During these unprecedented times that the world is experiencing due to the spread of COVID-19, I would like to address any concerns you may have in helping your students prepare to study at a CATS College in the UK, US, or Cambridge School of Visual & Performing Arts.
To allow greater flexibility, and ensure you can book with confidence, we have revised our cancellation policy. Our revised policy means that booking with us is risk free.
Students who are forced to cancel their place in September 2020 as a direct result of the Coronavirus can either defer their studies to the next enrolment date or apply to receive a full refund of all fees paid, including the deposit. This policy covers the following:
- A travel ban put in place 4 weeks prior to the start of the programme
- Failure to obtain a relevant UK or US visa due to the restrictions in a student's home country (including failure to obtain academic or other relevant documentation for visa purposes)
- Illness (students would need to provide a copy of the COVID-19 results confirmed by a medical professional)
- Course cancellation
We will aim to process refunds within 28 days upon receipt of a completed refund form. Funds will have to be returned to the original sending account, as per the company's general refund policy.
We are expecting the September intake to commence as usual, and we look forward to welcoming new students in CATS Colleges in Boston, Cambridge, Canterbury and London, and in Cambridge School of Visual and Performing Arts.
In the meantime, the schools are starting to deliver courses online via our online learning environment, to make sure that our current students have all the necessary academic support to finish their academic year. The excellent online teaching provision we have created might also be applied to the upcoming intakes if there are any delays in 2020/21 academic year due to the Coronavirus.
We are reviewing and adapting our policies as the situation regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to develop. We understand that this is a very vulnerable time for everyone. Our goal is to be clear and transparent with the information being released. We are a strong community, our students' and staff safety and wellbeing remain of the highest importance to us.
In response to the UK Government's advice to close UK schools to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), all CATS UK Colleges (CATS Cambridge, CATS Canterbury and CATS London) will move tuition online to avoid any unnecessary disruption to students' studies.
Our final day of face-to-face teaching is Friday 20 March until further. From 23 March, we will start remote tuition in preparation for full online learning provision, which will begin on 20 April if schools continue to remain closed as per UK Government advice.
Throughout this challenging time, the health, safety and wellbeing of our school communities have been central to our response. We will continue to provide the same high standard of care in our boarding houses for students that are unable to return home due to travel bans.
CATS Academy in Boston, USA, will offer online provision from 30 March while the campus remains closed until further notice.
Following developments in international travel restrictions, particularly within Europe, we would encourage those travelling home to a country where restrictions are being put in place to make arrangements at the earliest opportunity.
We will be making provision for any students for whom travel home has already become impossible due to lockdown measures in their home countries. If you are concerned about being able to safely make arrangements prior to the Easter break then please do make contact with the schools via your usual point of contact.
Our teams in the boarding houses are also on standby 24 hours a day to provide students with reassurance, assistance and advice.
In these truly unique circumstances, CATS Colleges continue to place the welfare of our students and staff as our highest priority.
Following the announcement from the UK Government, all CATS UK schools and CSVPA will remain open and operating as usual, with lessons in classrooms continuing. We do however anticipate that there will be school closures imposed on the UK in the coming weeks.
Because of the uncertainty around travel we are recommending that parents make arrangements for their child to return home at their earliest convenience. Students are free to leave the Colleges with immediate effect with no impact on their attendance or their visa.
We expect the Summer Term to commence as normal on Monday 20 April. However, as this is a developing situation, we will continue to monitor official advice, travel information and, if necessary, we will modify our plans accordingly. Parents are strongly advised to book flexible flights for their child's return.
Please be assured our Colleges remain the safest, most secure option for students while they remain in the UK prior to their departure home.
If students, parents or agents have any concerns or challenges around making travel arrangements to return home, please contact the College directly so we can review the circumstances and provide assistance where possible.
Further communication will follow shortly as the situation develops.