How the RAF FF can help: School place allocations

The RAF FF was able to help a serving RAF mother in her success to a secondary school placement for her son, through rather an extreme moment of despair. In this, our first in a series of case studies, we share common examples of how we can help serving personnel and/or their families.

The issue

A Serving mother contacted us with an issue regarding her son’s secondary school placement. She was on long term sick leave, having had a very serious accident which involved a significant amount of time in hospital. During that time the school place allocation deadline had been and gone. She had missed the slot to book her son into school, and was naturally extremely distressed as she had been told by the school that her son would now go onto a waiting list with his ‘now allocated’ school place which was distance away (so uncertainty adding to the issue). Her son was oblivious that potentially he wouldn’t be going to the same secondary school as all of his primary school friends.

How we helped

Families Federation Evidence Assistant, Ken Wood (pictured above) contacted the schools admissions officer at the county council. He put forward the case that, in this particular instance the family had been through a horrific accident, and the child had suffered enough with his parent being so gravely ill and requested a case review.  The Families Federation team have a network of contacts across county councils to facilitate our work.

The outcome

Ken received a call from the delighted client, informing him that, within a week, the county council had made contact and offered a school place for her son at the school his friends were going to in September.

This case highlights the relationships the RAF FF builds with outside agencies to provide help and support for Service families, and in this case it did make a real difference. Not every case ends up with success, but we are always able to explain the reason a decision has not been made in favour of the serviceman or woman, and their family members – and if an emerging theme of disadvantage can be seen we are in a position to do the lobbying.

Contact You can contact the RAF Families Federation on +44 (0)1780 781650 or you can report your own issue online or you can browse the education-focused pages online


The team at the RAF Families Federation provides confidential help and support to both personnel and families in many different ways, and wherever they are in the world. As well as offering advice, ensuring clients are talking to the right people and asking the right questions, all the evidence gathered (stored on an encrypted database) is used to show up potential ‘themes’ of emerging issues in the Armed Forces.  The Families Federation use that anonymised evidence to lobby government for policy changes – all aimed at making life better for the serving community.

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