The Armed Forces Covenant in Action? Part 3: Educating the Children of Service Personnel - Defence Committee Contents

5  Conclusion

114. We support the aims of the Armed Forces Covenant, in that:

    Children of members of the Armed Forces should have the same standard of, and access to, education (including early years services) as any other UK citizen in the area in which they live.

    115. In this inquiry, we have identified that the mobility required of Armed Forces personnel means their children face considerable challenges in achieving the same access to education as the rest of the UK population. During the inquiry it has also become clear that in order to meet the obligations made in the Armed Forces Covenant, the Government is dependent on the voluntary agreement of the numerous bodies who all play a part in providing education for the children of Service personnel.

    116. In our view there is a conflict at the heart of the Armed Forces Covenant because the Government is dependent on the commitment of those who provide education services—Government Departments, Local Authorities and the devolved administrations—offering the same provision to all Service families wherever they live in the UK. The Government must demonstrate its commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant by seeking the co-operation of the Devolved Administrations and Local Authorities to ensure that its obligations are met.

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Prepared 23 July 2013