Service children's education


Service children’s education

Children often face specific and unique challenges arising from their parent’s service in the RAF. Most of these challenges are due to mobility or separation and deployment associated with service life. New assignments often result in the family moving to a new location. For parents, finding suitable childcare or school places can be challenging. For children settling into a new setting, making new friends and continuity of their education can be issues. Parents of children with special educational needs may face particular challenges to find suitable and appropriate provision to meet their children’s needs. However, many service children are acknowledged as resilient, adaptable and independent and achieve well in academic outcomes.

Education is a devolved responsibility and separate systems and regulations govern early years and education provision in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – A Guide for Service Families – UK Education Systems.

The Royal British Legion has produced a new best practice guide focusing on Service children in school in England. They also have a guide focusing on Service children in school in Wales with a Welsh language version.

The education of service children and young people (JSP 342). Joint Service Publication 342 provides policy and guidance for the education of service children and young people.

Directorate of Children and Young People

DCYP is the focal point within the MOD for all matters relating to service children and young people including responsibility for provision of education overseas.

Children’s Education Advisory Service

CEAS is part of DCYP and are a small team who provide information and advice to service parents on a wide range of issues regarding the education of service children. This includes schools admissions, SEND provision, Continuity of Education Allowance and boarding schools, overseas education. Their telephone number is 01980 618244 or email on

CEAS Leaflet front cover

CEAS Hints and Tips

There is an article from CEAS that was in Envoy magazine (pgs 26-27) sharing some great advice on working with them by the Team Leader, Sue Smyth.

Support from universities or colleges for students from a UK Armed Forces Background

Veterans, or students whose parent(s), carer(s), or partner are current or former UK Armed Forces personnel may find there are unique circumstances to consider when applying for your place. You may also be able to get extra support from your chosen university or college.

Screenshot of the UCAS website for armed forces students

Further information

Whether you are a service child, veteran or service leaver, head to the UCAS website where you’ll find many links of additional information and guidance.

This includes anyone who has caring responsibilities.

Page image: Children taking part in an RAF Youth & Stem Programme event in Scotland. Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.