Photo of children and teachers in a classroom

Launch of Thriving Lives toolkit to boost support for Service children

A self-reflection tool for schools to consider their support for children in Armed Forces families has been launched today (Tuesday 20 October 2020) by the Service Children’s Progression Alliance (SCiP Alliance), which is hosted by the University of Winchester.

Underpinned by rigorous research and thoroughly tested in schools, the Thriving Lives Toolkit provides schools with a framework of seven principles through which to reflect on their practice and a three-tier set of Continuing Professional Development resources.

The resources in the toolkit have been developed in collaboration with a range of partners across the UK and consist of:

  • an introductory animation;
  • a detailed resource introducing the evidence base, what schools can do to support their Service children and who can help and;
  • school case studies.

The toolkit launched at an online event on Tuesday 20th October, where the audience of policymakers, researchers, charities and school, college and university practitioners heard from the researchers and from schools and other stakeholders involved in the pilot. There was also a policy panel and an opportunity to learn more about the context for Service children’s lives and to hear from partnerships working directly with Service children.

University of Winchester research found that ‘it is in the realm of up to four out of 10 children who, if in the general population would go to university, do not go if they are from a military family’ (McCullouch and Hall, 2016).

Phil Dent“Service children have unique contributions and challenges. These young people are underrepresented in higher education and the University, through its access and outreach activities and its leadership of the SCiP Alliance’s national work, is seeking to change that,” said Phil Dent, Director of the SCiP Alliance.

“Discontinuity in learning, relationships and opportunities due to the complex and highly individual interplay of school transition and separation from parents can have a negative effect on Service children’s achievement, progression, and mental health and wellbeing.

“The SCiP Alliance and its partners understand the importance of ensuring Service children’s voices are at the heart of our work and have been sharing their approaches in this year-long project. Our vision is for policymaking and practice to be informed by evidence, at the heart of which are the voices of Service children.”

Click here to access the Thriving Lives Toolkit.