Children of service personnel may face problems with their education because of frequent family moves, this becomes of more importance when they move up to secondary school. Service families find themselves with the following choices:

  • Use local schools at each new location and accept the possible disruption that postings may cause. Families may be able to apply to stay in SFA at a unit even though the serving partner has been posted somewhere else IF their child is at a critical stage of their education (eg about to take GCSEs or A levels). For advice on this subject, contact Children's Education Advisory Service (CEAS).
  • Choose to place their child(ren) in boarding school. Advice on suitable schools and boarding school allowances may be obtained from Children's Education Advisory Service (CEAS).
  • Choose to settle the family in one place, usually in their own home whilst the serving person commutes.

Before making a choice you will have to consider many factors including the ability and temperament of your children; their ability to cope in a different environment away from home; their health; your financial situation and the availability of appropriate schools or accommodation. As parents you will have detailed knowledge of these factors. You will also need to know the facilities offered in the area in which you are going to live. You can get advice from the Local Authority (LEA) or Children's Education Advisory Service (CEAS). HIVEs are also a very useful source of information on local schools.

The Revised School Admissions Code & School Admissions Appeal Code came into effect on 10 February 2009 for all maintained schools and academies in England. Whilst the full codes are available on the attached link, the good news for children of Service personnel is that local authorities and admission authorities must now ’allocate a school place in advance, if accompanied by an official government letter (e.g. MOD, FCO or GCHQ) declaring a relocation date and intended address, if the applicant would meet the criteria on relocation.’ In addition, they must ’accept a Unit postal address, or if appropriate, a "quartering area" address in the absence of a new home postal address.’

School Admissions Code

State Boarding Schools Association Website