The CAT is supported by the Department for Education (DfE) via means tested grants. For those who qualify - training is FREE or subsidised.

The DfE grants are for young dancers aged 11-16 with exceptional potential and dedication in dance who do not have the financial means to access the best available training.

The current cost per year per student for the CAT (all programmes) is £3,723 and grants are available for students who do not have the financial means to access the best available training. This fee will be either a combined DfE grant and parental contribution, full DfE grant with no parental contribution OR full parental contribution with no DfE grant.

Individual grants range from £374 to £3,723 per year (subject to means testing).

Parents will not have to make a contribution if the total family income before tax is £30,529 or less (after deducting £2,072 for any dependent children including the grant applicant) in the tax year ending 5th April 2018.

In order to qualify for a DfE grant, students should:

  • Be normally resident in the British Isles
  • Have been a resident in the British Isle for a minimum of 3 consecutive years
  • Be 11 years of age during the year of entry onto the CAT and not normally more than 16 years old as at 1st September of the the year of entry onto the CAT
  • Be a full-time registered pupil at a main-stream or independant school in the UK or be educated at home by parents/carers
  • Be successful at audition
  • Have an appropriate and agreed Individual Training Plan (following acceptance onto the CAT)

N.B. A child who had lived abroad for all or part of the prescribes period may still be regarded as ordinarily resident if the time spent abroad was due to a parent being temporarily employed overseas with no intention of settling there permanently.

The information below is a general guide and more in-depth notes are available following acceptance onto the CAT. Determination of eligibility on income grounds is based on the income declaration form NGMD1. 


Declarations of income refer to the preceding financial year e.g. for entry onto the CAT 2018/19 the relevant financial year is 6th April 2017 to 5th April 2018.

As a general rule, definitions of income follow as closely as possible those used by HM Inspector of Taxes for income purposes and parents must declare gross income before tax from ALL sources.

Social Security benefits on which tax is not payable do not form part of the relevant income.


Maintenance payments and child support maintenance only applies where parents are making or receiving maintenance payments in compliance with a Court Order, a separation agreement or under arrangements made by the Child Support Agency.

Where a parent makes or receives voluntary payments, these cannot be taken into account.

Documentary evidence will be required by all applicants.


The total relevant income is arrived at by adding the amounts for the income of both parents and dependent children, with any other adjustments required and by making the following deductions:

  • An allowance of £2,072 for school year 2018/19 in respect of each child or other relative living in the household, including the CAT applicant and who is wholly or mainly financially dependent upon the parents
  • The amount of covenant take out prior to 15th March 1988, paid by a parent to a dependent child. 
  • The gross amount of any maintenance payment


  • Foster children do not count as dependents
  • A spouse does not count as a dependent
  • Children in higher or further education may normally be counted as dependents in this context

Please note the guidance notes below relate to the current year (2018-19) and although we do not expect the information to change for dancers wishing to join the CAT in September 2019, we would advise that these notes be used as a guide only.  An updated version will appear here as soon as it become available.

If you require further assistance or advise regarding the grants please contact:

CAT Administrator,

Swindon Dance, Regent Circus, Swindon, SN1 1QF

Tel: 01793 60702 option 3


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