Directorate of Children & Young People (DCYP) disbanded in 2021 and became 2 different organisations, Defence Children Services (DCS) and Armed Forces Families & Safeguarding (AFFS). Defence Children Services (DCS) restructured in February 2022, and as part of this CEAS was split into two teams-the Overseas Education & Supportability Team (OEST) and the Education Advisory Team UK (EAT-UK). OEST handle educational queries and educational clearances for service personnel being assigned to or are assigned overseas, whereas EAT-UK support service personnel with educational queries within the UK. This also includes supporting service families with the transition back to the UK from overseas assignments.
OEST have produced podcasts providing educational information for families posted to the USA and Washington DC. They “aim to provide UK military families with information about local educational systems, school and the range of opportunities to explore in local areas”.
Education for dependants in the US requires careful consideration. Unlike in the UK, there is no national curriculum in the US. Authority over state-funded education rests primarily with individual State Departments of Education; therefore curriculum can vary from State to State and even between school districts within a State. Education for 14 to 18 year-olds in the US is particularly different to the UK curriculum for children of this age, and children in this age bracket could be seriously disadvantaged if they return to the UK midway through this stage of education. School standards also vary across the country; however this does not necessarily mean that US schools are inferior to UK schools.
Parents who are considering bringing school age children to the US should consider their options carefully prior to accepting the assignment, including reading carefully the advice in this section. Parents should also carry out their own internet research to ensure they are content with the education provision in the assignment location. You will be required to complete a declaration of child’s needs, including a Pupil Information Pack, which must be approved by the Overseas Education Supportability Team (OEST). This small dedicated team are experienced in advising service parents on a wide range of issues regarding the education of service children in the UK and overseas and the British Embassy will weigh their recommendations carefully before approving the visa for a dependant.
Home to School Transport. Under the Alternate Education Scheme parents conducting journeys to private schools were not permitted to claim motor mileage allowance (MMA) as the decision to change school was seen to be elective. However, following advice from AF Remuneration based upon the strong justification for using private schooling made in the initial case, MMA has now been authorised. Claims can be backdated to commencement at the school and should be made in accordance with JSP752/734 as detailed under Education Claims.
Further information on children’s education in the US can be obtained by contacting the Overseas Education Supportability Team (OEST).
Service parents who are considering CEA for their children should contact Education Advisory Team UK (EAT-UK) for further advice.