Evidence from SCiP Alliance features in independent Government report on Service life

1 Jul 2020

The work and partners of the Service Children's Progression Alliance, hosted by the University of Winchester, features strongly in an independent report to Government which looks at all aspects of Service life.

The SCiP Alliance team responded to the call for evidence for the report by Andrew Selous MP, Living In Our Shoes. The report authors spoke at length to the SCiP Alliance and its partners, including the Alliance's student board member.

The report calls for national tracking and reporting of Service children's outcomes. Among its strong recommendations, several speak to work that the University, through the SCiP Alliance, is already leading:

'the Department for Education and the MOD to support the development of evidence-based tools, resources, and practitioner guides for all education professionals working with Service children throughout the UK',

and

'the Department for Education, the Devolved Governments and the MOD to prioritise more detailed, robust research into Service children's academic choices, attainment levels, educational outcomes and career progression, and explore the factors which might hinder educational outcomes.'

High mobility and frequent parental deployment and separation may impact on Service children's education and they are known to be one third less likely to go to higher education than their peers. The findings are set out in a 2016 research study by Judith McCullouch and Michael Hall of the University of Winchester titled Further and Higher Progression for Service Children.

The SCiP Alliance theory of change identifies four characteristics of Service children's lives:

  • Diversity of experience through the complex interplay of separation, mobility and transition
  • Discontinuity in learning, discontinuity in relationships, discontinuity in opportunities
  • Development of adaptability, independence and maturity, and
  • Risk of disadvantage

Phil Dent, SCiP Alliance Director said: "The SCiP Alliance is delighted to have contributed to the research underpinning this report. Data suggests Service children are distributed throughout the UK and may be in as many as half of primary and secondary schools; we believe it is imperative that the impact of their parents' service on young people's lives is fully understood. The SCiP Alliance is growing the scale and impact of evidence-based practice so that Service children can be supported to thrive throughout and beyond their educational journey."

Dr Michael Hall, SCiP Alliance Researcher said: "I very much welcome the publication of this report. In particular, I welcome the report's recommendation of further research into Service children's academic choices, attainment levels, educational outcomes and career progression. The SCiP Alliance recognises the diversity of experience of Service children, so it is essential that we understand the breadth of their experiences and that their voices are central to the planning and provision of education."

For more information about the SCiP Alliance visit www.scipalliance.org and for general enquiries contact the Alliance Officer, Georgina.Abbott@winchester.ac.uk.

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