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Schools & Local Authorities Data

Why capture data on Service children

  • Data is the key to understanding the impact of an Armed Forces lifestyle on Service children
  • Schools can be better prepared to support their Service children
  • Comparisons can be made on attainment levels between Service and non-Service children
  • Patterns in school absence can be identified
  • Local authorities can prepare to support Service children with their mental health and wellbeing needs
  • Agencies can provide support and identify where there are gaps in provision
  • Resources can be targeted to support specific needs in different geographical locations
  • Further research can be conducted with an inclusive group of participants.

In the Welsh Government Armed Forces Covenant Annual Report 2019, Kirsty Williams AM, Minister for Education, made the commitment to collecting data on Service children in Wales. SSCE Cymru and the Directorate of Children and Young People of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) are supporting Welsh Government in implementing this change.

The Welsh Government definition of a Service child

A ‘Service child’ has parent(s) – or person(s) with exercising parental responsibility – who is/are Service personnel:

  • In HM Regular Armed Forces
  • In full commitment as part of the full-time Reserve service
  • Is a veteran who has been in service within the last two years
  • One of their parents died whilst serving in the Armed Forces and the pupil receives a pension under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme or the War Pensions Scheme.

SSCE Cymru also encourages schools and education settings to consider identifying and supporting Service children that fall outside of this definition by continuing to access and utilise the many resources available on the SSCE Cymru website and through the SSCE Cymru Network.

SSCE data collection activity (2019)

SSCE Cymru wrote to all schools in Wales (just over 1,500), providing a template letter to be sent to parents, to identify Service children (“SC” in the table below) in schools.

The most recent data based on those schools that responded is as follows:

Consortia Local authority Total number of schools Number of schools with 0 SC Number of schools with SC Number of SC
EAS Blaenau-Gwent 29 2 11 41
CSC Bridgend 59 7 13 40
EAS Caerphilly 87 13 44 158
CSC Cardiff 123 15 18 118
ERW Carmarthenshire 114 10 30 86
ERW Ceredigion 47 6 2 9
GWE Conwy 60 6 18 78
GWE Denbighshire 57 6 5 39
GWE Flintshire 79 13 18 66
GWE Gwynedd 103 9 5 30
GWE Isle of Anglesey 52 4 3 77
CSC Merthyr Tydfil 27 1 6 27
EAS Monmouthshire 36 6 25 94
ERW Neath Port Talbot 70 6 12 52
EAS Newport 56 13 32 131
ERW Pembrokeshire 68 10 20 174
ERW Powys 107 18 27 252
CSC Rhondda Cynon Taf 122 11 77 233
ERW Swansea  96 8 20 54
CSC The Vale of Glamorgan 54 6 26 329
EAS Torfaen 33 1 9 27
GWE Wrexham 68 10 13 43
    1545 181 422 2121

Supporting Service Children in Education Cymru: A Study of Data and Support Provision in Wales (2015)

Commissioned by SSCE Cymru and conducted by the Data Unit Wales, this report involved interviews with schools from across Wales and found that there was very little data available, indicating a need for more information and guidance to enable schools to collect data and access support.

What the report did identify, based on the most recent census data (2011), is that there are Service families with children aged up to 16 across all 22 local authorities in Wales. The 2011 census data indicates a minimum number of 2,486 children in Wales where the HRP (household reference person) indicated that he or she was in the Armed Forces. This does not include information where the non-HRP(s) is/are in the Armed Forces, or information on veterans or reservists or where families with Service children do not live at the same address.

Download the full report here

Inform SSCE Cymru of the Service children in your school

Help us to gather data on the number and location of Service children in Wales, so that we can ensure schools gain maximum benefit from the vast amount of resources and support that is available to them.

See the Template: Letter to parents on the SSCE Cymru Tools section of our website.

By completing the following form, you will also be signing up for the SSCE Cymru quarterly newsletter, which provides details of events, resources, funding and support that are available through the SSCE Cymru Network.

School information

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, its 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."