Professor of Career Development Practice, Siobhan Neary, responds to the news of the Service Pupil Support Programme requiring grant applicants to be using the Thriving Lives Toolkit
‘The International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS) at the University of Derby, has been working with the Service Children’s Progression Alliance to better understand the needs of Service children and how schools can provide more integrated support. Our research, conducted in 2019, included a survey with 479 schools, focus groups and case studies with six schools and as well as interviews with key stakeholders. The research explored the challenges Service children experienced, particularly in relation to mobility issues and what schools were doing, or could do, in order to mitigate Service children’s anxieties. The research resulted in the development of the seven Principles of Good Practice, which ultimately become the Thriving Lives Toolkit. This was revised in 2021 as a result of further research to ensure the wider applicability of the Toolkit across the whole UK.
The strength of the Toolkit is that it is based on a robust evidence base acknowledging the specific needs of Service children and the strategies that can be adopted by schools to better support them. We are excited that this work is being recognised by the Ministry of Defence within the funding requirements for The Service Pupil Support Programme. This acknowledges the importance of the research and the recognised impacts that using the Thriving Lives Toolkit can have on Service children’s lives.’