UCLan launches Lancashire and North West Service Children’s Progression (SCIP) Alliance
Children from Lancashire’s military families are set to benefit from additional support in education and well-being thanks to an alliance of partners led by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).
The University is leading the Lancashire and North West Service Children’s Progression (SCIP) Alliance, which will allow children with parents in the Armed Forces to access additional support in school to help them progress into further and higher education.
Traditionally, military children are underrepresented in this area. In the UK 78% of parents of service children want their children to go into Higher Education but in reality, only 24% make this progression compared to 43% of the general population.*
The children commonly face additional pressures from a young age that can affect their education, such as moving school multiple times and coping with a parent being deployed on duty. In Lancashire alone 1137 service children receive pupil premium, which is a government funded grant given to schools in England to reduce the attainment gap for the most disadvantaged children caused by income or family upheaval.
The University has already pledged its commitment to supporting military families, so it is ideally placed to lead the Lancashire SCIP in bringing the relevant services together in one-strong voice.
Led by UCLan, Lancashire’s SCIP Alliance aims to work with local agencies and charities such as local councils, Army Welfare, Future U, the Lancashire Armed Forces Hub and the College for Military Veterans and Emergency Services (CMVES) to raise awareness of the added burdens children from military families face and offer additional support and guidance. This may include hosting family events throughout the year, educational visits to colleges and universities and additional pastoral care and counselling when needed.
Anthony Goth, Headteacher at Weeton Primary School where 85% of children come from military families, welcomed the Alliance. He said: “People don’t realise the additional emotional stress that these children are put under from a young age so anything that can raise awareness of this is fantastic.
“We want to support children from military families to reach their potential. If a school that isn’t used to having Armed Forces children has a single point of contact through the Alliance to ask how they can support the family and make them feel included, then it could make a huge difference.”
UCLan, which has a track record of working with young people to overcome barriers to higher education through its role in the Future U project, is well placed to lead the Alliance and last year won an Armed Forces Covenant Silver Award for its support to defence and the wider Armed Forces community. In addition, it is working with Lancashire Care Foundation Trust, Lancashire County Council and Army HQ NW to run the Lancashire Armed Forces Hub to help with job opportunities, health and housing services, employment, education and training for the armed forces community. The University also houses the College for Military Veterans and Emergency Services, which helps families make a smooth transition from a career in the military services to civilian life.
Dr Rachel Cragg, UCLan Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic Development), said: “The University has already pledged its commitment to supporting military families, so it is ideally placed to lead the Lancashire SCIP in bringing the relevant services together in one-strong voice. Through research we can inform future polices and frameworks.”
The national Service Children’s Progression (SCiP) Alliance is a partnership of organisations focused on improving outcomes for children from military families and is funded by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
*(Office for Students, 2018)