Continuity Education Allowance

Discussion in 'Army Pay, Claims & JPA' started by Outstanding, Apr 20, 2006.

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  1. Is this the ulitmate con?

    The Forces require that its personnel live where they work and encourages accompanied service, for a number of sensible reasons.
    For personnel serving outside the UK mainland this takes their children away from the indigenous schoolng they would normally receive.
    MOD provides a limited number of places in a range of Schools, run by SCE an MOD Schools agency. This provision is completely free at the point of delivery to serving personnel who use it, and it is comparable with any good school in the UK.

    It does not provide sufficient places for all the children of serving staff, nor does it provide suitable schooling for all levels of education inall the locations to wish Uk personnel are posted in married accompanied posts.

    Rather it provides a "choice" to parents to send their children to a school of their choice (from an approved list) for which it the bestows a tax free grant of up a fixed amount per term that can be no than 90% of the School fees. The service person (parent0 must pay at least 10%. Immediately you can see that the MOD is getting a good deal! It sheds the risk, liabbilty and cost of providing the required education Feree of Charge.

    Of course the MOD would say that this is a good deal and that it is a parents choice, but what about the parents posted to places where there is no SCE provision? Well then you have to use the CEA sytem, simlarly as most of us move every 2.7 years so do our children, thus disrupting their education. Again MOD see CEA as the way of discharging their responsibilty. But the cost of this to the parent is considerable and it is both unfair and divisive as few junior ranks are able to avail themselves of the scheme - simply on cost grounds.

    is it not about time this subject was once again reviewed.? Why not provide a UK based series of MOD Sponsored boarding schools that cater mainly for service kids. If this was done properly the requirement for CEA would cease and all travel could be seen to fall to the public purse making all service childrens education free to the service population.
  2. They do provide two such schools, QVS and DYRMS. There are however many arguments to support the need for CEA although FAS and FIS will reduce the take up.
  3. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator


    I don't think 90% grant towards the choice of sending your kids to the best schools in the countrycan be classed as the ultimate con.

    See here for the sums allowed. They add up to a lot - a poss 19k in real terms addition to your salary per child if you are in the 40% tax bracket. Not bad in my book.
    Boarding School Allowances

    I would suggest that the quality of school that the cap will provide for is a good bit better than the local comp or anything we would be given under a centralised govn scheme.

    Boarding school allowance is one of the few things that keep the folk with kids at school age (particularly the SO2 & SO1 populations) in, rather than taking their chances on the outside. I worked along side a SO2 who reckoned he would have needed to earn a good 6 figure sum top line to allow him to send the kids to the quality schools they did + keep to the same qualifity of living he had.

    Your solution has two main flaws.

    1. I understand it is not great having to send the kids off and many choose not to use the scheme. I think people would also choose to step out of your idea for a solution also. The numbers of kids involved (of, as you realised, a huge difference of abilities) and the number of schools needed if we were to have dedicated schooling at each duty station would be unsustainable in cost terms.

    2. Brown is in charge of expenditure. If you honestly think we would be getting a better deal than we are now if he was allowed to take your suggestions to fruition, then you're cracked :)

    Good rant though

  4. I understand completely your view, that those in receipt of CEA receive an additional salary, actually the reverse is true. Those who elect to use CEA have to:

    pay the balance of school fees - those at SCE schools pay zero. (the limit of MOD contribution is just over £4K per term, cost of most schools is at least £5K per term).

    pay all transportation costs for half term, exeat and anymore than 3 flights per year. - SCE School transport is free.

    pay to visit the school (parents evenings, pupil events etc) - SCE Schools are usually close by and often Unit Tpt is provided.

    Also remember:

    my points regarding choice - there is none if you are posted outside the SCE range.

    the fact that if personnel in receipt of CEA all elected next Sep to cease sending the children to UK Schools that SCE would not be able to provide sufficient schooling to meet the requirement.

    the allownace that you see as additional salary can only be spent on School Fees, must be paid in one lump sum to the school, is not available for payment until less than week before it is due and is not really salary at all - it goes in and goes out.

    Universities in UK are now discriminating against Children from Private schools (especially Boarding schools) as they are considered to have been so privileged. Consequently CEA is actually disadvantaging our children

    So what is the choice, where is the free education that all children are entitled to?