About

Service Children in State Schools

Who are we?

SCISS is an affiliation of thousands of state-maintained schools in England that have Service children on roll and is led by a National Executive Advisory Committee (NEAC) of headteachers; Local Authority officers/advisers; representatives from the three Armed Forces Families Federations and personnel from the DfE and MOD’s Directorate for Children and Young People (DCYP).

Service child definition

A person whose parent, or 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.

How are schools identified as SCISS schools?

Initially, SCISS schools used to be entirely self-nominating. Since the introduction of the Service Pupils’ Premium (SPP) in England, the DfE shares the identity of those schools that draw down the SPP with the Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS), part of the MOD’s Directorate of Children and Young People (DCYP).

What does the NEAC do?

  • Advocates for Service children;
  • Responds to initiatives / policy proposals that affect Service children;
  • Gathers the Service child’s voice;
  • Grows the network of SCISS schools;
  • Disseminates good practice - A handbook is maintained to help education professionals understand many of the implications in providing for Service children and to identify sources of further help and information https://www.scipalliance.org/assets/files/SCISS-HANDBOOK.pdf.

What are its achievements to date?

An overview of SCISS and the achievements of the NEAC can be viewed in a short film at https://www.scipalliance.org/resources/service-children-in-state-schools-film. These include:

  • The introduction of the Service child ‘marker’ on the annual school census, providing a clear picture of the number and location of pupils of Armed Forces personnel; 
  • The SEND and Admissions Code now specifically include the education of Service children;
  • Submissions were made that were influential in persuading the Government to introduce discrete funding for schools in England to help them provide for Service children, more effectively, in the forms of the Service Pupil Premium and the MoD’s Education Support Fund for Schools with Service Children (2011-2020).

Our partners

Alongside close working with the MoD, DfE and the three Families Federations, the NEAC has developed a strong working relationship with the SCiP Alliance. SCISS resources are currently housed on its website: https://www.scipalliance.org/.

Core purpose of the National Executive Advisory Committee

To champion the education and wellbeing of Service children so that they achieve the best possible outcomes, by engaging with policy-makers and developing / sharing effective practice.

2018/19 priorities

  • To establish and develop a communication strategy, including a web presence;
  • To establish a sustainable funding and operating model in partnership with the SCiP Alliance
  • To work in partnership to develop resources and training to support education professionals in response to research findings;
  • To respond to national initiatives and policy proposals to ensure SCISS schools have a voice (e.g. National Funding Formula & Admissions Code review).

The National Executive Advisory Committee members are:

Steph Fawdry

Chair: Headteacher, RAF Benson Primary School, Oxfordshire (primary) 

Angela Maxted

Vice: Headteacher, Cheriton Primary, Folkstone, Kent (primary/nursery) 

John Stephens

Headteacher, Goosewell Academy, Plymouth (primary)  

Matt Blyton

Senior Education Adviser, Education and Skills Service,  North Yorkshire County Council

Andy Heyes

School Improvement Manager, Hampshire Inspection and Advisory Service, Hampshire County Council

Russell Collier

Principal Education Officer, Directorate Children and Young People

Philip Dent

Service Children’s Progression Alliance, Director (University of Winchester)

Phil Bannister

Department for Education

Sue Mason

Headteacher, Brompton Westbrook Academy, Medway (primary) 

Amanda Rowley

Headteacher, Wavell School, Farnborough, Hampshire (secondary) 

Ian Mottram

Headteacher, Le Cateau Primary, Catterick Garrison (primary / nursery)

Sam Johnston

Principal of Avon Valley College, Durrington (secondary)

Bridget Nicholson

Director of Evidence and Strategy, Naval Families Federation (NFF)

Lisa Thipthorp

AF Covenant Manager, Royal Air Force Families Federation (RAFFF)

Jilly Carrell

Education & Childcare Specialist, Army Families Federation (AFF)

Heather Ogburn

Senior Education Adviser, Education, Participation and Skills, Plymouth City Council 

Cooperation between SCISS and the SCiP Alliance