The Directorate Children and Young People (DCYP) has been working closely with the Army Basing Team (ABT) to ensure that the education needs of children returning from Germany, or moving within the UK, are recognised by those responsible for planning school places.
Service families will be facing decisions regarding their children’s education. For some, this may be the first time that they have had to deal with the UK education system and it may seem a daunting prospect. DCYP, through the Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS), can help service families through this process by providing appropriate information, support and advice in order to ensure that children and young people are provided with every opportunity to achieve the best possible outcomes and fulfil their potential.
There are also some steps that you as parents can make to ensure you are able to make the most informed decisions:
The SEND Code of Practice can be found at the link below: www.gov.uk/government/publications/send-code-of-practice-0-to-25
This Code includes guidance for local authority schools, and others in England on the particular needs of Service children who have an identified SEND and how these requirements can be met. Service children within MOD schools who have a SEND should be assured that there is a well rehearsed process for the transition from a MOD school to a school within the UK. This process involves parents identifying a school that they would like their child to attend and the transfer of information from the MOD school. In more complex situations, direct liaison between schools and the receiving Local Authority can help to build a picture of the child’s needs and the provision that the new school will need to make.
Information for families with SEND children moving back to the UK can be found in the following document. Transfer of children with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) This document provides assistance with processes, and tips on how to make your transition easier.
To help you as a parent and to support your child when moving school, CEAS have a guide on moving schools. They also provide a range of information documents on school admissions, Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA) and SEND registration. Please contact them for any of these publications. The HIVE hold the information packs should you wish to pick one up.
To check what childcare help you might be eligible for visit the calculator at www.gov.uk/childcare-calculator
Use this calculator to find out how much you could get towards approved childcare, including: - free childcare for children aged between 2 and 4 - help with childcare costs if your child is under 16 (or under 17 and disabled)
Your children may be able to get free transport to school, depending on how far the walk is and any special needs they have.
All children between 5 and 16 qualify for free school transport if they attend their nearest suitable school and live at least:
- 2 miles from the school if they’re under 8
- 3 miles from the school if they’re 8 or older
Your eligibility will depend on what other schools, in the area, may be closer to your home address. In addition, families on low incomes and children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) have different eligibility criteria for assistance with school transport.
It is important that if you already claim Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA) for any of your children, that you remain within the eligibility rules for accompanied service, so check this out first before making any plans.
If you are returning to England with children in Reception Year through to Year 11, make sure you register them for the Service Pupils Premium.
In England, if your child attends a state school, Academy or Free school and has been registered with the school as a Service pupil, the school will be granted a Service Pupil Premium of £300.