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Service children

Information for Service children

SSCE Cymru understands that because one or both of your parents may currently or have previously served in the Armed Forces, you may have faced unique experiences at home and at school.

You may have lived abroad, moved schools and homes during the middle of the year, made new friends, experienced one or both of your parents being away for work, or had to support a friend during one of these experiences. Lots of these experiences can be really exciting and interesting, but they can also be challenging. Every child deals with the emotions they feel during these experiences in different ways. 

The purpose of the SSCE Cymru programme is to ensure that teachers and staff in schools in Wales understand what experiences and challenges you may have faced because of the lifestyle of an Armed Forces family. SSCE Cymru provides resources that help schools to support Service children to make sure you have the most positive experiences while attending a school or schools in Wales. 

Listening to our Service children findings (2020).

51% made negative comments about leaving friends/family, while 31% made positive comments about meeting new people/making friends.

About Wales

Wales is a nation within the United Kingdom (UK) that has the responsibility of making many of its own decisions regarding education. It has many similarities to the other nations within the UK, but also many differences.
Located to the west of England, Wales has the same timezone (GMT) and uses the same currency (pound sterling) as England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Cardiff is the capital city of Wales.


Wales is a nation that is very proud of its culture and heritage. The red dragon, daffodils and leeks are some of the national symbols of Wales. The national anthem is 'Hen Wlad fy Nhadau' (Land of my Fathers).

The feast day of St. David, the patron saint of Wales, is 1st March. In many schools across Wales, this day is marked by special activities, and some children wear traditional Welsh costumes; others may wear rugby shirts or take in leeks and daffodils.

The Eisteddfod (pronounced eye-steth-vod) is a Welsh festival of music, literature and performance. Some schools in Wales create their own Eisteddfod as part of their St. David’s Day celebrations. This can include making arts and crafts, and writing or reciting songs and poems. These events and activities can take place in English and in Welsh.

Further information on St. David’s Day can be found here.



Education is compulsory and funded by the state from 5–16 years of age. Wales has a different curriculum to other nations in the UK, which means you may be taught different subjects and topics.

Further information about Wales can be found here.

Resources and support

Little Troopers

This charity supports primary school children of Service families, providing advice and resources to support children in the classroom and at home.

You will need a log in to access some of the resources below.

Relevant resources

Reading Force

This organisation uses books to bring Service children and families closer together. Its shared reading initiative encourages families to read, talk and scrapbook about a book, improving communication and enriching relationships with books and each other.

Relevant resources

Armed Forces Education Trust

"Our aim is to help fund the education of the children of servicemen and women who have been disadvantaged by their parents’ service. We also provide schools with funding for additional resources to support the education of children whose parents serve or have served in our Armed Forces."

Relevant resources
Information about Individual grants and how to apply
Information about Collective grants to school and how to apply

Helplines and support


Growing up is a challenge for everyone, but for some it’s more difficult. Barnardo’s offer practical and emotional support so that young people can enter adulthood with the confidence they need to achieve their full potential.

Relevant resources


This campaigning organisation says: “We’re here for you, whatever’s on your mind. We’ll support you. Guide you. Help you make decisions that are right for you.” It offers tips and techniques, ideas and inspiration that can help you feel more in control. You can access them in your own time, at your own pace.

Relevant resources

Call 0800 1111 for support


Meic is the helpline service for children and young people up to the age of 25 in Wales. From finding out what’s going on in your local area to help dealing with a tricky situation, Meic will listen even when no-one else will. Meic won’t judge you and will help by giving you information, useful advice and the support you need to make a change.

Relevant resources

Youth Provision


This organisation provides support services directly to the Royal Naval Reserve, Royal Marines Reserve, Army Reserve and Royal Auxiliary Air Force, and their Cadets.

Relevant resources

  • Why become a cadet?

Family Information Services

This organisation provides information on a number of services in your local area, including youth provision.

Service children’s quotes

"As soon as we get used to a house, you get moved - I’ve been to four schools and moved six times."


"I lived in Nepal, then we went to Brunei, then Malaysia."


"In my eyes, you have hundreds of friends in different places."


"I’m used to moving now and mixing with the children... I’ve done it so many times, it’s just a normal thing now."


"It's ok talking over skype and that, but sometimes you just want a hug when Dad is away."


"I’ve enjoyed going around to lots of places around the world, it's adventurous and exciting."


"In my eyes, you have hundreds of friends in different places."


"My mum got a chalk board and it says how many sleeps on it with chalk, every minute it’s getting closer for him coming home."


"I don’t want him to get promoted... I want him to get promoted but I don’t want to leave."


"I might be going to boarding school so that I don’t change schools every few years."


"I've been to seven different schools; I’ve not stayed put in one school long enough."


"He has been away for six months and he is back for two weeks, then he goes away again."


"My parents were in the Army. My mum is a like a nurse and my dad went to the war in Afghanistan. I actually didn’t really know what he was doing so I was like, ‘Cool Dad, go there,’ but then I found out and thought, 'Thank God he came back alive.'"


"He signed off last week, so he will be done by the end of this year. He’s done 24 years. I find that better because he will be around a lot. He likes watching us playing rugby, so he will get to see us more."


"I’m going to a new place entirely. They don’t know anything about me and that’s a big restart and that’s really good for me."


"I moved to Wales because my dad was posted in the Army. I thought I would get bullied and I was shy when you meet new people, but I made some friends."