What is the Continuity of Education Allowance?

The aim of Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA) is contribution to boarding school fees for Service families. It is intended to assist Service personnel to achieve continuity of education for their child(ren) that would otherwise be denied in the maintained school sector if their child(ren) accompanied them on frequent assignments both at home and overseas.

Applying for CEA

Subject to meeting the strict eligibility criteria, Service personnel may be entitled to claim CEA towards their family’s fees for boarding school.

If you are considering claiming CEA you must first contact the Education Advisoray Team (EAT) and register your child(ren).

CEA Considerations

The allowance is available for children of eight years of age and over. The costs of boarding schools can vary greatly and parents are expected to contribute a minimum of 10% towards the fees. The fees are only part of the costs and parents should be clear what extras the school charges for, such as uniform, music and sports, tuck, stationery, and weekend activities. In claiming CEA, the service person must fully accept that accompanied service is the overriding principle for maintaining entitlement.

The latest rates and allowances are detailed in JSP 752 – Tri-Service Regulations

CEA Responsibilities

In claiming CEA, the Service person must fully accept that accompanied service is the overriding principle for maintaining entitlement. Ensure that you have read and understood the regulations before committing – there are rules about how far you live from your place of work (the ’50 mile rule’), how much time a spouse can spend away from the home (the ‘90 day rule’) as well as your mobility as a family.

There are numerous guides and sources of information available to parents who are considering boarding or independent schools.

CEA Special Educational Needs Allowance

In line with JSP 752, a Special Educational Needs Addition (SENA) is available to service parents alongside CEA to contribute towards the support for service children with certain levels of additional need. Applications for CEA(SENA) should be made through the EAT.

Reports on boarding schools

All school reports are published online. Boarding schools are classified as independent schools and are therefore inspected by the Independent Schools’ Inspectorate, not Ofsted. Visit the website to view the inspection report of the school of your choice.

State boarding schools in the UK

You might like to look at the range of opportunities available in the state sector when considering boarding school options for your son/daughter. State boarding schools provide free education but charge fees for boarding. Contact the State Boarding Forum for more information about state boarding schools, eligibility and how to apply.

Bursaries and Assistance

Some independent schools might offer bursaries for Armed Forces families and others – we have included a list of schools known to us here:

For families in particular need of assistance there is might also be charitable support available to you– see our Charitable Support page.