Agenda item

Outcomes for Service Children in Surrey


Susie Campbell from the Vulnerable Learners Team at Surrey County Council updated the Board on outcomes at KS2 and KS4 for service children in Surrey.


Current figures show the children from armed forces families were below both the Surrey and national average at KS2, but at KS4 they seemed to be doing well.  It was noted that one year’s data can only raise questions, especially as the two groups are different cohorts, but it does indicate a problem that needs to be looked into.


Key points:

  • Nationally, service children do well when they are at a school with lots of other service children.  The Service Pupil Premium of £300 received by each service child can give a real boost to the school budget and may, for example, enable them to employ an additional member of staff.  This may explain why Hampshire attainment figures for Service children are higher than those for Surrey, as in Surrey most schools have only one or two service children, whereas figures are much higher in Hampshire.
  • With a child with Special Education Needs, it take time to assess and put measures in place to support the child.  This process is more difficult of the child is moving schools.  OFSTED have suggested that this should be fast-tracked for service children, which could make a real difference.  It currently takes a minimum of 20 weeks to get a statutory plan in place, but takes months before this to assess the child’s needs.
  • A lot of support is already available for supporting service children including case studies and training – we need to ensure that school are aware of these resources.


What is Surrey proposing?

  • To understand and fully look in to the data over a few years, including looking gender.
  • Target parts of the school community who can help – SENCO and Governors’ training already takes place, could include service children element.
  • Challenge expectations – show schools they can have real success with service children.  It is not good enough for them to do ok when they may be able to excel. Could do some work with Surrey University to raise aspirations.
  • Build resilience in children – eg specific trips for service children who may not be able to do after school clubs, help them build a treasure trove of memories to share (scrap book, treasure box).  Establishing service children as part of the wider community and helping ensure they understand the importance of what their parents are doing.  These elements don’t need funding, they need training.
  • Participation / hearing the voice of the children and young people is vital.  Could we find some KS4 service pupils to go in to primary schools and become role models or put together a magazine? 
  • Will re-apply for MoD funding if it is available again.


Action – Susie Campbell to pull together a one page document of what Surrey is currently doing as well as carrying out a further analysis of data.


In order to get the message out to parents we need to tap in to forums that already exist or perhaps use/develop a magazine for parents.  One already exists for mental health services with versions for children, practitioners and parents, as well as Facebook pages etc.

Action – Carol Miller offered to send existing forums within ATC (Pirbright) to Susie.

The Families Federations Network have a good magazines and the Department of Children and Young People within the MoD is a good contact. Action – Peter Bruinvels send contact details to Susie. 


Winchester University is doing a major study about how Service Pupil Premium is being spent in schools and Kent hold an annual Service Children’s Voice Conference. Action Peter Bruinvels send details to Susie.


It was agreed to convene another meeting with primary and secondary schools, key members of the SCMPB and SCC Education to look at the data (with trends where possible) and compare this with experience on the ground to come up with a way forward. Action: Susie Campbell/Sarah Goodman/Peter Bruinvels


Children’s Centre Review

Lesley Hunt from Surrey County Council was present to discuss the forthcoming consultation about Children’s Centres with the Board.  The way centres are funded and staffed is likely to change, moving to a borough based model going forward. A public consultation will go live over the summer.  It was recognised that there was a large concentration of service families currently covered by Brookwood and Pirbright Children’s Centre and Mychett Children’s Centre. It was agreed that a question regarding service families would be included in the consultation.  Action Lesley Hunt and Carol Miller to address offline and come back to the SCMPB Exec with any issues.

Supporting documents:

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