Like all children, children of service personnel are individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds. What they have most often in common is a highly mobile lifestyle, which means they frequently have to move schools. Pupils’ responses to a mobile lifestyle will vary, and research undertaken over the past decade recognises that mobility brings both benefits and problems in different proportions for each child.
Pupils attract the Service Premium if they meet the following criteria:
- one of their parents is serving in the regular armed forces
- one of their parents served in the regular armed forces in the last 3 years
- one of their parents died while serving in the armed forces and the pupil is in receipt of a pension under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) and the War Pensions Scheme (WPS).
Children may be affected significantly by the attitudes and approaches to transition they encounter both at home and at the schools they attend. The Service Premium is designed both to harness the benefits of high mobility and minimise the possible problems.
The possible problems for mobile children include:
- a sense of loss at each move
- a sense of insecurity, especially if a parent is on active service
- a dependence on adults and/or other children of service personnel (including siblings)
- missed opportunities for schools to identify and address special educational needs
- language difficulties (for children who have been learning in languages other than English)
- difficulties in making commitments to relationships with peers, adults and schools as a whole, the danger of disaffection
- curricular discontinuity
- complications with public examination courses
- poor school transfer of information between educational systems leading, for example, to lack of challenge
- emotional and social development difficulties
As an inclusive school, we ensure that teaching and learning opportunities meet the needs of all our pupils, whatever their background. However, we recognise that pupils from Service Families may need additional provision to support their lifestyles, and we plan this provision carefully.
Service Premium funded provision is allocated following a needs analysis which will identify priority classes, groups or individuals. Limited funding and resources mean that not all children receiving the Service Premium will be receiving Service Premium interventions at one time. Every Service Premium child is entitled to access £100 worth of school based activities. Expenditure for each child is recorded on his / her Service Premium passport, which is made available to parents at their request. Impact is monitored and reported to governors termly.
As a service family, if you require any extra support for your child, or would like to suggest ways in which the premium is allocated please contact your child’s class teacher or Kerry Smith, the Service Premium Champion.