Military Service Children

We used funding from the Ministry of Defence Directorate Children and Young People to provide effective support to service children with the potential to benefit from higher education, so that they progress smoothly and confidently through their educational journey and make a secure transition into further and higher education opportunities appropriate to their abilities and ambitions.

The project aims to provide effective support to service children with the potential to benefit from higher education, so that they progress smoothly and confidently through their educational journey and make a secure transition into further and higher education opportunities appropriate to their abilities and ambitions.

The project has three elements:

Action and outreach

Outreach for military service children

Creative Forces

The University hosts annual events for young people from service family backgrounds on campus during the Summer term. These events see service children from local primary and secondary schools work with ambassadors to find out about what life at university might be like and share their experiences with peers from similar backgrounds.

At past events, pupils have developed ‘Top Tips’ for supporting service children and shared these with their teachers. Hampshire County Council have also been involved in delivering CPD sessions for attending staff.

Festival of friends

The University of Winchester, in partnership with Hampshire County Council, have recently trialled a new model of collaborative activity for supporting service children across the region. The Festival of Friends project was funded by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund and drew upon the expertise of staff across schools, the local authority and the University to focus on supporting the integration of service children into school communities.

Hampshire County Council led the establishment of a District Service Pupils Network, formed of ten school-based district co-ordinators across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. An awards scheme for school projects that supported service pupil integration was launched and promoted through this network which culminated in a celebration and awards event at the University in April 2017.

As part of the project, the University has developed a toolkit for delivering a similar model of activity to the Festival of Friends. This can be found on the SCiP Alliance website.

For any further information regarding the University’s outreach for service children, please contact lauren.smith-birch@winchester.ac.uk for more details.

The Service Children’s Progression Alliance

The University hosts the SCiP Alliance, a UK wide partnership working to improve educational outcomes for children from military families so that they can make informed and confident transitions through further and higher education into thriving adult lives and careers. The Alliance and its regional hubs support professionals by linking them with events, resources, policy makers and the latest research.

For more information and to download resources go to the SCiP Alliance website

 

Resources for schools and HEIs

These resources were funded by the Ministry of Defence Directorate Children and Young People. They provide guidance for supporting service children. Information, worksheets, templates and practical advice on improving educational progression for children from military service families can be downloaded below for use with service children in schools or in University outreach.

For Teachers

Session plans, worksheets and resources

For Higher Education providers

Resources and activities

YouTube Library

Research

The University was commissioned by the Ministry of Defence in 2016 to undertake research into Service children’s progression to HE.

This research sought to improve understanding of the factors that help or hinder service children’s educational progression, so that future work is well targeted and achieves better outcomes by:

  • Exploring the views and experiences of service children and undergraduates from service families to identify and evaluate the relative significance of factors impacting (both positively and negatively) on their educational progression and attainment;
  • Reviewing existing research and evidence to build a more detailed picture of the progression of service children into and through further and higher education in order to highlight priorities for action.

The research suggested that children from military service families are under-represented in the higher education population. It is in the realm of up to 4 out of 10 children who, if in the general population would go to university, do not go if they are from a military family.

The full research paper can be downloaded from the SCiP Alliance website

The result of this work enables us to:

  • Have a positive impact  on the confidence, aspirations and awareness of primary and secondary age service children through two university experience days using successful undergraduate role models from service families
  • Enables secondary age service children nationally to identify, understand and make the most of their skills and personal capacities, including the strengths gained through their experience as service children, through the development of video and text resources that support their progression into higher education
  • Impacts on the scale of outreach undertaken by universities and colleges in England, through the development of video and text resources that provide a clear rationale and guidance for supporting service children
  • Supports schools with service children, especially those with little experience of supporting service children, through the development of resources that provide information and practical advice on improving educational progression
  • Builds on existing knowledge to establish a more robust account of the higher education success of service children, through the analysis of existing progression data and a review of existing research literature

Meet the team

PhD students

Sophie Ellis

(The influence of military culture and educational background on the post-sixteen educational decisions and experiences of students from military backgrounds in higher education)

External website

For more information, please visit the SCiP Alliance website.

For more information please email Katherine.Lawrence@winchester.ac.uk