The new group will include CATS Colleges, acquired by China’s largest operator of international and bilingual schools for £150 million in 2019, together with other Bright Scholar investments.
CATS Global Schools hopes its new rebrand will underpin its long-term planning and sustainable operations.
The group caters to 18,000 students from over 100 nationalities at 16 locations in the UK, US, Canada and China, ranging across independent and international boarding schools, an Arts university, English language schools and a variety of summer programs.
Along with the six Stafford House locations in UK and Canada, CATS Global Schools also includes four CATS Colleges in the US and the UK, two pathway schools in China, and Cambridge School of Visual & Performing Arts.
Three independent boarding schools in the UK – Bournemouth Collegiate School, Bosworth Independent College and St Michael’s School – are also included in the group.
“There’s been a huge amount of work over the last 12 to 18 months to establish [this] and actually pull us together as one group,” Chris Stacey CEO of CATS Global Schools told The PIE.
CATS Global Schools has drawn on the experience of Bright Scholar, which has over 100 schools in China, he continued.
“As CATS Global Schools, we are a smaller version of the enormous Bright Scholar group.” With such a wide ranging offer over multiple areas of the education sector, there are similar complexities in running the CGS group.
“There’s opportunities within the group to actually exploit and expand product offering, collaborate a lot more with what we have. And for me, that’s what the immediate future looks like,” Stacey said.
“The schools that make up CATS Global Schools combine their heritage with a forward-thinking mindset to help students realise their full potential,” Jerry He, executive vice chairman of Bright Scholar Holdings, said in a statement.
“Now, as a strong integrated group, CATS Global Schools offers students the opportunity to study at different campuses to gain a global perspective. Students benefit from learning with different cultures, as it prepares them for a more globalised society and economy.”
In 2020, CATS announced its would cease its Stafford House operations in the US as a result of Covid-19.
However, the company has recorded a “sharp increase” in students at its domestic schools, and its feeder school network in China is expanding at a “fantastic” rate, Stacey continued.
“A longer horizon view means we can start to think about a more sustainable business model”
“There’s a lot of development that’s going on that front,” he said, explaining the company is looking to expand its pathway campuses beyond Shanghai in the future.
Additionally it is planning to run a summer program at its Canterbury school this year, seeking a “more aggressive bounce back” in 2022.
“We’ve used a large part of the pandemic to actually take a look at what we do, how we do it, what do we want to be known for? How do we project ourselves?” Stacey added.
“A longer horizon view means we can start to think about a more sustainable business model, which means we’ll be here for 100 years and more.”