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5. Armed Forces Children within schools across the UK

The Service Children’s Progression (SCiP) Alliance

The SCiP Alliance is a partnership of organisations focused on improving outcomes for children from Military families. The SCiP Alliance is hosted by the University of Winchester and supported by the Ministry of Defence.

The SCiP Alliance website has a number of resources for schools including research briefings around moving schools and non-operational separation (weekending), which a number of Service families may be experiencing.

Thriving Lives toolkit

To help schools support their Service pupils, the SCiP Alliance has produced a Thriving Lives toolkit, developed in response to a large-scale UK-wide consultation with professionals supporting Service pupils.

The Thriving Lives Toolkit is an evidence-based framework of seven principles to assess, develop and implement a support structure to best allow Armed Forces children to thrive.  Whether schools have one Service family or are supporting a largely military population, the Thriving Lives toolkit online platform will help schools reflect on and improve their support.  

The Thriving Lives Toolkit online platform allows schools to directly reflect on practice supporting these children and young people, update progress and report on activity and plans.  It will also allow the school to gain insight into evidence-based guidance for helping the children of Armed Forces personnel and veterans to thrive at school.  The platform’s user-friendly interface allows multiple members of staff to access the school’s record and chart their progress and goals without requiring additional software training or knowledge.    

The toolkit outlines seven principles for effective practice, a reflective-framework to follow and additional learning resources.



1. Our approach is clear

Leaders' understanding and approach ensure resources and policies improve Service children's outcomes

2. Wellbeing is supported

Tailored pastoral provision supports Service children's mental health and wellbeing

3. Achievement is maximised

Teaching, assessment and support ensure the continuity of Service children's learning and progression

4. Transition is effective

Systems and support ensure seamless transitions for Service children arriving at and leaving school

5. Children are heard

Service children's diverse voices are heard and inform the support they receive

6. Parents are engaged

Strong home-school partnerships help Service families feel valued as part of the school community

7. Staff are well-informed

Supportive training and networks ensure all staff understand and support each Service child

Schools can find further information and sign-up to access the Thriving Lives Toolkit on the SCiP Alliance website.

Mapping Tool

The SCiP Alliance has produced a mapping tool which provides an overview of Service Pupil Premium statistics across England.

Linking with data from the Department for Education, as well as identifying the number of children registered for Service Pupil Premium within a Local Authority area, the mapping tool also indicates:

  • The number of schools that have registered Service pupils
  • The average number of Service pupils within schools that have a Service child – rating this high, medium or low in regards to the overall population
  • The Local Authorities national decile by number of Service children

Number of Schools with Service Pupils on Roll in England

In his July 2019 briefing note ‘Service Child Distribution in England’, Dr Michael Hall states that at least 52% of schools across England have at least one Service child on roll. Of those schools, 50% will only have one or two Service children registered.

Listening to Learn: The Voices of Service Children

In May 2020 the SCiP Alliance produced a report ‘Listening to Learn: The Voices of Service Children’. The report aims to improve understanding of how those supporting Service children put their voices at the heart of all they do. The full report and associated webinar can be viewed on the SCiP Alliance website.

Last Updated 19/10/2022

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