It's estimated there are around 150,000 service children across the UK. Schools have a duty to make sure they're not disadvantaged because their parents serve in the Armed Forces through the implementation of the Armed Forces Covenant (by the passing of the Armed Forces Act 2021).
It's also Armed Forces Week 2023 - a great opportunity to recognise and celebrate the service children that schools have on roll. The week, which runs from 18-25 June, is an ideal opportunity to do this. Free resources can be found at Event Toolkits & Resources – Armed Forces Day
Many service children thrive and bring a unique perspective to our schools which should be celebrated. However, some experience an interrupted education, a longer journey to school and are unable to take holidays during normal school holiday periods. Service children with additional needs might also suffer delays relating to assessments and plans.
The Armed Forces Act 2021 brings in a new ‘Covenant Duty’ to ensure that public bodies (including governing bodies and proprietors of academies) pay ‘due regard’ to the Armed Forces Covenant in a number of areas including education, specifically around admissions, attainment, wellbeing, transport, attendance, additional needs support and use of the Service Pupil Premium.
You can read the education section of the statutory guidance for further information on how to demonstrate that your school is meeting this duty as well as examples of good practice. Please email [email protected] if you have any questions around the new duty.
National Armed Forces Week website provides links to a whole range of resources from learning resources, events toolkits, images and logos which you may find useful.