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Service Children

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise by the nation, ensuring that those who serve or who have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly.
The covenant focuses on helping members of the Armed Forces community, experience neither advantage nor disadvantage due to Service and therefore have the same access to government and commercial services and products as any other citizen.

For more information on the Armed Forces Covenant, visit:

At Ysgol Gynradd Llandegfan we demonstrate our commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant through the following activities:

  • We engage with our Armed Forces community
  • We celebrate the commitments of our Armed Forces community in a positive way
  • We create opportunities for our Service families to share their experiences
  • We identify our Service children and ensure they are well supported in education
  • We are proactive in gaining information that will enable us to support our Service children
  • We engage with SSCE Cymru and the resources and support that they provide
  • We ensure all our pupils have opportunities to learn about the current Armed Forces operations and commitments of the UK Service personnel
  • We understand the commitments and sacrifices that our Armed Forces families make in ensuring we can be safe and protected from danger.

Definition of a Service child

The SSCE Cymru definition of a Service child is:

  • A person whose parent, or primary carer, serves in the regular armed forces, or as a reservist, or has done at any point during the first 25 years of that person’s life.

The definition of a Service child varies between different organisations but are always consistently focused on supporting children of Service personnel.

Experiences of Service children

May include:

  • Emotional impact of separation during deployment/training
  • Frequent school and home moves
  • Missing curriculum content/duplicating curriculum content
  • Making friends
  • Adapting to different curriculums
  • Living in different countries
  • Learning Welsh for the first time
  • Missing friends and family
  • Impact on family lifestyle when parent/s transition out of the Armed Forces.

See the SSCE Cymru video on Service children experiences for an overview (coming soon)

Our commitment and support

School ethos and ’Rights of the Child’

The UNCRC recognises that children are in a different situation than adults and will often have varied needs because childhood involves stages of physical and emotional development. Our school recognises that the child of a Service family may at some point in their lives need support in learning and mental health and wellbeing due to their unique circumstances. This could be due to mobility, deployment, education and/or social needs.

At Ysgol Gynradd Llandegfan we provide support and advice to ensure that Service children are provided with every opportunity to achieve the best possible outcomes and fulfil their potential. We aim for Service children to receive their full entitlement to statutory services and support and suffer no disadvantage due to their parent’s service commitments; this is the underpinning principle of the Armed Forces Covenant. We aim to provide support that is proactive and preventative as well as being responsive to emerging needs.

Identifying Service children

Awareness of the number of Service children at Ysgol Gynradd Llandegfan enables us to understand their needs and access support/funding if required. On admission to the school we ask the following question as part of our enrolment process, then log the details on the internal school data systems. Annually, we share the total number of Service children enrolled at our school with SSCE Cymru
“Is the child a member of a Service family? (A child whose parent(s) is/are currently serving or have previously served in the Royal Navy/Royal Marines, British Army, Royal Air Force or as a Reservist.)”

Listening to our Service children

It is important that we listen to Service children themselves to learn about their experiences and find out what support they need and what opportunities that would like. At Ysgol Gynradd Llandegfan we do this through offering all learners an opportunity to be involved in pupil voice programmes. We also run pupil voice groups specifically for Service children, using the SSCE Cymru Tool 11. GUIDANCE: Service children pupil voice.

Engaging with our Armed Forces community

Ysgol Gynradd Llandegfan recognise the commitments our Armed Forces families and wider community make and we promote those achievements in the school in a positive and respectful manor. Some examples of how we engage with the Armed Forces community and celebrate the achievements of the Armed Forces include:

  • We attend our local authority Armed Forces Forum to ensure we have relevant and up-to-date information and contacts
  • We host Service family forums and events and offer support/advice
  • We commemorate relevant events such as Remembrance Day
  • We ensure all our pupils are aware of the experiences and commitments of the Armed Forces community
  • We may have a member of the Armed Forces community on our school Governing body
  • We collaborate with other schools that have Service children to share information, advice and support.

Term-time absence policy for Service children

Ysgol Gynradd Llandegfan recognises that Service families may not be able to take holidays together at other times during the school year. The headteacher, Mr D Hood, does have a discretionary power to authorise leave for a family holiday during term-time where parents seek permission. When submitting a request for term-time absence, a Service family should provide a letter from their unit with confirmation of their need to be absent.

When making a decision about term-time absence, the headteacher will consider:

  • The time of year of the proposed absence
  • The length and purpose of the absence
  • The impact on continuity of learning
  • The circumstances of the family and wishes of parents
  • The overall attendance pattern of the child.

Welsh language policy for Service children

Although the study of Welsh or Welsh Second Language is compulsory to the end of Key Stage 4, there is no requirement on schools to enter a learner for a particular qualification. Ysgol Gynradd Llandegfan considers the best interests of Service children and will always ensure that learners have access to the whole curriculum.

The decision to disapply a pupil from part of the National Curriculum, including Welsh as a second language, will be considered by the headteacher in very rare circumstances, reviewing the need to disapply on an individual basis and taking all factors into consideration.

Support offered to Service children and their families

  • We ensure all our staff have an understanding of the experiences of Service children and how this may impact their education
  • We engage with SSCE Cymru and utilise the many resources that are available
  • We run an MKC Heroes club for our Service children
  • We have created a comprehensive transition pack to ensure minimal impact for Service children moving in and out of (enter school name), using the SSCE Cymru Tools:
    • 5. TEMPLATE: School welcome pack
    • 6. CHECKLIST: Transition in and out of school
    • 7. EXAMPLE QUESTIONS: To ask a new Service child
    • 14. TEMPLATE: Moving school booklet (for Service children).

Funding success

Our school has been successful in securing the following funding:

  • Armed Forces Covenant Fund – Local Grants

The success of this funding has enabled us to:

  • Ensure dedicated staff are up to date with emotional support training – funded by the Welsh Government as part of their commitments to the Armed Forces Covenant

School contact

For any queries regarding Service children or the support offered by Ysgol Gynradd Llandegfan, please contact:
Name: Mr D Hood
Job title: Headteacher
Phone number: 01248713431