Continuity of Education Allowances

You may decide to send your children to an independent school and pay the fees. Most independent schools take boarders. Some parents believe that boarding offers the best method of giving a stable and uninterrupted education; the RAF accepts this and, for those parents who choose to move house on postings, it will pay a boarding school allowance (90% of the fees up to a maximum limit), this is known as Children's Education Allowance (CEA).

Details of current CEA rates, as well as the full regulations, are available from your Unit HR department. The latest rates are also provided below. The RAF will also pay the cost of 3 return journeys per child per year (most boarding schools have short breaks, called Exeat, every three weeks or so; this means a minimum of 5 return journeys per term). Boarding is also available at some colleges of further education. But please note the allowance is paid because you are moving about and because you want continuity of education for your child. Consequently, if you settle in one area or move your child to another school you may lose the allowance. You may decide to leave your child with a guardian, friends or relatives so that he/she can stay in the same private day or local state school. It may be possible to get a day school allowance to help offset the costs; ask your Unit HR.

There are various reference books available to help you decide on a school but more details and advice on both independent and state schools can be obtained from:

Children's Education Advisory Service (CEAS)

Independent Schools Council (ISC)

Children's Education Allowance Rates 2016