Forces children’s educational experiences differ from those of civilian children in many ways. They have numerous obstacles to overcome when their parents have to move again, but generally they are more flexible and adapt well to new surroundings. Reports suggest that each move can put a child back 6 months because the children need to be given time to settle in, make friends and build up their confidence and self esteem but in general they are more resilient and adaptable.
To Find Out What is Available Locally
The HIVE are an excellent starting point as they can provide details of local educational sites and amenities in a particular area.
Specifically for Service Families
There is an excellent service specifically for Service families. The Directorate Children and Young People (DCYP) is the focal point for all matters relating to Service children and young people. The Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS) is an integral part of DCYP providing, on DCYP’s behalf, information, advice and support on children and young people’s issues.
CEAS deals with all aspects of a child's education. It is a tri-service organisation funded by the MOD which provides information and advice as well as supporting parents at meetings with schools, local authorities and at tribunals. They have a fairly wide remit and can provide information sheets on many issues and aspects of a chilids education. If they cannot help you they usually know someone who can. Their telephone number is 01980 618244 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Service Children in State Schools
SCISS (Service Children in State Schools) was formed as a working group to look into the issues relating to English state schools providing for children whose parents serve in the armed forces. It was convened by CEAS (Children's Education Advisory Service) a UK-wide Ministry of Defence service which provides information, guidance and support to Service families, schools and local authorities. (see above).
SCISS is a group of headteacher representatives from primary and secondary schools from many of those parts of England where significant Service communities live. The group is supported by representatives from the Department for Education, MOD (Service Personnel Policy: Families), Service Children’s Education (SCE – responsible for the provision of education to Service children in a number of locations abroad) and CEAS.
The working group meets to advise Government and to develop, through an action plan, strategies which can help schools in England to provide more effectively for the Service children on their rolls.
CEAS holds a list of English state schools which it believes provide for Service communities. The schools on the list have been entirely self-nominating.
What’s so special about Service children?
Service Children will join a school bringing with them a wide range of strengths and needs but, in many cases, will have, in addition, a variety of educational and personal experiences to provide an exciting and different dynamic. They may also have had or be going through experiences of a more stressful nature. The specific implications of providing for Service children and working with their families relate essentially to the issues of Mobilityand Deployment. One organisation that focuses on Service Children and their education is the Service Children Support Network.
The SCISS Handbook
The SCISS Handbook is one initiative intended to be a supportive resource, written largely by practitioners in schools for their peers. To view the handbook Click here.