6 January 2021
Teachers to decide exam grades for A level and GCSE
Today, the UK Education Minister announced that teachers would assess grades for A level and GCSE students in the UK this summer. The Department for Education and exam regulator Ofqual are considering a range of options, and they will share more detail in due course.
The Chief Regulator of Ofqual has said that students must continue to engage as fully as they can in their education as this will put them in the best position for their qualifications. He went on to say, ‘We need to consider a wide range of qualifications – from A levels and GCSEs to many different vocational and technical qualifications – and the solution won’t be the same for all. Following the government’s announcement on Monday evening, we also need to consider how alternative arrangements will work for different students. We are discussing alternative arrangements with the Department for Education. We know that many are seeking clarity as soon as possible. We will provide further updates as soon as we can.’
Last year, CATS teachers submitted assessed grades for students resulting in excellent examination results and destinations. CATS graduating students progressed to outstanding university destinations including the University of Oxford, London School of Economics, Imperial College London, UCL, the University of St Andrews and Durham University. Students also progressed to competitive courses such as Medicine, Law and Architecture.
These results and progressions are a testament to our students’ remarkable resilience and the support they received from their teachers. This year will be no exception; our staff will continue to help our students achieve excellent learning outcomes.
We will provide further updates as soon as we have them from the Department for Education.
5 January 2021
Moving to Online Learning
Yesterday at 8pm (GMT), the UK Government announced a national lockdown, including the closure of all schools for face-to-face teaching to reduce the spread of COVID-19. As a result, CATS Colleges UK schools will move to online learning from the 5 January.
At this time, it is anticipated that all UK schools will remain closed until at least mid-February, with this in mind we have taken the difficult decision to move learning online for our CATS UK schools for the duration of the spring term, resuming face-to-face teaching in the summer term.
For further details, please read our latest blog here.
If you have any questions, please get in touch with our Student Services teams.
2 November 2020
CATS UK Schools to Remain Open
The UK Government has announced a month-long nationwide lockdown from Thursday 5 November to Wednesday 2 December to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The new lockdown rules do not affect schools, colleges, and universities. CATS Cambridge, CATS Canterbury and CATS London will remain open. The UK Government stresses: "It remains very important for children and young people to attend [school], to support their wellbeing and education. Senior clinicians still advise that school is the best place for children to be."
The Prime Minister has been clear that exams will go ahead next summer, therefore it’s important students continue with their studies and teachers can prepare them for their exams.
However, the lockdown does mean that people have been told to stay at home except for education, work (if it can't be done from home), exercise and recreation, medical reasons, shopping for food and other essentials, or to care for others. All restaurants, cafes, leisure facilities and non-essential shops will close.
All our schools, colleges and centres will continue to maintain the same high levels of education and care for all our students. The health and wellbeing of our school communities remain our utmost importance. We will strictly enforce the rules of the lockdown to ensure all stay safe.
For further information please read our latest announcement, here or visit the COVID-19 pages for each of our schools (links can be found at the bottom of this page.)
If you have any questions, please get in touch with our Student Services teams.
24 September 2020
Welcome Class of 2020
As we start our Autumn term, I would like to welcome our new and returning students who joined us on 7th September. It is lovely to see the school full of young people eager to learn and make new friends. Our vibrant, multicultural community is busy once again.
To the parents of our new and returning students, I would also like to extend a warm welcome to you too. I have enjoyed speaking to many of you over recent months about the provision we have in place to care and educate your child. It is encouraging to know that many of our parents and students believe that despite recent global challenges, the education of our young people remains important and should be championed.
I want to personally reassure you how important the welfare of our school communities, including students and staff, is to myself and our leadership team. We have a team dedicated to staying up-to-date with the latest guidance and measures to ensure our school communities remain safe so our young people can focus on achieving excellence in a protected environment.
As we continue our journey together through the next school year, any changes to guidance that affect our school will be communicated to our students and parents through our Student Services team and our website.
Over the next several weeks, I will continue to communicate regular updates as our new students settle into life at CATS. In the meantime, if any of our students or parents have questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Student Services team.
I look forward to communicating with you in my next announcement.
Executive Principal, CATS Colleges
24 September 2020
Joining us in September
At CATS College, our mission is to provide teaching excellence to young academics so they can be their best and achieve a top place at university. Despite recent challenges we as a school and as a global community have faced, we remain dedicated to continuing our mission.
Two weeks ago we held the first of our online summits with our Principals from CATS, CATS Academy Boston & CSVPA. I would like to thank each and every one of you who joined us, it was wonderful to welcome so many new students and parents into the CATS Colleges community.
As we make changes for the next academic year, I want to ensure we continue to include you in the conversation and would like to invite you to speak to our academic leadership team again at our second online summit on Friday 3rd July.
This session will include a brief presentation about our new Covid 19 Response Policy, an overview of our academic offering for next year, an update on our guidance and time for questions.
I look forward to speaking with you again.
Stay safe and stay well.
CEO of CATS Colleges
08 July 2020
Revised Cancellation Policy
LAST UPDATED: 8 JULY 2020 (PREVIOUSLY UPDATED: 26 MAY 2020)
Our campuses are reopening in September. We look forward to welcoming students to CATS Colleges in Cambridge, Canterbury, London. We have revised our cancellation policy to allow greater flexibility and to ensure you can book with confidence during these unprecedented times. Our revised policy means that booking with us is risk-free.
Read the full policy here.
26 May 2020
Revised Cancellation Policy
LAST UPDATED: 26 MAY 2020 (PREVIOUSLY UPDATED: 27 MARCH 2020)
We have revised our cancellation policy to allow greater flexibility and to ensure you can book with confidence during these unprecedented times. Our revised policy means that booking with us is risk-free. The policy includes guidance for:
- Students who have to cancel due to COVID-19
- Students who wish to cancel due to general concerns
- Cancellation for new students
- Withdrawal for current students
Read the full policy here.
20th May 2020
Summer school moves online
As uncertainty remains about the reopening of our schools, and because of continuing global travel restrictions and expected quarantine measures, we have decided to move our summer courses online for 2020.
Although we want to welcome students as soon as possible to our colleges, we will only do this when it is safe to do so. Therefore, in preparation for our schools reopening, we are putting in place a range of measures to protect and care for our school communities.
In the meantime, we are welcoming enrolments on a range of 1-3 week online academic courses to get a head start on their term-time studies.
Our courses have been adapted for online delivery to ensure that students still have fun, make international friends and develop their skills and confidence. With only 10 students per course, places are limited.
To find out more about our programmes download the brochure.
9th April 2020
Separated but always together
3 April 2020
Learning to continue online for the summer term
In light of continuing global travel restrictions and to minimise any further disruption to students’ studies, we have decided to move all tuition and support online for the whole of the summer term, starting 20 April 2020.
New students are welcome to join our online study programmes starting 20 April to prepare for the start of the academic year in September 2020.
Further details can be found in our Frequently Asked Questions document. For an overview of our online learning provision, download our essential guide.
31st Mar 2020
A note from our CEO: Chris Stacey
We know that the current situation concerning the coronavirus is having a significant impact on our lives. I want to let you know what we are doing to protect the health and wellbeing of our school communities - our students, our staff, and their families.
We are continually monitoring the guidelines and advice provided by the Governments and public health bodies of the countries that we operate.
As a result, we are adapting our provision. Central to our decision-making remains the safety and welfare of our students and staff.
Read the full statement
27 March 2020
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 that have to cancel their booking on a CATS or CSVPA Academic Summer Programme will have an option to defer their place to summer 2021 or receive a full refund.
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.
18 March 2020
CATS Colleges moves to online learning
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.
14 March 2020
Encouraging students to return home to avoid travel restrictions
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.
13 March 2020
Schools to remain open in line with UK Government guidance
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.