In this section you will find everything you need to know about Education and childcare for Service children; from early years and schools, including boarding schools, to Further and Higher Education, and even Adult Education.

New assignments often result in moving to a new location which can be challenging. As a parent, finding suitable childcare and/or school places can be difficult, particularly if your children have special educational needs. For your children, settling into a new setting, making new friends and continuity of their education can be problematic. Here we share information to help:

Education and childcare help topics

Who’s who in Service children’s education

From April 2021 the Directorate of Children and Young People (DCYP), within Ministry of Defence, was replaced by Armed Forces Families and Safeguarding (AFFS) a policy organisation and Defence Children Services (DCS) a delivery arm.

Armed Forces Families and Safeguarding responsibilities

The AFFS team leads on the development of all Defence-level education and children and young people policy. They are responsible for engaging with Devolved Administrations, the Department for Education and local authorities. They also take the lead on Safeguarding issues and manage the childcare support policy, including handling the work on free wraparound childcare for Service personnel.

Defence Children Services responsibilities

Defence Children Services (DCS) has responsibility for the functions, in support of service families related to education and care, previously undertaken by DCYP. DCS’ function is to support Service children and their Service families with educational needs.

DCS provides a single focus for all issues related to Service children and young people, providing high-quality education at 22 schools and settings in locations around the world. DCS also directly supports Service families, providing advice on a wide range of educational matters both overseas and in the UK, delivered by specialist education and advisory teams.

Defence Children Services (

A number of defence policies cover matters relating to Service children, see below for some of the main ones. All the policies are available on the Defence Intranet, some of them are in the public domain.

RAFFF Education Guides

Service Pupil Premium RAF FAQs 2023

Service Pupil Premium

Childcare Survey Report

Education news

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