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SAfE and Service Pupil Premium

The Schools Alliance for Excellence (SAfE) is commissioned to deliver School Improvement on behalf of Surrey County Council.  Within this remit, SAfE has mechanisms to monitor the outcomes of Service Pupil Premium Children and we signpost our schools to any opportunities, which might support the specific needs of this small but distinct group of learners in Surrey.

To view Surrey’s Service Children Data Summary 2019 please click here.

Current activities of SAfE that help schools to support Service Pupil Premium Children:

  • Recovery Covid-19 Fund – Literacy and Language Catch-Up.  A direct mailing will be sent to all schools who access Service Pupil Premium to highlight this fund, and remind them that it can be used to support literacy catch-up SPP children if required.

WHAT TEACHERS AND SUPPORT STAFF NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SUPPORTING SERVICE CHILDREN:

  • Service children are not a homogenous group and will have different experiences
  • Service children may move home frequently, with all the disruption to education, friendships and social networks that this can imply. Leaving behind old friends and making new friends is one of the biggest challenges service children say they face. Educationally, they can miss key parts of the curriculum and unwittingly re-do other parts.
  • Service children may have extended periods when their serving parent is away from home. Apart from missing their absent parent, this could also mean parents being unable to attend key school events. If the parent is deployed on active service, children may be worried about their safety (something to be aware of, for example during history or literature lessons). When the absent parent returns, that can also bring adjustments for the family.
  • There can be significant benefits for service children of being part of the armed forces community and the challenges they may face can also increase their resilience. They may therefore develop strong leadership, peer mentoring, organisational skills and other positive attributes reflected by the military ethos.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR SCHOOLS TO BE AWARE OF THE NEEDS OF SERVICE CHILDREN?

If the school environment is responsive to the specific issues which service children can face, those service children will be better supported and thus thrive.

Surrey County Council has signed up to The Armed Forces Covenant.  This is a promise that people who serve in the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force will not be disadvantaged as a result of that service.

This means, for example, that if they have to move house, their children should not be disadvantaged in the school admissions process. More generally, councils are promoting greater awareness of the needs of the armed forces community and what can be done to address them.  Please follow this link:  https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/people-and-community/armed-forces to see what Surrey County Council is doing to support Armed Forces Personnel and their families at the moment. 

See also the Surrey Armed Forces Covenant Report 2019-20 here.

THE SERVICE PUPIL PREMIUM (£310 per eligible pupil in 2020/21)

Distinct from Pupil Premium, Service Pupil Premium is available to schools to enable them to offer pastoral and emotional support during challenging times, and to help mitigate the negative impact on service children of family mobility or parental deployment.  Schools need to account for how the spend this resource and parents may ask how it is being used.  Please note, as with Pupil Premium, the Service Pupil Premium fun is provided for the schools’ use to support eligible children and is not available for parents’ use.

For more detail about the Service Pupil Premium, please see the Government’s website page here:  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-service-pupil-premium/service-pupil-premium-what-you-need-to-know

WHAT SUPPORT MIGHT SERVICE CHILDREN NEED?

  • Ability to contact deployed parent virtually during school hours
  • Facilitation of deployed parent to engage with child’s education (e.g. virtual bed-time reading, virtual parents’ evening, Reading Force programme)
  • Connecting with other service children (although not all will want this) who understand what it is like to be in a military family.
  • Quiet space to retreat to if they are feeling particularly anxious or emotional.
  • A named person they can talk to, ideally someone familiar with the military way of life, and who understands the issues children face.
  • Occasional flexibility to allow child special family time if this is very limited.

 

USEFUL INFORMATION AND ORGANISATIONS THAT CAN HELP SCHOOLS TO SUPPORT SERVICE CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES:

 

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