Armed Forces Families Information

Children and Young People of Armed Forces families in Scottish schools.

Help us to support your children in our schools.

Parents/carers within the Armed Forces (Regular, Reserve and Veterans) are encouraged to ensure that the Head Teacher of their child's school is aware of their service status so that the school is able to help to work in partnership to provide informed support if and when it is needed.

Why is this important?

The health and wellbeing of all children is a key focus of education in Scotland. Pupils are encouraged to learn, perform and work towards achieving their own potential.

Schools need to know so that support can be provided in partnership with your family.

Children and young people of Armed Forces families often experience numerous changes in their lives which means that they may need additional support – albeit for a short time – to help them cope with the effects of these changes.

Support provided by the school might relate to:
✔ mobility
✔ deployment
✔ periods of separation due to training, deployment, posting, assignment
✔ interrupted learning due to mobility
✔ moving from one school to another at times throughout the year
✔ increased levels of anxiety or worry
✔ adjusting to a new school community
✔ leaving friends and peer group
✔ making new friends
✔ learning new educational systems, the language and setting.

What do you need to do?

The school can give the right support to you and your child if you can let them know of a move, deployment or service duty as soon as possible. 

Always maintain an ongoing dialogue with the school. 

Transitions can have a big impact on children’s learning and wellbeing and it is important that parents are well informed to help them support their children as they move on to different stages of learning. Transitions can include moving to primary school from nursery learning, moving from primary to secondary school, moving to the senior phase of Curriculum for Excellence and then post-school learning, training or work. Transitions also include any changes in a pupil’s learning journey, for example when a pupil changes school or when learning is interrupted. (School Handbook Guidance, 2012)

What will teachers in Scotland do?

Teachers and Education Officers in Scotland continue to develop and share their experience and knowledge of supporting children and young people of Armed Forces families in Scottish schools (Regular, Reserves and Veterans). 

There are examples in schools of good practice that support service children and young people and these are being shared nationally. There is a commitment to Getting It Right for
Forces Families in Scotland that mirrors the national Getting It Right for Every Child educational framework. 

There is a commitment to the continuity of education under the Armed Forces Covenant, which seeks to remove any disadvantage to service children brought about by their parent’s service.

Why does it make a difference when schools are informed?

Providing support for children and young people in Scottish schools is similar whether or not family members serve in the Armed Forces. Children are children.

 There may be some times, however, due to experiences related to a parent’s occupation/work and family circumstances that informed support is most effective and helpful. The life experiences that children of Armed Forces families have can be distinct and unique. Schools that know of this and work closely with service parents can be helpful to the education of their children.

Scottish schools have a broad range of experience and teachers will work with parents/carers in a partnership to decide on the best type of support that could be given to your child and for what length of time.

How can you let the school know that your child is part of an Armed Forces family?

School registration forms will offer a section where you can indicate that your child is part of an Armed Forces family. Giving this information will help the school to support your child as well as they can.

Children and Young People of Armed Forces families in Scottish schools (PDF)

Additional information is available from:

A parent's guide to education in Scotland 

Information on the new qualifications

The World of Work

Additional support needs

The Royal Caledonian Education Trust (Operating name of the Royal Caledonian Education Trust)

MoD's Children's Education Advisory Service (CEAS)

Helpline: 01980 618244


You know your child best.

Help your child get the very best support from their school.

The first point of contact in Scotland is the school.

Each local authority will also have a nominated person who has a responsibility for overseeing and supporting education and Armed Forces families.

Rate this Page