Service Children and Tertiary Education

I'm back working as a contractor on an MOD site having left the RAF recently (hence my name!) and I just saw this link on MODNET to assistance and guidance for universities dealing with service children applicants.


This bit was interesting:

On average, service children do not appear to underachieve
at school in comparison to their peers. However, closer
exploration of the data shows significant disparities
depending on the rank of their parent or carer; the children

of officers achieve significantly higher than those of lower ranking
personnel, but this could be due to a combination of

socio-economic factors.

Research indicates that proportionally fewer children from
Armed Forces families progress to HE than their peers –
the participation rate is estimated to be 24% (compared to
a national average of 43%). Again, the data indicates that

those with high-ranking parent(s) and carer(s) are more likely
to aspire to higher education than those with lower-ranking
parent(s) and carer(s), who tend to perform below the

national average.

My Bolding - however, I've been trying to think why the children of ORs are less achieving. Is it that Officers tend to have longer careers cf ORs? Is it because of this that more officers send their children to fee-paying schools and claim CEA? Is it because ORs - and their children - are thick(er)?

Like resettlement and employment of SP, children of SP are seen as 'victims', as shown in this UCAS advice:

If you do not offer a discrete support package for service
children, consider the support which currently exists for
all students that they might find helpful (e.g. counselling
services). Could these elements be signposted together
in one place (e.g. a dedicated web page), or offered
as a package?
 
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Daxx

MIA
Book Reviewer
CEA is available to all ranks; it is not an Officer only allowance.
 
CEA is available to all ranks; it is not an Officer only allowance.
I am aware of that, but the uptake by officers is higher because of typically longer careers than most ORs. In my last job my SSgt (a jt appointment) had two kids on CEA; I had one - it sucks up all your spare cash.

But back to the exam question - why are the children of enlisted personnel under-achieving?
 
But back to the exam question - why are the children of enlisted personnel under-achieving?
Given the backgrounds of enlisted personnel, it's not unexpected - the factors which lead to underachievement in children from deprived areas don't just go away as soon as mum/dad puts on a green suit.
 
Given the backgrounds of enlisted personnel, it's not unexpected - the factors which lead to underachievement in children from deprived areas don't just go away as soon as mum/dad puts on a green suit.
I was trying to be kinder in my comments, but given the average reading age on those enlisting into the Army (single figure), it's not surprising, in spite of the forces - and the Army in particular - being good for social mobility.
 
I was trying to be kinder in my comments, but given the average reading age on those enlisting into the Army (single figure), it's not surprising, in spite of the forces - and the Army in particular - being good for social mobility.
Add in the inevitable disruption of service life, the long periods of effective single-parent-dom caused by Trg and Ops and the less than salubrious locations (including local schools) available for junior enlisted postings and it's not surprising there's an attainment gap.
 
Add in the inevitable disruption of service life, the long periods of effective single-parent-dom caused by Trg and Ops and the less than salubrious locations (including local schools) available for junior enlisted postings and it's not surprising there's an attainment gap.
Having seen the ’difficulties’ civilian kids go through when transitioning between primary and secondary education I wonder how I managed, having been to 5 secondary schools. Service children may not emerge as the most academic, but seem better equipped to deal with life.
 
Service children may not emerge as the most academic, but seem better equipped to deal with life.
I see that is one of the UCAS observations.

We took benefit of CEA as I moved around a lot. They've done well and are very resilient kids. But the supplementary question is how to improve the lot for service children from day one. I suppose the reduced 'rinse and repeat' cycle of the Arms Plot should give families greater stability, but I do wonder if there is a behavioural change needed in the parents, too.
 
but I do wonder if there is a behavioural change needed in the parents, too.
The HE sector has found that engaging parents from the backgrounds enlisted personnel typically come from is a hard task, better achieved from the earliest possible moment. That's something that's going to have to start for service families long before the parent actually joins up.

I've been involved in Widening Access to HE for a good many years now and I've found that getting parents to see how education applied to 'the likes of them' to be one of the biggest obstacles. The silver lining is that those who get off their arse and join up are almost by definition better motivated than those who don't make any effort to better themselves, but there's still a sort of inverse snobbery to overcome.
 
The HE sector has found that engaging parents from the backgrounds enlisted personnel typically come from is a hard task, better achieved from the earliest possible moment. That's something that's going to have to start for service families long before the parent actually joins up.

I've been involved in Widening Access to HE for a good many years now and I've found that getting parents to see how education applied to 'the likes of them' to be one of the biggest obstacles. The silver lining is that those who get off their arse and join up are almost by definition better motivated than those who don't make any effort to better themselves, but there's still a sort of inverse snobbery to overcome.
Hit the nail directly on the head!
 
A personal experience: I went to umpteen schools, four for secondary education my final school being Devizes comprehensive school. I moved to that school from United World College, Singapore, a magnificent private school paid for by the army, where I was in O level groups for all subjects. On my arrival in Devizes in the middle of the fourth form I was ponked into CSE groups for everything, not far from exams and also having to cope with a syllabus change. I managed to get myself up in most subjects but still not to the level I had been at previously.

In those days of the mid-70's clever kids and posh peoples kids went to university, the rest of us got a job, or an apprenticeship. I got a sort of apprenticeship and I was happy, it was what I wanted to do at the time and they sent me to college where I picked up some more GCE's and the odd A level. None of the army kids I knew spoke of university, many did not even speak of A Levels.

The old man, a WO1 Conductor, left the army a few years after I left home and my brothers had a more stable time for their education and all of them went off directly to university. They are now all successful, two in IT running huge parts in mega IT company's based in the US, the third running his own property company in Spain.

I was never stupid, I read a lot, still do, but at the time the environmental socio-economic expectations in my schooling and social environment did not include university for me. However, when my brothers went to a civilian orientated school (Grammar) everyone was going to university, so they did too. I did go to uni, in my 30's, and have collected 4 degree's and some technically based professional qualifications over the years, so it was not all bad. You could say though that we are a product of our environment; if you are not rubbing shoulders with people who have degree's you do not see the need for them. I started to work with 'civil servants' who had degree's, the Mrs was running half of BFG YTS and post-school training and education for service kids so I was more exposed to the idea of tertiary/further education in academia.
 
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Revisiting this thread I wonder if the Forces - proncipally the Army - should be involved in encouraging tertiary education for SP 'dependents'? My only dealing with the Childrens Education Advisory Service was less than edifying. I asked them about education options when we were posted to Europe; they simply said 'just find a school'. There was no added value from them - we wanted advice on local vs international schools vs boarding.
 

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