Overseas education and Service Children’s Education (SCE) Schools
If you are offered an overseas assignment, you will have to look carefully into the education available for your children. It is essential that your children are registered on JPA, and that you contact the Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS) for advice. This is especially important if you have a child with Special Educational Needs or Disability (SEND).
The type and quality of education available will differ from country to country and often from one part of a country to another. Remember that what is right for one child is not necessarily right for another. The age and ability of your child will have an effect on your decision. The opportunity for a child to be educated in a different system and different culture can be attractive, but you will have to weigh up carefully the advantages and disadvantages.
Education provision overseas can be roughly divided into the following types, not all of which will be available in every location:
- MOD schools provided through Service Children’s Education (SCE schools);
- English speaking schools (these may be local state schools, or in some cases independent day schools);
- Non-English speaking schools (local state schools, with an allowance to help your child to learn the local language);
- International schools (independent, usually English speaking schools).
If you decide that there is no suitable schooling for your child at the overseas posting you might want to consider boarding in the UK. The Continuity of Education Allowance is available for eligible service personnel to help them with the cost of boarding education.
Service Children’s Education (SCE)
Service Children’s Education (SCE) is an agency of the MOD. It aims to provide an excellent education service, from Foundation Stage through to sixth form, for Service children residing with MOD personnel serving outside of the UK, and to enable those children to benefit from their residence overseas. SCE has schools in Germany, Cyprus, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, the Falkland Islands, Italy and the Netherlands. Visit the website here.
Primary and secondary education in Gibraltar is no longer provided by Service Children’s Education. Instead, the Government of Gibraltar provides school places for all MOD-entitled children requiring primary and secondary education. Students can also enrol at the College of Further Education which delivers vocational courses, as well as traditional academic subjects for the post 16-age group. Find out more about schooling for Service children in Gibraltar through the SCE’s site here and through the Government of Gibraltar’s website here.
Further information about all types of overseas education is available from the CEAS website.