CAT Scheme

CAT Scheme

The Centre for Advanced Training scheme is a progressive training programme for young people aged 11 to 18 years who demonstrate potential in circus arts. The National Centre for Circus Arts runs the only circus strand of this scheme in the UK and CircusMASH is an external partner.

The CAT scheme is available to young people from across the UK; you do not need to be a current student at the National Centre for Circus Arts to apply. Students living outside of London who are interested in the scheme must be training regularly with an approved partnership circus school to apply.

The National Centre work with the circus schools to ensure the students are accessing enough training opportunities to adhere to the training requirements of the CAT scheme. The students also have access to workshops and enrichment events held at the National Centre during the year.

External CAT students will receive additional training and support which includes:

  •   Individual Training Plans (ITPs): these are specialised training schedules which allow us to set goals and targets and talk about where the student’s training could go next.
  •   Specialist workshops held at the National Circus throughout the year
  •   Financial support towards training fees at the student’s main training centre.

What do we expect from External CAT students?
Being part of the CAT scheme means commitment and dedication from both parents and the student. As this is a government funded scheme, all CAT students must adhere to guidelines to be on the programme.

  •   Weekly dance training which is non- negotiable.
  •   Regular circus training hours – Approximately 11 – 18 hours per week, pending age of student.
  •   Committed attendance – CAT students must attend at least 80% of their classes.
  •   A genuine desire to pursue a career in the performing arts.

How does the funding work for External CATs?
The CAT scheme is supported through the Government’s Music and Dance Scheme. All CAT students- both London based and external CATs apply for the same funding. Grants are provided on a means tested basis, and graded on income of both parents before tax. Students can be eligible for full or part grant, where a part grant is offered; parents pay a termly contribution towards the scheme.

If I don’t live in London- how can I become a CAT?
Potential CAT students are aged between 11 – 18 years old; however the last point of entry to the scheme is 16. To apply, you must be 11 from the 1st of September 2017 or 16 as of the 1st of September 2017. If you are interested in applying for the CAT scheme you should speak to your circus school to register your interest.

Limited spaces are available each year.  Applicants must apply via a video audition in May,  please contact to register your interest