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Making the grade in meeting unique learning support needs.

Gary Seath 1 year ago

Education Support

Supporting educators and professionals to meet the support needs of pupils from the armed forces community in Helensburgh.

The session welcomed those working with pupils from the armed forces community in Argyll and Bute, which aimed to enhance understanding of what it’s like to be a forces child to help them to better meet unique education and learning support needs.

Attendees explored real-life experiences of children and young people via a range of co-produced resources and presentations, which focused on topics including parental deployment, mobility, and transitions between schools and communities.

Seeking to address the challenges faced and identify ways to create positive educational environments during critical times for these children and young people, the session was designed to be interactive, to learn from good practice, and to encourage big thinking.

Of the twelve professionals that attended the session, 100% agreed that they had enhanced their knowledge and understanding, and successfully identified potential ways they can adapt practice within schools to meet unique support needs.

An attendee said:

“I didn’t consider that before or after deployment there might be challenges for these particular kids; one way we could help is to introduce more clubs/specialised armed forces support during deployment and create a separate policy for all staff to follow.”

A further attendee added:

“As practitioners in school, we need to be more aware of external support available to these children and young people and collaborate much more. We also need to consider finding out about when deployment is happening and appreciate its impact.”

The session delivered by Forces Children Scotland provided a preview to its new learning offer the charity has developed to offer face-to-face and digital learning sessions to support educators and professionals across Scotland, launching later this year.

There are over 12,500 children and young people receiving local authority education in Scotland, and those who have engaged with the charity have said many of their teachers simply do not understand the lives they lead and how it can impact their learning.

Katie Westwood, Learning and Development Worker for Forces Children Scotland said:

“The session fostered a better understanding among the attendees. It provided a platform to discuss how best to support pupils from the armed forces community, emphasising the importance of creating positive educational spaces during deployment and transition.

“Moreover, the session served as a crucial platform for sharing experiences, exchanging knowledge, and fostering collaboration among educators and professionals working with children and young people from armed forces and veteran families.”


Do you work with pupils from armed forces and veteran families and want to find out more about our learning offer?

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