DCYP - Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS)
The Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS) is part of the MOD’s Directorate of Children and Young People (DCYP), the tri-service focal point for all matters relating to children.
CEAS are a small team of educational professionals and dedicated advisers who are there to support the parents of all three services with any issue linked to their children’s education; Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND), curriculum concerns and general mobility issues. The team can also provide help with main stream school admissions and have an information sheet which provides advice and details the rights and responsibilities parents have relating to school admissions.
CEAS also provides information and advice on all issues relating to the Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA) – which is available for eligible Service personnel should they wish to consider Boarding School as an option for their children.
The CEAS team can help you to make sense of the process by providing advice and information sheets and while service parents make the actual application for CEA, through JPA, you will need a CEAS reference number in order to start your application. Details on eligibility criteria and everything else relating to the allowance is all contained in JSP 752, Part 2, Chapter 9.
The decision on whether boarding school is right for your child is a very personal decision. It depends on many things, not least the individual temperament of your own child and whether they are suited to boarding. Claiming CEA so that you can access the boarding sector can be one way of ensuring stability during important stages of education for some children - but it is important to be realistic as boarding schools do not suit all children. Some children thrive in boarding school, however other children do struggle and the potential advantages/disadvantages are very individual.
There are many considerations and even if you are eligible for CEA then long term financial considerations are still important. Currently parents will pay at least 10% of the school fees plus the many extras that are charged especially in the independent school sector.
State Boarding Schools are not very well known but are well worth considering both for the quality of their academic provision where some out-perform independent schools but also as they are considerably cheaper than Independent Schools. State Boarding Schools only charge fees for the boarding element - as the education provision remains state funded. Whichever type of school a service parent is considering the key is to read JSP 752, Part 2, Chapter 9 and to also understand that your application will need to be processed through your unit and onto the MoD team ‘Pay and Allowances Complaints and Casework Cell (PACCC) for a decision on CEA before you enter into any contract with any school.
We understand that decisions around your child’s education are some of the most profound that you will take as a family. Our message is that by seeking information, advice and guidance at the earliest opportunity you will put yourself in the best position for everything to work well. The fastest and simplest way to contact CEAS is always by email.
All CEAS guidance information is available from the Gov.uk website.