Armed Forces children and young people can face significant educational challenges associated with high levels of mobility and parental deployment.

Pupils in Armed Forces families who are experiencing any difficulties at school should have their needs met under the Additional Support for Learning (ASL) framework. However, our work with Armed Forces children and young people, their families, education professionals, and others working to support them, suggests a lack of awareness of the experiences and needs of Armed Forces pupils and a lack of clarity around the operation of the ASL framework in relation to pupils in Armed Forces families.

In addition, the lack of educational data on Armed Forces pupils makes it difficult to consider whether the ASL framework is meeting their needs.

Children and Young People’s Voices:

The children and young people we work with have told us some of the challenges they face in their education and learning:

  • “When someone is deployed then you miss them and it’s hard to concentrate”
  • “Stress of always moving around and keeping up on education so you don’t have any gaps”
  • “Confidence down because ‘new kid’ all the time – everyone staring at you”
  • “Scary, saying bye to friends, having to start new school”

We would like to see:

  • Collection and publication of national data on Armed Forces children and young people in Scottish local authority schools to support robust consideration of their educational outcomes.
  • The workforce involved in supporting children and young people’s learning trained in supporting the needs of Armed Forces pupils.
  • Adequate funding available to meet the additional support needs of all pupils including those belonging to Armed Forces families.
  • Research focusing on the direct voices and experiences of Armed Forces children and young people to further knowledge and understanding of the potential impact of Armed Forces life on children and young people’s education and learning.