/SENCO team were really supportive of any additional things I needed to help get through school, whether that was something simple like leaving 5 mins early to reduce anxiety (due to disabilities) or something more complex like spending some classes not in the actual lesson, if you were genuinely upset or unable to return for whatever reason, as long as it was genuine reasonnot just a minor falling out, they are happy to try to accommodate you. I wouldn’t change anything regarding them.

Yes, the lessons that you didn’t enjoy were boring and there were always some teachers that you didn’t want, however you will get that at every school.

Overall, while yes there are somethings I would change (tiny things), that would be making it perfect for me rather than being able to meet the needs of everyone the best they can. I truly believe it deserves the outstanding ofsted rating. I would highly recommend this school to anyone, and would go back myself and start again if I could.
Former Student
Aug 1, 2022

The Gilberd doesn’t care

The Gilberd only cares about its image and being the best school in Essex. They focus on all the wrong things (skirt lengths, appearance etc.) and only want students to maintain perfect grades for their own benefit. They have tried to make it look like they’re an advocate for mental health and diversity but when it comes to genuine problems of racism and poor mental health etc., they disregard it.
Former Student
Jul 20, 2022


For all the years I went to this school was one of the worst experiences of my life, the lack of care for individual students when it came to bullying and mental health, the bullying and the selfishness of most teachers. Unbelievable, if you’re smart and don’t mind the ridiculous rules then you’d do fine, otherwise you have no chance.
I was mentally abused from that school for years, and they always gave me the cold shoulder from the head of year miss morgen time and time again.
I hope they all suffer, I have no sympathy for people that care more about grades than the kids who are the reason for there success.
May 23, 2022


Lessons are often boring as they would be in any other school, however they are great at getting students to reach their highest potential and as of recently in the past year have been much better with the mental health of students.
Apr 11, 2022

The Gilberd school

The lessons are alright sometimes boring and we do learn. However they don't really care about your mental wellbeing that much which is quite bad because so many students are struggling and aren't getting the help they need.
Feb 22, 2022

Crap school

Absolute scammers. Such a catfish on introduction days. Teachers don’t care about kids mental health and do not help in any way. They only care about a child’s uniform, everyone looking the same & presenting the school in a good way. Head of years are not great & think they own the school. Also the year 9 locker pods are moldy, the roofs & walls are cracked, the paint is peeling off, there is litter everywhere and you are able to pull down a column of lockers. The teachers are aware of this & said they will solve this problem, yet they have proceeded to do nothing. Do not send your child here!
Feb 20, 2022

Wouldn’t recommend

The school care too much about their reputation rather than the students themselves.
Feb 7, 2022

hate this school

yeah no this school is so bad
if ur a parent don’t be fooled by their outstanding rating this school is not outstanding at all it’s actually so BAD

they pay too much attention to skirt lengths and jewellery for no reason
Feb 5, 2022

yeah no

bad school.
year 9 assistant head of year is a G tho x
Jan 12, 2022

Literal mould in Year 9 lockers

There is mould in the year 9 locker pods that they are doing absolutely NOTHING about which is a complete risk to our health
Jan 8, 2022

Education good, respect for students... 👀

Education is good but their priorities are way off!! Care more about looking good than being good, incidents are swept under the rug and students' mental health is not thought about. All they do is tick boxes to look presentable. Care more about girls' skirts than bullying. So many students struggle mentally and yet it's all swept under the rug. We feel pressured to say good things only about the school and not truly express our experiences.
Jan 8, 2022

Absolutely shit school

Extremely bad school whos main aim is for every single child to be the same which allows no opportunity to discover ourselves the diversity they think is well done is non existent i dont feel allowed to be myself. The teachers and senior teachers are all about the pride of the school and the student senior team is chosen by the most perfect students that go to the stupid clubs that they boast about and they are picked on how well they talk to the senior teaches. During covid the school didnt give a shit about the students mental health and used it as more publicity to show how'incredible' the school is as they could provide for all the students however they gave the senior team all new uniform free of charge yet if a student can't afford to buy new uniform because of how expensive it is they dont help at all.
Former Student
Oct 30, 2021

Academic achievement

Great if your kid is naturally gifted and you want to sacrifice mental wellbeing for grades. The Schools top priority is clearly academic achievement except it is too such a harsh extent kids wellbeing is sent plummeting down the drain. Teachers in the senior staff are horrifically strict about all the wrong things. Some few teachers are outstanding but its not enough of a majority.
Sep 13, 2021

Skirt lengths don’t matter

horrible. they care more about skirt lengths then actually teaching. one of the teachers is horrible and is constantly telling girls to roll down their skirts… how about u go and work?. ridiculous. also they think they’re so diverse but they really aren’t
May 5, 2021


such a bad school so strict over nothing don’t care about the children’s mental health only their school work
Former Student
Jan 6, 2021

Not the best, children will leave with ptsd

A very full of themselves school, teachers use “power” to control students lives and opinions. It is not just a child it is a human being. Very little care for the students and are very manipulative.
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