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:
- In March 2021, NHS England published ‘Healthcare for the Armed Forces Community: A Forward View’, outlining its commitments to improving the health and wellbeing of the Armed Forces Community
- 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 Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework Partnership is continuing its work mapping military qualifications and transferable skills against those recognised by employers in Scotland.
- The MOD and the Home Office ran a joint consultation from May to July 2021 on the issue of waiving settlement fees for certain non‑UK national members of the Armed Forces and their families. The Government will publish its response in due course.
- 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.
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.