Scotland’s Schools Can and Should do more for Forces Kids

Says Dr Evelyn Bowes formerly of the University of Stirling at RCET: Scotland’s Armed Forces Children’s Charity’s Conference, held today 5th November, in Edinburgh.

The Royal Caledonian Education Trust (RCET) “Supporting Confident Journeys” Conference will bring together a range of renowned professionals and young people to highlight the journeys and life transitions of children and young people from Armed Forces families.

Dr Bowes’ research is believed to be the first of its kind in Scotland focussing on the experiences of children and young people from Armed Forces families.

Forces children can face a range of issues in, and out of the classroom included disrupted learning, lower attainment and poor confidence and wellbeing as a result of regularly moving around, and parental deployments. These can for some children act as a real barriers to achieving their full potential in education, and in life.

Dr Bowes’ research highlights that currently children moving to Scotland with their family are experiencing a lottery when it comes to the provision of support in schools across the country. 

However, Dr Bowes is clear that things can, and should change for the better. She says “there is scope for schools to positively contribute to the experiences of children from forces families.” Her recommendations include providing better training to teachers and school staff on the issues forces kids face as well as enhancing opportunities within the school to talk to, and with pupils encouraging them to share their experiences.  She also calls on schools to work collaboratively with parents, wider community and the Armed Forces to improve understanding and identify new possibilities for action.

Colin Flinn, Chief Executive of RCET said “RCET was delighted to commission and co-fund this research as there was, and still is, a real paucity of Scottish based research focusing on the views of children and young people from Armed Forces families.”

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