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SSCE Cymru evidence

In 2019/20, SSCE Cymru conducted various activities to understand the needs of Service children and identify the most successful support they have received.

The views of schools, parents/carers and Service children have been instrumental in the development of the SSCE Cymru Toolkit and resources, as well as contributing evidence to make changes in policy and systems.

School survey

In 2019, SSCE Cymru invited all schools in Wales with Service children on roll to participate in a survey. The survey questions covered the following areas:

  • School information – e.g. number of Service children, language of school, location
  • Mobility data – the number of Service children joining and leaving the school
  • Challenges – Service children's challenges in education, and schools' challenges in supporting their Service children
  • Support – the support that schools offer to Service children, including mental health and wellbeing support, and how schools work together collaboratively
  • Funding – which funding schemes schools are accessing, and what this money is used for
  • Armed Forces community – how schools engage with the community
  • SSCE Cymru resources – to learn what schools would find beneficial in helping them to support their Service children
  • SSCE Cymru training – to identify the type of training schools would like, and for who.

Download the full survey findings analysis


Listening to our Service children

In 2019/20, SSCE Cymru ran a number of discussion groups with schools in Wales, to hear from Service children about their experiences of education in Wales.

These findings fed into the Year of the Service Child Voice project by the Service Children’s Progression Alliance (SCiP Alliance). 

Download the project findings analysis


Parent/carer survey

In 2020, SSCE Cymru conducted a survey with parents/carers of Service children. This gave them the opportunity to share their experiences about living in/moving to Wales, the impact their lifestyles have on their children’s education, and the support they have received from schools.

Download the full survey findings analysis


Service children ALN report

Commissioned by SSCE Cymru and conducted by the University of South Wales and Arad Research, this research explores the challenges of identifying, assessing and implementing support for Service children with Additional Learning Needs (ALN) in Wales. It also examines the potential impact of the new ALN Code for Wales.

Alun Davies AM, Cabinet Secretary for Local Government and Public Services, officially launched the report at the SSCE Cymru conference in June 2018.

Key findings

“…the percentage of Service children (6.1%) being supported at School action level is considerably lower than the percentage of all pupils (11.17%) from across our sample. One explanation for this may be that the transient nature of this population may make it less likely for any initial differentiated learning approaches to be evaluated and, in turn, progressed onto support through School Action.”

Report overview film

Full report

The report includes the following:

  • Policy context
  • Literature review
  • Feedback from the SSCE Cymru Conference 2017
  • Analysis of survey data from schools
  • Key stakeholder interviews
  • Areas for further consideration.

Download the full report

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."