Lots of schools are doing lots of really positive things to support military children and spending the Service Pupil Premium to great benefit. How you support service children in your school will depend if it is primary or secondary and the number of military children you have. A school with just a couple of military children will need to be a bit more imaginative where a school with a large number of military children will have a higher amount of SPP and can create a Service Child Liaison post for example.
Below from our research are some real examples from military families of what some schools are doing in support of service children in their school environments.
Many are simplistic, inexpensive and easy to adopt but the benefit to the service children in your school and the parents would be great;
- A designated home – school liaison lady goes to the community centre on the military housing estate once a month, enabling parents to see her if they can’t get to the school “This has helped my daughter settle really well here.”
- Records are handed over to the parents in a leaving pack to take away when children leave.
- A nurture room is available to the forces children, to go to when they need it.
- iPads are available to loan to children to aid with transition and communication with deployed parents
- Half Termly socials for service families, parents and children
- Weekly drop in sessions with the ELSA, or other designated adult.
- Worry box, for all but service children are actively encouraged to make use of this.
- Lunchtime forces club – Service children eat lunch in a different setting, share experiences, thoughts and feelings and complete some activities
- Parents are introduced to one another, developing a support network as soon as possible.
- The Head teacher makes a conscious effort to chat informally to families, knowing when a parent is away, and keeping lines of communication open.
- Page on the school website specifically for service families with information
- There is a display board within the school for military children and a section for separation
There is so much great stuff going on, the above is just what we know about!
For more examples of best practice, go to gov.uk search Service Pupil Premium for some examples of best practice from other schools. We’d love to hear from you too, to add to our ever growing list of ideas.