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Author: NFF

Introduction

In the UK, responsibility for the making of education law and guidance has been devolved to the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh and Irish Assemblies. In England, legislative responsibility for education continues to lie solely with the UK Parliament at Westminster.

The formal devolution of statutory responsibility for education law to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland has emphasised existing differences and continued to establish further ones.

These differences can be summarised under the following headings:

  • age ranges of phases of education;
  • examination and assessment systems;
  • curricular structure and content;
  • admission systems;
  • statutory approaches to meeting children’s special educational/ additional support needs;
  • funding routes and arrangements for higher education.

Overseas education for Armed Forces families is dependent on the area to which you are assigned.

Please also take a look at Joint Service Publication 342, which provides policy and guidance for the education of Service children and young people.

The Naval Families Federation is working hard to remove disadvantage to families in the provision of education. We work closely with the MOD’s Armed Forces Families & Safeguarding (AFFS) and Defence Children Services (DCS) and other stakeholders to achieve this aim. Your feedback is extremely valuable to us in carrying out this work, so please do get in touch and let us know about your experiences.

1. Primary & Secondary Education
Defence Children Services (DCS)

The department formerly known as CEAS is now part of Defence Children Services (DCS) and is divided into two parts – the UK Education Advisory Team (EAT) and the Overseas Education and Supportability Team (OEST). The EAT are a small team, who are experienced in advising Service parents on a wide range of issues regarding the education of Service children in the UK whereas the OEST are their counterpart that cover overseas education. EAT are also the first port of call for people considering an application for Continuity of Education Allowance. You can find their contact details and further information about the types of advice they offer here.

Devolved administrations
  • England

The national curriculum sets out the programmes of study and attainment targets for all subjects at all 4 key stages in England. All local-authority-maintained schools in England teach these programmes of study.

You can find out more about the English system here. An overview of the key stages and assessments in the English education system can be found here.

 

  • Scotland

Education is devolved to the Scottish Government, which means that the Scottish Government has the power to introduce new laws, curricula, and guidelines on education within Scotland. An overview of the Scottish education system can be found. Click here to access a school toolkit produced Forces Children’s Education. The Scottish Government has also produced a useful guide for Service personnel and their families moving to Scotland.

An overview of the system in Scotland, with comparisons to England and Wales, can be found here. Click here for a poster outlining the Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC) system, used by schools in Scotland to support the wellbeing of all children and young people.

 

  • Wales

A new curriculum has been developed and is being phased in for settings and schools in Wales. It will be used throughout Wales by the end of 2022.

You can find out more about the new school curriculum here.

You can find out more about how Service children are supported in Wales by visiting the Supporting Service Children in Education Wales website. Click here to access a school toolkit produced by the SSCE. This Service Family Guide gives information about the new curriculum and examinations and assessments.

 

  • Northern Ireland

The MOD has some introductory information about education in Northern Ireland here.

More detailed information about the curriculum and assessment can be found here.

A useful summary of the curriculum in Northern Ireland and the key differences from other areas of the UK can be found here.

Overseas Education

If you are offered an overseas assignment, you will have to look carefully into the education available for your children. Please refer to this page on gov.uk for further information. Please also see this page on guidance on unaccompanied minor flights.

Home Education

Home education is legal throughout the UK and has been for many decades. It is a positive long-term choice for some families. It can also be an option for families who are moving between areas and seeking to avoid starting a child in a school for a short period of time (for example when a child is on a waiting list, or if you are just about to be reassigned after the start of a school year). The legal position in the four countries of the UK is not identical.

 

  • England & Wales

According to the 1996 Education Act in England and Wales, parents (not the state) are responsible for providing their children’s education ‘at school or otherwise’. Education must be suitable for the age, ability and aptitude of each child. Find out more about home education from the gov.uk website and from Education Otherwise.

 

  • Scotland

‘Schoolhouse’ is Scotland’s national home education support charity. It is a well-established and well-respected source of independent information and support for anyone interested in home education.

 

  • Northern Ireland

‘Home Education Northern Ireland’ is an inclusive group for home educators and their communities in Northern Ireland, and was recently involved in coordinating the response to the consultation on the Draft Policy on Elective Home Education published by the five Boards there.

 

  • Overseas

If your family is either considering, or currently delivering, home education overseas, you should refer to the Elective Home Education Overseas Parental Guidance (November 2021). This includes important information guidance and direction, including the requirement to contact Overseas Education and Supportibility Team at RC-DCS-HQ-OES@mod.gov.uk when considering an overseas assignment and before any firm decision on elective home education is made. This guide can be accessed from the DIN Library (20211108). Please note this DIN replaces the policy contained JSP 342. Please also see our Overseas Education page for further information.

Boarding school and Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA)

Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA) is offered by the MOD to assist with funding a place in boarding school to help to provide continuity of education for a child.

In claiming CEA, a Service person must fully accept that accompanied service is the overriding principle for maintaining entitlement. An exception to this requirement is when a Service person is classified as Involuntarily Separated (INVOLSEP).

Please see section 6 below for full details.

 

  • State Boarding School

Parents of boarders at state boarding schools pay only the cost of boarding, as the education is free. There are 38 state boarding schools across the UK, please click here for a full list of schools. If you are considering to enrol your child(ren) in a state boarding school, please do take a look at this parent’s guide produced by State Boarding Schools’ Association. CEA can be claimed by eligible people for state boarding.

 

  • Further Information

To find out more, including a boarding school finder website from Defence Children Services (DCS), please check out the guidance from EAT (formerly part CEAS*) here. Further information about eligibility is in Joint Service Publication 752, Chapter 14. To check your eligibility and to apply, contact your Unit Personnel Office.

*Please note: CEAS is in the process of updating gov.uk to reflect its restructure. The information on the NFF website is correct as of May 2022.

 

  • Continuity of Education Allowance (Guardians)

The aim of Continuity of Education Allowance (Guardians) (CEA (Guardians)) is to financially assist Service parents who elect to place their child in the care of a guardian so that the child may continue to attend a particular day school. The allowance is intended to contribute to the additional costs of a child maintaining contact with its family when they are living away from the family home. The allowance is not intended to cover any costs for accommodation, education or welfare.

An eligible guardian is any person in whose care a child is placed to enable them to remain at a particular day school that the child could not attend if resident with their claimant parent. In this context, guardianship is deemed to exist if the claimant arranges private accommodation for the child, e.g., with a relative, friend, in rented accommodation, or in a YMCA or similar privately-run hostel. The safety and security of each child is the responsibility of the parents in such an arrangement. For full details of the allowance and of eligibility, see JSP 752 Chapter 14 Section 5.

Pastoral Support and the Service Pupil Premium

Pastoral Support and the Service Pupil Premium

Schools have a responsibility to provide appropriate individualised care and pastoral support for all children. We receive many enquiries about this, particularly from parents who are concerned about how this works across the devolved nations, or who feel that their school could be providing more effective support. Please see section 2 for further information.

Further support
  • Visit our page here to find a list of organisations that can support your young person’s education, including funding and Service clubs.
  • Click here to find out more about resources/projects available to support parents/carers.
2. Pastoral Support and the Service Pupil Premium (SPP)

Schools have a responsibility to provide appropriate individualised care and pastoral support for all children. We receive many enquiries about this, particularly from parents who are concerned about how this works across the devolved nations, or who feel that their school could be providing more effective support. We love to hear from people who have experienced great support so that we can showcase examples of effective practice. Please contact us if your child’s school is doing something we can share to improve practice in other schools.

England

The Service Pupil Premium (SPP) is extra funding for schools in England to support children and young people with parents in the Armed Forces. In order for your child to be eligible, you need to inform your child(ren)’s school of your (or your partner’s) Service status before the annual school census, which is the first Thursday in October every year.

 

Key facts:

  • The SPP is provided by the Department for Education (DfE), to State maintained schools, Free Schools and Academies in England who have children of Regular Armed Forces personnel among their pupil population to provide additional (mainly pastoral) support. Children of parents on Full Time Reserve Service (Full Commitment) also attract SPP.
  • Schools can claim for both SPP and PP for the same child. Guidance from the DfE is: ‘If they meet the criteria for both then they are entitled to both. A proportion of Service pupils have been receiving both for some time.’
  • The SPP is currently £310 per Service pupil and is paid directly to schools. It is not transferable between schools and does not move with the pupil when they leave the school.
  • Schools with Service children in Reception to Year 11 classes are eligible to receive the fund, but only if your child(ren)’s name appears on the school’s roll as being a Service child. This is why it’s of utmost importance for you to ensure that you have informed the school of your Service status.
  • A child will continue to attract SPP funding for up to a maximum of 6 years after the serving person has left the Service or at the end of Year 11, whichever comes first. Please be reminded to inform the school if the parent has left the Service.
  • It is possible for step children to receive SPP provided that you meet the criteria.

For more information on eligibility please see here. Or you can email: Armed Forces Families & Safeguarding (AFFS – Formely DCYP): People-AFFS-Mailbox@mod.gov.uk.

 

Resources

  • For examples of effective practice for schools see here.
  • Please also contact your local authorities as they may be able to provide further information to assist schools and families in accessing the best support for Service pupils. For example, click here for a booklet created by Hampshire County Council and click here for a guide created by West Yorkshire Local Authorities.
Scotland

There is no Service Pupil Premium for Service children living in Scotland, but the Scottish government strategy for school funding takes into account factors such as deprivation, mobility and under achievement. Service families can register their status with their schools, so that the child’s record is flagged with an indicator. When Service families register, clusters of mobile families are highlighted and this attracts more funding for the school, which may be used to provide support.

Forces Children Scotland (formerly The Royal Caledonian Education Trust) is Scotland’s Armed Forces charity, and works with schools and families to help children to thrive. You can find out more about their work here.

Wales

The Service Pupil Premium is not available in Wales. SSCE Cymru provide information on funding available to schools and LAs here.

Northern Ireland

Service children in Northern Ireland receive additional support under the provisions of the Common Funding Scheme. Qualifying pupils are those pupils in primary and post-primary schools whose father or mother is:

  • a member of the UK Armed Forces;
  • not normally resident in Northern Ireland;
  • assigned to Northern Ireland for a period scheduled to last no less than 2 years.

More information about education in Northern Ireland can be found on the Department of Education Northern Ireland website hereInformation about the Common Funding Scheme can be found here.

3. Education Support Fund (ESF)

The Education Support Fund (ESF), launched in 2011 and subsequently extended by the Secretary of State for Defence (2018-2020), provided funding to assist publicly funded schools, Academies and Free Schools throughout the UK to mitigate the effects of exceptional mobility and/or separation of their Service communities; Regular Armed Forces, including Reserves on Full Time commitment (FTRS FC).

Since 2011, the ESF has distributed over £42 million. The funding awarded from the 2022 ESF supported around 23,000 Service children from all three Services.

Successful applications to date have been for a wide range of initiatives. All been able to provide strong evidence of how their proposal would help Service children and schools to overcome the effects of exceptional mobility or deployment. The bids also demonstrated a good relationship with their Service community.

Schools supporting children of Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel typically have relatively smaller numbers of Service children on role, and often these children are affected more by deployment than by mobility (although mobility will be a strong feature in the lives of some). Such schools are still able to bid successfully to the ESF, but will need to ensure that they provide strong evidence of how their proposals will mitigate the challenges faced by their Service children. Full details of how to bid can be found via the link at the bottom of this section. Bids that are incomplete or do not follow the instructions may be weeded out in the first round, so it is important to follow the process. Particular attention in the bid-writing process should be paid to:

  • Explaining how the school already utilises Service Pupil Premium (SPP) and demonstrating the effectiveness of this.
  • Identifying a suitable Armed Forces sponsor who can assist with a statement that focuses on the impact of the proposed project. Generic statements are less effective in strengthening a bid.
  • Providing actual numbers of Service children being supported and ensuring that the size of the bid is proportionate.
  • Demonstrating a sound understanding of the needs of Service children and how these might be addressed.
  • Avoiding bidding for projects which are clearly intended to bolster funding for whole-school activity without a clear rationale for specific impact for Service children.
Eligibility

To be eligible for a grant a school needs to be in the UK and have children of Service personnel on roll whose parents are subject to mobility and/or separation (see Criteria). Applicants should include clear evidence of the exceptional impact of mobility and/or separation which regional panels can then use to accurately score applications.

Applications can be accepted from:
  1. Maintained schools;
  2. Academies;
  3. Free schools;
  4. Sixth Form colleges;
  5. Groups of any schools described above (referred to as ‘cluster bids’ and are strongly encouraged);
  6. Local authorities on behalf of the publicly funded schools in their area.

If applying as a cluster, an individual school can also submit their own separate bid, provided it is for a different initiative. Full details need to be provided on the application form. A cluster bid may be stronger than an individual school bid as resources are being shared; helping to achieve better value for money outcomes. Where possible, applicants are to make their local authority aware of their application.

The following are not eligible:
  1. Childcare providers;
  2. Colleges of higher education or further education;
  3. Commercial organisations or those that would seek to charge for their solution to be provided to a school, for example – an organisation could not be awarded a grant to develop a training course which it then charges schools to attend.
2023 bidding round

In light of ongoing rebasing activity, with further unit and personnel moves and associated disruption expected, Armed Forces Families & Safeguarding (AFFS – formerly DCYP) has secured £3 million from the Head Office Top Level Budget to fund an extension of the ESF.

Following evidence provided by the NFF, this year the eligibility criteria for the fund have changed slightly to make it clear that schools experiencing exceptional impact from weekending, as well as deployment, may apply.

The bidding round for the 2023 ESF is now open until 30 September 2022.

Please click here for further information/ download the grant application pack.

 

*IMPORTANT INFO* In January 2022, the MOD published its 10-year strategy for improving support to Armed Forces families. As part of the MOD’s efforts to support the implementation of this strategy, existing grant funding schemes designed to support Service children are being reviewed. The ESF is currently under review and that your application may have to be submitted again through a new scheme.

4. Admissions and Appeal

Finding the right school for your child, and securing a place, can be challenging for any family, but Armed Forces families moving area can face additional hurdles if the school of their choice is oversubscribed. The Armed Forces Covenant will not automatically secure you a place at your school of choice, but it will help to make sure that you are not disadvantaged compared to civilian families.

If you have a particular problem with admissions to schools, please contact the Education Advisorty Team* (formerly CEAS) by email RC-DCS-HQ-EAT@mod.gov.uk to seek advice. If you would like to provide feedback to the NFF about your admissions issue, so that we can represent your experience to effect change, please email contactus@nff.org.uk.

*Please note: CEAS is in the process of updating gov.uk to reflect its restructure. The information on the NFF website is correct as of May 2022.

Admissions
  • England and Wales

You must apply for a place at a school, even if it’s linked to your child’s current nursery or primary school. The way you apply depends on whether you’re applying for a primary or a secondary school place. You should apply in the same way if you have just moved to England or Wales or are applying from abroad. Contact the council if you’re applying for a school place after the start of the school year (eg changing schools).

Applications open on different days in each local council area – usually at the start of the autumn term of the year before your child is due to start school. Find out from your local council when applications open, and the deadlines for primary or secondary schools. If you are unable to apply for a school place by the deadline because of an assignment, let the council know as soon as you can, if necessary using your unit address.

  • Scotland

Information on finding schools and the process can be found on the Parentzone Scotland website.  To make an application, contact the local council through the details here.

  • Northern Ireland

Separate procedures exist for admission to pre-school (2-4 years), primary (4-11 years) and post-primary (11-18 years) education. You can find out how to enrol a child here.

Appeals

All schools have admission criteria to decide which children get places. The school or local council usually set these. If you have not been able to get your child into your school of choice, there will be an appeal process which you can follow.

    • England: The admissions code can be found here. The appeals code is here.
    • Wales: The admissions and appeals codes can be found here.
    • Scotland: Please contact your local council to make an appeal.
    • Northern Ireland: Please contact the Education Authority for further information.
5. Term Time Absence

Deployment commitments have always meant difficulty for Royal Naval and Royal Marines families trying to tie in leave dates with school holidays.

 

Since September 2013, by law, headteachers are only able to grant requests for leave during term time in “exceptional circumstances”. In July 2015, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) released additional advice for headteachers regarding school term time absence for the children of Armed Forces personnel, stating: The educational needs of Service children affected will always be a critical factor when determining whether term-time absence should be granted.

 

As well as operational tours overseas or afloat, there are many situations where the unusual and often unpredictable demands of life in the Armed Forces may prevent Service families taking holidays together outside term time, which should be considered.

 

However as with all children, the decision on whether to authorise term-time holidays for the children of Service personnel sits solely with the Head Teacher of their school.

 

Separate advice should be provided to Service families explaining how they should present evidence when requesting absence during term-time, and reminding them firmly that the educational needs of their child(ren) will remain of great importance.

 

To assist headteachers in making their decisions on absence applications, Unit Commanding Officers and their Welfare Staff will be able to provide advice, verification and endorsement as required.

 

If Head Teachers are unsure how to make contact with the relevant Armed Forces unit they should contact the MOD’s Armed Forces Families & Safeguarding (AFFS – Formely DCYP): People-AFFS-Mailbox@mod.gov.uk.

 

To read the MOD’s ‘School Term Time Absence for Children of Service Personnel Guidance’ in full, click here.

6. Moving Schools
  • Moving schools packs for parents and schools

These packs can be used by parents and schools to supplement the information that schools must transfer by law. You can personalise the pack by using the sheets you find most useful, or you can add others that you think will help the school to know more about your child. The activity pack is aimed at children aged 6 to 11 years old, but you may want to adapt some of the ideas for your own child.

Download a copy of the moving school pack and pupil passport.

  • Common Transfer File – transferring between and from schools in England

The Naval Families Federation has been asking for better information transfer for Service pupils moving between schools, in response to feedback from families. The Common Transfer File (CTF), which is used by schools and local authorities to send pupil data whenever a pupil moves from one school to another in England, has been updated. This improves the information being transferred and helps to identify children who may need support as a result of their Service connection. It is not an extra form for schools to complete but a normal part of their practice.

It now contains a ‘flag’ which is used to identify a child’s Service status.

It also asks for four data items for Service children:

    • “Does the school have any concerns about the child’s response to moving school?”
    • “Does the school have any concerns about the child’s response to parental deployment?”
    • “Does the school have any concerns about the child’s response to parental separation?” (This field should be used to record concerns that the school has about Service children being separated from their parents due to extended training periods or other forms of duty.)
    • “Details about concerns”: this is a free text box in which the school can include further details about their concerns. The school may wish to include, in this free text section, contact details to assist in the integration of the new pupils.

The CTF system will be configured so that when a CTF is received by a school with the Service Child flag set to ‘Yes’, an alert will be automatically raised asking that a) the head teacher or appropriate member of staff should be informed of the identity of the Service child joining the school; and b) where the “concerns” section (described above) has not been completed, that the appropriate member of staff be informed and advised to contact the CTF sending school for clarification.

We would be interested to hear from families about their experiences of information transfer between schools. We are very aware that there are differences between the English system, the Devolved Governments and overseas provision. Do contact us and let us know about the challenges you have experienced, and also about examples of really effective practice.

7. Continuity of Education Allowance

Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA) is offered by the MOD to assist with funding a place in boarding school in order to help to provide continuity of education for a child.

Eligibility

In claiming CEA, a Service person must fully accept that accompanied service is the overriding principle for maintaining entitlement. An exception to this requirement is when a Service person is classified as Involuntarily Separated (INVOLSEP).

CEA is available for children aged eight years and over. If your child has Special Education Needs or Disability (SEND), this should not prevent their admission to a boarding school, and an allowance for SEN support may be available in some circumstances.

Children for whom CEA is being claimed must be placed in their correct chronological year group. If a school suggests that a child be placed, on entry to the school, in the year behind (or in front of) their correct year group, advice and authority for this must be sought from the Education Advisory Team* (formerly CEAS) before the placement is accepted, as this may affect your eligibility to claim CEA. Advice and authority must also be sought from the Education Advisory Team* if a child is placed in the year behind or asked to repeat a year in a school they are already attending.

You are expected to contribute a minimum of 10% towards the fees. The fees are only part of the costs of attending a boarding school and so it is important to be clear about any extras the school charges for.

To find out more, check out the guidance from the Education Advisory Team* (formerly CEAS) here. Further information about eligibility is in Joint Service Publication 752 (Chapter 14). To check your eligibility and to apply, contact your Unit Personnel Office.

*Please note: CEAS is in the process of updating gov.uk to reflect its restructure. The information on the NFF website is correct as of May 2022.

CEA (Guardians)

The aim of Continuity of Education Allowance (Guardians) (CEA (Guardians)) is to financially assist Service parents who elect to place their child in the care of a guardian so that the child may continue to attend a particular day school. The allowance is intended to contribute to the additional costs of a child maintaining contact with its family when it is living away from the family home. The allowance is not intended to cover any costs for accommodation, education or welfare.

An eligible guardian is any person in whose care a child is placed to enable them to remain at a particular day school that the child could not attend if resident with their claimant parent. In this context, guardianship is deemed to exist if the claimant arranges private accommodation for the child, e.g., with a relative, friend, in rented accommodation, or in a YMCA or similar privately-run hostel. The safety and security of each child is the responsibility of the parents in such an arrangement. For full details of the allowance and of eligibility, see JSP 752 (Chapter 14 Section 5).

8. Teaching Resources
CPD resources for schools

A review of all current CPD resources for schools can be found here.

The Experience of Parental Absence in Royal Navy and Royal Marines Families

The Experience of Parental Absence in Royal Navy and Royal Marines Families

Our guide to supporting children and families, as endorsed in the Living in Our Shoes report, can be downloaded free here.

Thriving Lives Toolkit

Underpinned by rigorous research and thoroughly tested in school, the free Thriving Lives Toolkit provides schools with a framework of 7 principles through which to reflect on their practice and a 3 tier set of CPD resources. The resources in this toolkit have been developed in collaboration with a range of partners across the UK, and consist of:

  • an introductory animation;
  • a detailed resource introducing the evidence base, what schools can do to support their Service children and who can help and;
  • school case studies.

 

This toolkit is available as a downloadable resource as well as an online interactive platform.

Armed Forces Day

Learning resources for schools wishing to show their support for Armed Forces Day, including assembly plans and teachers’ notes for both primary and secondary schools.

Posted on: 11th May, 2022

1. NFF Parental Absence Resource

Parental absence report front page.Being a parent and raising children is exciting and rewarding, but it can be tough at times for any family. The amount, patterns and types of parental absence faced by Royal Navy and Royal Marines families present additional challenges that are not routinely experienced by most civilian families.

 

In response to feedback from families, the Naval Families Federation has produced a resource about the experience of parental absence. The purpose of the resource is to draw together some useful information about parental absence and separation, and provide some strategies to help families thrive.

Request a copy

If you are a parent, it may also be helpful to give a copy to your child’s school, or to other people in your network, to help them to understand your circumstances.

 

You can download a free copy here.

 

Alternatively, Royal Navy and Royal Marines families, and those supporting them, please email us at contactus@nff.org.uk to request a hard copy. Regrettably, we are only able to send hard copies to our beneficiaries due to resource constraints.

 

*Please note: Since its publication, some of the supporting organisations/ charities have undergone rebranding. We are currently working on updating this resource. Please double check their contact details before making contact.

2. Strengthening Families – By Your Side

‘Strengthening Families – By Your Side’, an offer of support for all Royal Navy and Royal Marines families, was officially launched on 1st September 2020. Developed by the NFF and the Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC), the project aims to provide RN/RM families the right support, at the right time. Please note, this programme officially extended its eligibility to serving RFA families as of April 2022.

Strengthening Families Info Poster
A5 insert, talking about strengthening families.

Please click on the images to view the enlarged version. Find out more about how this can help you and your loved ones from the sections below or click here to visit RNRMC’s website for further details.

Relationship support

Relate logo

Relate are the UK’s largest provider of relationship support.

  • ‘Building Stronger Families’ is a free-of-charge, self-directed relationship online learning portal for RN/RM Service personnel and their partners.
  • Free face-to-face, online and telephone counselling is also available. They can help with relationships, family life and parenting, separation and divorce and help for children, young people and young adults. It also includes bereavement and loss support. You can contact them via their dedicated RN/RM hotline (01302 380 279) or visit this page.
Support for children and young people

Aggies logo

Dame Agnes Weston’s Royal Charity for the Naval Service (or “Aggie Weston’s”) is one of the oldest Naval charities. Aggies supports RN, RM, QARNNS and RFA personnel, together with their families.

  • Aggie’s Pastoral Workers offer support by phone, through social media, at events, or on occasions through home visits. The team are to listen, encourage, signpost and provide practical support.

 


KIDS UK logo

KIDS provides a wide range of support services to disabled children, young people and their families across England, supporting over 13,500 families each year. They work with children with any disability from birth to 25 years of age, offering support to the whole family with the aim of giving disabled children a brighter future.

  • KIDS support young carers aged 7-19 across England.
  • They also run weekly Staying Positive group for young disabled people aged 14-25 (Gosport and Havant).

 


Kings Active Foundation logo

Kings Active Foundation exist to get children active, having fun and learning together.

  • Kings run activity camps at Naval establishments over school holidays for children aged 5-17 with a serving parent. The cost is subsidised by the RNRMC. Those who live away from base port areas can also take part in the camps at a civilian location near them with the same subsidised cost.
  • Teenagers aged between 15-17 and take part in the Rookie Academy. It is a sports leadership programme where participants will learn how to coach and be a young leader through practical, hands-on activities. This qualification can be added to their CV and included in any future application where part of the assessment is on practical leadership skills.
Community support

Aggies logo

Aggies supports RN, RM, QARNNS and RFA personnel, together with their families.

  • Aggies holds groups and events for spouses/partners and toddlers, including but not limited to after-school homework clubs, Storybook Waves book clubs, financial management courses.

 


Home Start logo

Home-Start is a local community network of trained volunteers and expert support helping families with young children through their challenging times. They are there for parents when they need help the most, because childhood can’t wait. Please make contact via their dedicated RN/RM phone line: 0116 464 5450

  • Local community network of trained volunteers and expert support helping families with young people through challenging times, including 1-to-1 sessions, group support, linking to other local support networks.
  • 2-hour weekly support sessions by a volunteer to support you during challenging times (e.g. isolation health, bereavement).

 


Mellow Mums logo

Mellow Mums is an 8-week digital support group that is ‘postcode blind’. It aims to support mums in the RN/RM community with children under 2. It has been developed to reduce isolation and to support better perinatal mental health. Participants will have the opportunity to meet other mums in the community and share their experience too.

  • 8-week informal, confidential one-hour session delivered on Zoom with a Home-Start coordinator. Please email homestart.shpt@gmail.com for further information.
Financial support

Naval Children's Charity logo

The Naval Children’s Charity (NCC, formerly the Royal Navy & Royal Marines Children’s Fund) offers help to children up to the age of 25 with a parent or guardian who is a current or former member of the Royal Navy including the Reserves and Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

  • NCC offers help to their beneficiaries by providing grants, advice and guidance.
  • NCC offers free books to help children to understand feelings when a parent goes away.
Information and support

 

Have you signed up to the Royal Navy Forum yet?

 

The Royal Navy Forum is a safe and secure environment to engage with RN/RM Families to ensure they are INFORMED INVOLVED INTOUCH with the Royal Navy and its stakeholders. The topics area works as a notice board to inform readers on all aspects and updates from the MOD and external stakeholders – this is an open area – should you wish to have these updates into your mailbox then all you need to do is join and subscribe to the areas you are interested in.

 

Inside the Members area, you will find Local Support groups, Unit and Network areas, Overseas and Training Establishments which provide more bespoke information and discussion areas to engage with like-minded people.

 

To join, you or your family and friends need your full name as it is on JPA and your Service Number. Once in, navigate to the areas of interest and ask to join – the RN Forum Team will let you in. Don’t forget to click on the bell to follow and receive regular updates to your inbox.

3. Subsidised holiday camps for young people

As part of ‘Strengthening Families – By Your Side’ (see section above), young people from serving RN/RM/RFA families can apply to access sports and activity camps right across the UK at a subsidised rate. This is a partnership between the RNRMC and the Kings Active Foundation.

5 - 14 years olds
  • Baseport areas: The camps are available at selected bases and establishments during school holidays. Please check out the RNRMC’s website and their social media channels for the latest news and updates.

 

  • Other locations: For those who live away from baseport areas, you can also book your children onto any of Kings Camp’s 55 nationwide non-military locations – click here for a list of venue. When making the booking, please mention that you a RN/RM family in order to recieve the discount.
15 - 17 years olds

Rookie Academy is a sports leadership programme where participants will learn how to coach and be a young leader through practical, hands-on activities. This qualification can be added to their CV and included in any future application where part of the assessment is on practical leadership skills.

Last updated: 27th May, 2022

News: 21st February 2022

 

Today the Naval, Army and RAF Families Federations launch the ‘Duty and Care: Armed Forces Family Mobility and Health Care’ report. This report provides practical recommendations to inform and tackle disadvantage as well as improve health outcomes for families required to move frequently due to Service need.

 

This study, supported by NHS England and NHS Improvement and the MOD Families Team, was conducted by the Veterans and Families Institute for Military Social Research at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), and sponsored by the three Families Federations. Families have shared their experiences to form the basis of this research and as the Foreword says, “Their voices are the most important ones here”.

The recommendations were co-created by key stakeholders to identify the clearest possible lines of responsibility and accountability.

 

Top line recommendations are:
  1. Gaining confidence of families – that the Service will support them, but the Service needs to be kept informed about any health factors that might affect postings
  2. Building on existing frameworks – to support postings – ensuring that information is captured effectively
  3. Encourage families to identify current and potential needs to primary care
  4. Expand the education and training of all NHS staff to understand the needs of mobile military families
  5. Provide more information to military families on the variable nature of the NHS, particularly when moving across devolved national borders
  6. Improving transfer of information – the transfer of health care records between primary care organisations
  7. Continuity of care, using remote access
  8. Creating single points of contact for Armed Forces families to seek advice
  9. Dentistry – look for ways to support Service families seeking dental care

 

Access the report

Click here to access the report.

 

Minister for Defence People and Veterans, Leo Docherty says:

“As a former soldier, I know only too well that families are the backbone of our Armed Forces. But unlike Serving personnel, they haven’t chosen this career, so it is even more important we give them the support they need. One of the greatest challenges faced by military families is access to quality health care.

“That’s why I very much welcome the practical recommendations set out in Anglia Ruskin University’s excellent report published today.

“Anglia Ruskin University and the Families Federations have played their part… Now it is our turn. Our upcoming Families Strategy will work hand-in-glove with the NHS, care providers, MOD, single Services and the Families Federations to translate this advice into action.”

 

Forces in Mind Trust Professor of Veterans and Families Studies, Michael Almond says:

“Through interviews with military families and those with responsibility for providing, commissioning and advising on health care for military families we were able to deliver this report which provides practical and operational recommendations for policy and practice, directed at care providers, the NHS, MOD, and families themselves, to tackle disadvantage and improve health outcomes for those families required to move frequently as a result of Service need.”

 

The Royal Navy’s Second Sea Lord, Vice Admiral Martin Connell CBE says:

“The wellbeing of our Naval families is a vital factor in the effectiveness of our operations, so I welcome initiatives that provide our families with the support they deserve.

 

“Military life creates a number of disruptive challenges for families to contend with, not least of which is the occasional requirement to move as duty demands.

 

“This can disrupt or interrupt access to quality health care or education, so Anglia Ruskin University’s comprehensive report, sponsored by the Naval Families Federation and its partner organisations, will prove a valuable asset in improving the service and support provided to families.

 

“The fact that the report draws directly on families’ experiences gives the recommendations particular weight, and it is now down to the MOD, the three Services, NHS England, care providers and the families federations to ensure that these recommendations are converted into practical measures.

 

“We are proud of our Naval families, just as we are proud of our sailors and marines, and we must ensure that all members of the wider Naval family have unhindered access to the first-class health care provided by our wonderful NHS.”

 

Further information/advice

If you experience issues or concerns regarding your family’s health care you can contact us where our health and wellbeing subject lead can be on hand to help.

*IMPORTANT UPDATE*

Thank you for your interest in this initiative. Due to popular demand, it is now closed.

Please click here for a list of useful resources and projects. Follow us on our social media channels for all updates on our future projects.

Introduction

Separation and deployment are part and parcel of Royal Navy and Royal Marines Service life. For the past few years, the Naval Families Federation (NFF) has been providing RN/RM personnel and their loved ones with book resources to help them through the challenges Service life may bring.

 

With thanks to your fantastic feedback, we are delighted to receive further funding from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) to launch the ‘Books for All’ project.

 

Our book list includes a wide range of topics suitable for all ages. What’s more, in recognition that RN/RM children experience the most parental absence of all three Armed Forces, we have expanded the eligibility to schools with at least one RN/RM Service pupil enrolled. Carers/Service parents are encouraged to engage with your school(s) to encourage sign-ups.

 

Eligibility/Terms and Conditions
  • For Service families: A maximum of one book for each family member of currently serving Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel. You will be asked to provide your (or your serving person’s) Service number for eligibility purposes.
  • For schools: Limited to 10 books per school, staff are welcome to put these in their library or use them in any particular work they do with Service children. To apply, you must have at least one RN/RM Service child enrolled in your setting.
  • While every effort will be made to process orders quickly, this project is not supported by any additional staffing resource, so please be patient with us.
  • The provision of resources is subject to funding and availability, we will contact you if there is an issue with the book that you requested.
  • By applying to this project, you consent to be contacted by the NFF to collect feedback.
FAQ
I have previously benefited from the family resource project, am I eligible?

Q: I have previously benefited from the family resource project, am I eligible?

A: For families – Yes, you may still apply for ‘Books for All’, using our published eligibility/terms and conditions above. Please note: If you have previously received a book from the family resource project, we ask that you do not request the same book title(s) from ‘Books for All’.

 

For schools – If your school has benefitted from our previous resource project, unfortunately, you will not be eligible for this project. However, please share our project with your Service families for them to apply directly.

Can overseas families apply to this project?

Q: Can overseas families apply to this project?

A: Yes, certainly! This project aims to support all currently serving Royal Navy and Royal Marines families regardless of where they live. We recognise that it has been a challenge over the past years for overseas families to visit their families and friends back in the U.K. and we hope that this project can help. However do allow extra time for your parcel to arrive.

I haven’t received my parcel/ not heard from you, what do I do?

Q: I haven’t received my parcel/ not heard from you, what do I do?

A: This project is not managed by additional staff, please be patient with us.

Due to popular demand, we are unable to send out any confirmation email however the thank you landing page on Survey Monkey acknowledges the receipt of your application.

Despite best effort, Royal Mail are currently experiencing some delays due to the pandemic. Please check their website for the latest service updates in your area.

Please only get in touch with us via project@nff.org.uk or 02392654374 if you have not received your parcel 3 weeks from initial contact.

For overseas families, do allow an extra week due to customs.

I have a great book in mind, are you happy to include this in your list?

Q: I have a great book in mind, are you happy to include this in your list?

A: Yes. There are many new books published daily and we’d love to include anything that can best support our beneficiaries. Please let us know at project@nff.org.uk

I am a Reservist, am I eligible?

Q: I am part of the RN/RM Reserves, am I eligible?

A: If you have been impacted by the pandemic, for instance, you have been mobilised, we welcome your application and hope our project can help you and/or your loved ones.

How will my data be stored?

Q: How will my data be stored?

A: Survey Monkey is a fully secured system. Only staff members who are involved in the logistics of this project have access to the system. Your data, unless otherwise stated (e.g. you have opted in to receive our Homeport magazine), will be deleted as soon as possible after the dispatch of your package. Please click here to view our privacy policy.

Posted on: 1st February 2022
Updated on: 27th May 2022

News: 19th January 2022 

 

Our Armed Forces families are the anchor of this community providing their unwavering support to help our Service people deliver their commitments to protect the UK. In doing this though, they often have to deal with lengthy separations from their loved one, relocations around the country and overseas, gaps in their employment records, and obstacles when accessing education and healthcare. These are just some of the added challenges our families routinely face and we thank them for their courage and the sacrifices they make.   

 

Today the Ministry of Defence (MOD) launched the Armed Forces Families Strategy (2022-32) to inspire partnership working across the UK. This will honour the enduring pledge of the Armed Forces Covenant and to provide direction to policy makers, the single Services and public service providers to empower Armed Forces families to live rich and fulfilling lives alongside their loved ones. 

 

The MOD’s visions are for families to be: 

  • Recognised and respected; 
  • Informed and empowered; 
  • Listened to and understood. 

 

Sarah Clewes, NFF Interim CEO says:

‘I am delighted to see the publication of the  UK Armed Forces Families Strategy.

Royal Navy and Royal Marines families have a crucial role in support of the operational effectiveness of the Naval Service and the wider Ministry of Defence, and that role is recognised in the government’s strategy, which addresses challenges including deployment and separation, accommodation, healthcare, education and mobility.

The Naval Families Federation is at the heart of the dialogue between families and government, and will continue to ensure families’ voices are heard at the highest levels while providing timely and accessible information to empower those families.

Building on recommendations produced by MP Andrew Selous’s ‘Living In Our Shoes’ report, the new strategy and action plan will be delivered in partnership with the devolved administrations, the charitable and private sectors – including the NFF, using our network of contacts, social media and virtual channels to reach all families, including those dispersed around the UK and overseas.

Exciting times ahead! 

 

The NFF welcome the publication of the strategy. We would strongly encourage you to take a look at the actions that have been drawn up to support you. If you have any comments or concerns, do contact us. 

News: 18th January, 2022

 

The NFF are delighted to support a new Royal Navy initiative which will see the Headspace App made available, for free, to all serving personnel and their families. Last year we successfully delivered a year-long pilot Headspace project with support from the Royal Navy wellbeing team. Your fantastic feedback and support for the project has provided the evidence to show that this platform is a key resource which can help support mental health and wellbeing within our community.

What to do next?
  • Serving RN, RM, RFA personnel & RN Civil Servants: Visit this page to sign up. Please reference RNTM 07-001/22.

 

  • Non-serving family members: Your Service person has to create their account first. Once they have done that, they will then be able to invite you to open an account too. Please refer to the FAQ section below for further clarification. If you know that your Service person is due to deploy on an exercise or operations, and therefore may have limited access to the internet, please make sure that they have created their account and sent you that invite BEFORE they go, so that you can access the App while they are away.  If you have further questions or technical issues please reach out to TeamSupport@headspace.com

 

  • If you already have a Headspace account, either as part of the NFF/RN FPS pilot or because you had accessed the platform independently, please refer to the FAQs below for further explanation.

 

*Please note that this is a new contract with Headspace, so there are particular steps that you will need to take to ensure that you get access to the full range of support that they offer.*

FAQ/ troubleshoot

Please refer to the FAQ below. If you have further questions or technical issues please reach out to TeamSupport@headspace.com

How do I sign up?

Q: How do I sign up for Headspace for the Royal Navy?

 

A: Signing up for Headspace is a 3-step process: Sign up/Log In, Verify and Finish. If you’re new to Headspace, you can sign up for an account by following the below instructions. You can also link an existing account by following the instructions below.

1. Visit the enrollment page. You will be asked if you have an existing Headspace account. Choose “No, create a new account”
2. Fill in the requested information, using your civilian email address for the registration, and click “Sign up”
3. Verify your account by entering your ‘@mod.gov.uk’ email address
4. New members will receive two emails: one to confirm your new Headspace account, and one to verify your organisation email address
5. Download the Headspace app in the iOS App Store or Google Play Store
6. Open the app and log in using your Headspace login details
7. Get some Headspace

How do family members sign up to this project?

Q: My loved one is currently serving in the RN/RM/RFA. Where can I sign up?

 

A: Your serving loved one must create a Headspace account first. They will then be able to create a family license under Headspace for the Royal Navy scheme. Once they have registered for a Headspace account they will be sent a message on Headspace to register a family member. This offer is limited to 3000 licenses and will be on a first come first served basis.

I have an existing Headspace account. What do I do?

Q: Can I link my existing Headspace account to a Headspace for the Royal Navy membership?

 

A: Yes, If you’re already a Headspace user, you can link your existing account. Follow the below instructions:

1. Visit this page.
2. You will be asked if you have an existing Headspace account. Choose “Yes, I have an existing account.”
3. Enter your existing Headspace login information
4. Verify your account by entering your ‘@mod.gov.uk’ email address.

Please Note: If you purchased an individual membership, your Headspace Plus auto-renew was turned off automatically. If you have a student plan, family plan, or signed up through Apple iTunes, Google Play, or Spotify you will need to turn off auto-renew to cancel your billing and avoid being charged. Please see the next questions for instructions.

What if I leave the Royal Navy?

Q: What if I leave the Service?

 

A: If you leave the RN then your Headspace enrollment will continue until the end of the current contract.

I'm still being charged despite having switched to the Headspace for Royal Navy. Please help?

Q: I signed up for the Headspace for the Royal Navy but I’m still being charged. What’s happening?

 

A: If you’re currently a Headspace Plus member with an individual plan and you signed up through Apple iTunes, Google Play, or Spotify you will need to turn off auto-renew to cancel your billing and avoid being charged. See instructions below. If you need additional help, please contact teamsupport@headspace.com.

I'm part of a family plan, will this affect my enrollment in Headspace for the Royal Navy?

Q: I am part of a Headspace family plan, how does this affect my enrollment in Headspace for the Royal Navy?

 

A: If you are currently enrolled in a Headspace family plan, you will need to leave the family plan or you will continue to take up a spot in the plan. Your family plan owner has to remove you from the plan. Only the family plan owner will be able to delete someone from the family plan. Upon doing this, the family member who has been deleted will receive an email confirming these details. This opens the spot for a new family member to be added.

To remove a member from your family plan, please follow these steps:
1. Visit https://www.headspace.com/family/manage
2. Click the “X” button to the right of your family member’s email address

I'm the owner of a family plan, how will my enrollment in Headspace for work affect my other members?

Q: I am currently the owner of a family plan, how will my enrollment in Headspace for work affect my other members?

 

A: If you are the owner of a family plan and enroll in Headspace for Work, you will continue to be billed for the annual family plan subscription unless you turn off auto-renew. If you close your family plan account or turn-off auto renew all members in your family plan will lose access to their Headspace Plus membership through the family plan Account once your subscription expires. If you are enrolled in Headspace for Work and close your family plan Account, you will continue to have access to Headspace Plus through Headspace for Work and don’t need to take any further action.

If you wish to cancel your Family Plan, turn off auto renew by:
● Visit https://www.headspace.com/subscription/manage
● Log into your account
● Select “TURN OFF AUTO RENEWAL”.
● If the button is not there, please send an email teamsupport@headspace.com for help.

If you do not turn off auto-renew and keep your family plan, you will continue to have access to Headspace Plus should you leave the Royal Navy.

How to cancel Headspace Plus Subscription (paid versions - Apple iTunes, Google Play, Spotify Bundle)?

Q: How do I cancel my current Headspace Plus Subscription if I paid with Apple iTunes, Google Play, or the Spotify Bundle?

 

A: Cancellation steps can differ, depending on where you subscribed (directly through Headspace, Apple App Store or Google Play Store). Please review below to see the steps that apply to you:

If you purchased your subscription from our website:
1. Log in to your account from a desktop or mobile browser (not the mobile app) at www.headspace.com.
2. Visit https://www.headspace.com/subscription/manage and click/tap “TURN OFF AUTO RENEWAL”.
3. If the button is not there, please send an email to help@headspace.com.

 

If you purchased your subscription via Apple App Store:
1. Open the Settings app
2. Scroll down to “iTunes and App Store”
3. Tap Your AppleID Email
4. Select “View AppleID” (You may be asked to log in)
5. Tap “Subscriptions”
6. Select the Headspace subscription
7. Tap “Cancel Subscription” to disable it from auto-renewing at the end of the current billing cycle

 

If you purchased your subscription via Google Play Store:
1. Open the Google Play Store
2. Tap Menu (3 small horizontal lines) next to “Google Play”
3. Tap Account and then Subscriptions
4. Find the subscription you want to cancel
5. Tap Cancel

 

If you purchased your subscription via Spotify:

1. Visit https://www.spotify.com/account/subscription and log in to view your Spotify subscription information

2. Manage your payments or cancel by visiting the “Subscription” section of your account

If you need more help with this, please visit Spotify’s Help Page or contact them directly at https://support.spotify.com/contact-spotify-support/

I’m having issues with the app. What should I do?

Q: I’m having issues with the app. What should I do?

 

A: If the app is running slowly or freezing, please try to reinstall the app on your device. A strong WiFi connection is important to ensure downloads are fast and seamless. If you are still experiencing issues, please email  help@headspace.com with the make, model, and operating system of your device.

I'm not connected to the internet, will I be able to access the app?

Q: Can I use Headspace if I am not connected to the internet?

 

A: You can play any of your Headspace meditation sessions offline by using our mobile app for iOS or Android devices. While online, simply select and pre-download your sessions for offline use.

Can I use the subscriptions with kids?

Q: Can I use the subscriptions with kids?

 

A: Anyone over 13 can use subscriptions on their own. For under 13 year olds, the Kids Packs are included in your subscription and you can use these with kids without interruption in your own progress. Headspace strongly advises that no children under 13 use the app without the supervision of a parent / guardian / teacher.

What devices can I use to access Headspace?

Q: What devices can I use to access Headspace?

 

A: Apple iOS or Android devices: This can be downloaded from the Apple iTunes App or Google Play Store respectively. For the optimum experience, we recommend using an iOS device with iOS 9.0 or later. Android devices will require operating system 4.0 or later.

For tablets, the Headspace app can be used on any iPad with iOS 9 or later, and any Android tablet with Android 4.0 or later (including Kindle Fire tablets). Headspace also integrates with the Apple Health App and Apple Watch.

Web Browser: Headspace is optimized to run on the latest versions of the following browsers: Chrome, Firefox, and Opera

Please Note: While you can using Headspace.com on your tablet’s browser, for the best experience, please download the Headspace app through the iOS App Store or the Google Play Store.

Further support

Q: I need help. Who can I contact please?

 

A: The Headspace Support Team is available 7 days a week:

1. Email: teamsupport@headspace.com
2. Live Chat: If you see the orange “Chat” bubble on the bottom right-hand corner of the page, click/tap on it

 

Dear Families,

 

The festive season is often a time of reflection for the things we are most grateful for. For most, it’s a time to be thankful for your family and friends and an opportunity to spend time and make memories together. For the Service families separated at this time of year it is especially tough and the personal sacrifices you make can feel all the more acute. Now more than ever you should be proud of the crucial role that you play in ensuring that our Armed Forces continue to be among the best in the world at what they do.

 

This year I am especially thankful for the incredible work that was done during the short-notice deployment of Service personnel to Afghanistan over the summer: a difficult and at times harrowing deployment which saved so many lives.  This year our brave Service personnel have also continued to deliver critical support to communities up and down the UK as we continue to recover from the pandemic, from testing and vaccinations, to logistics and planning, there has been an incredible effort from all three Services.

 

I am keenly aware of what this has meant for you, and I know that without your support this vital contribution would not have been possible. At the Ministry of Defence, my Ministers and I are determined to ensure we keep modernising the Services so that a career in the Armed Forces doesn’t mean accepting sacrifices for your family.

 

This is why we are launching a new Armed Forces Family Strategy which will set ambitious changes for the next ten years. The strategy will drive improved policies, bringing practical benefits which will help strike a better balance between home life and the demands of Service life. It focusses on the elements you have told us matter most to you including access to healthcare, improved housing, better educational outcomes for your children, and the ability for serving and non-serving partners to have fulfilling and successful careers.

 

Last week we also passed the Armed Forces Act 2021 in Parliament which in it, created a new duty that means public bodies must consider the unique nature of Service life when running healthcare, housing and education services. This means you and your family should never be disadvantaged when accessing these because of your role in the Armed Forces.

 

There is still more change to deliver and we will continue to listen to you. Your Ministry of Defence Team and I speak regularly with the Families Federations to ensure we give due attention to the issues you raise. It is encouraging to see an increase in family engagement through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, plus the use of other platforms such as the Royal Navy Forum and Army HIVE Blog and I urge you to continue to use the Families Federations and social media to get your voice heard.

 

Naval Families Federation 

Army Families Federation

RAF Families Federation

 

Once again, I would like to thank you personally for all that you continue to do in support of your loved ones. Whether Regular or Reserve, your support helps them to deliver in the professional manner for which they are renowned worldwide.

 

I wish you all a safe and happy Christmas.

 

Yours sincerely,

THE RT HON BEN WALLACE MP

The 2021 Covenant Annual Report is now available. The Naval Families Federation, together with our colleagues in the Army and RAF Families Federations, were pleased to offer our Formal Observations on the 2021 Armed Forces Covenant and Veterans Annual Report, which has been published today. Our Observations can be found on pages 13-16.

 

Further support delivered this year includes:

 

 

  • A new School Admissions Code for England came into force in September 2021. It includes several provisions to ensure that Service families are not disadvantaged when applying for school places, such as requiring admission authorities to allocate a school place to a Service child before the family moves to the area.

 

  • The Welsh Government has provided a further investment of £270,000 per year to support Service children in Wales. In addition, four Regional Schools Liaison Officers for Service children are now in post across Wales, funded by a grant from the Covenant Fund Trust

 

  • The MOD has delivered key recommendations from recent reports into Single Living Accommodation. The Army, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force are developing their infrastructure delivery plans to improve the condition and quality of Single Living Accommodation across the estate through an ambitious 10‑year programme. £66.1 million was invested in the financial year 2020/21, and the MOD plans to invest a further £1.5 billion over the next decade.

 

  • Building on the independent Living In Our Shoes’ report on the needs of Armed Forces families, the MOD has devised a new UK Armed Forces Families Strategy for 2022-2032. The strategy will provide a framework that reflects modern and diverse family needs and encourages recruitment to and retention in service. The strategy will be underpinned by an action plan organised around eight workstreams: family life, Service life, family home, children’s education, childcare, non‑UK families, supporting partners and health and wellbeing.

 

  • The Military Co‑Working Hubs project – a community of Service spouses and partners working together to create a network of co‑working spaces on military bases has been awarded funding from the Covenant Fund Trust to support its expansion.

 

 

  • The Department for Work and Pensions has introduced 11 new Armed Forces Champion Leads to oversee the 50 Armed Forces Champions working across the Jobcentre Plus network.

 

 

To access the full Report, the Executive Summary and a useful infographic, visit the MoD website here.

 

We would encourage you to read through the Report to learn more about the work being undertaken to support you and your family. If you have any comments on the Report, or would like to raise a concern which you believe falls within the remit of the Armed Forces Covenant, please get in touch with us via our website.

 

Posted on: 15th December, 2021

We wish you a very Happy Christmas from all of us here at the Naval Families Federation.

 

Our Christmas hours are as below:

  • Closing: 5pm on Thursday 23rd December 2021
  • Reopening: 9am on Tuesday 4th January 2022

 

Should you require urgent assistance over this period, you can find emergency contact details here:

 

Combat Stress Mental Health Helpline

Combat Stress

If you’re currently serving in the UK Armed Forces, you can call Combat Stress’ 24-hour mental health helpline. A team of specially-trained professionals are available day and night to provide free confidential advice and support. The helpline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Their contact details are as follows:

The Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC)

The Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC)

If circumstances should arise, whilst your relative is deployed overseas that make it necessary for you to apply for his or her return home on compassionate grounds, such as a death in the family or a serious illness, you should contact JCCC at 01452 519951. This number is manned 24 hours a day, 7 days per week throughout the Christmas period.

The Royal British Legion

The Royal British Legion supports serving members of the Armed Forces, veterans and their families.

 

Their Contact Centre helpline will be open as usual:

  • 0808 802 8080 from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week
Royal Navy Family & People Support (RN FPS)

If you have a concern or issue over the Christmas period that needs some support, especially if your Serving person is away from home please call RN FPS. They are available throughout the Christmas Period. Please visit this page for their hours and contact details.

The Samaritans

The Samaritans are available 24 hours a day all year around.

 

Please call:

  • UK – 116 123
  • Welsh Language Line – 0808 164 0123 (Not24-Hour, every day 1900 – 2300)
  • Republic of Ireland – 116 123
SSAFA Forces Line

SSAFA Forces Line

Strengthening Families - By Your Side

‘Strengthening Families – By Your Side’ offers Royal Navy and Royal Marines families the right support at the right time. This programme has been developed by the RNRMC and Naval Families Federation, with additional funding support from the Armed Forces Covenant.

 

Some services may be accessible during this Christmas period. Please visit the programme partners’ websites for further details.

 

A5 insert, talking about strengthening families.