Directorate Children and Young People

Find out how the DCYP help children fulfil their potential.

The Directorate Children and Young People (DCYP) provides appropriate professional direction, support and advice in order to ensure that children and young people are provided with every opportunity to achieve the best possible outcomes and fulfil their potential.

One of DCYP’s top priorities is to ensure access for children and young people to a range of learning pathways so that they are able to meet the challenges of adulthood.

DCYP are striving to ensure the work carried out by Ministry of Defence (MOD) agencies connected to children and young people is in line with relevant safeguarding policies.

We are working with MOD, Service Children’s Education overseas, other government departments and various charities who are involved in all aspects of supporting children and young people.

This work includes tackling the various challenges experienced by children and young people separated from a parent or family member who is deployed on operational duties.


DCYP on behalf of the MOD is committed to establishing processes which will ensure as far as possible and practical that all our children and young people are supported, protected and that they feel safe.

The MOD Safeguarding Children Board (SCB), which is chaired by an independent ‘safeguarding professional’, was established in September 2009 in order to put in place consistent world wide governance arrangements for safeguarding on behalf of the service community overseas and to ensure that minimum legislative requirements as set out in UK guidance including Working together to safeguard children (and young people) are in place.

The SCB will achieve this through providing the strategic leadership, co-ordination and advice on policy direction and will ensure the effectiveness of command level safeguarding arrangements and services through assessing their compliance with the legislation.

The SCB will also undertake a champion and advocate role in respect of the following groups:

  • children and young people (0 to 18) who belong to the service community but reside within the UK where the local authorities have the statutory responsibility
  • children and young people (0 to 18) who engage in youth and cadet activities provided by the MOD within the UK and who are not members of the service community.

The SCB reports to the Children and Young People Trust Board (CYPTB) which in turn is accountable to the Secretary of State but in accordance with the ‘Working together guidance (2010)’ retains independent accountability as a Safeguarding Board for its work.

Promoting healthy lifestyles

Promoting and supporting healthy lifestyles to secure the physical, spiritual, social and emotional wellbeing of all service children and young people.

DCYP and its partners are working towards:

  • encouraging children and young people to lead healthy lifestyles through appropriate lifestyle choices and providing them with the opportunity to participate in a range of activities that promote their spiritual, social, emotional and physical wellbeing
  • ensuring that young people are equipped to make positive choices, about their sexual health, their lives and minimise risk taking behaviours
  • ensuring children and young people who suffer from poor mental, physical or emotional health have access to high quality healthcare that is, where possible, local and responsive to need

Providing opportunities for children and young people to have their voices heard

The aim of the work being done within this priority area seeks to ensure that all young people have the chance to participate in positive activities to develop personal and social skills, promote wellbeing and reduce behaviour that puts them at risk.

  • the MOD aims to provide a structured and co-ordinated range of opportunities for service children and young people to have their voices heard and to help shape the services available to them
  • we will empower children and young people to make a positive contribution to the communities where they live, through consultation with them and encouraging their active participation in decision making about the development of services in their local area and the wider Services community, which may include issues such as:
    • schools
    • transport
    • housing
    • environmental issues
    • communal play
    • youth activities
  • implementation of an ongoing co-ordinated and structured programme of seeking the views of children and young people about what they want
  • facilitate participation, for example ‘Hear by right’, UK Youth Parliament, schools councils, youth group management boards and the ‘Children and young people pledge’
  • representation through partnership with stakeholders and service providers eg Children’s Fund, Community Safety, Crime and Disorder Reduction and Disorder Reduction Partnerships
  • the Annington Trust was set up in 1996 and is committed to enriching the lives of families living in service communities by supporting a range of community projects
  • airplay was developed in consultation with the RAF and is building new multi use games areas, rejuvenating play parks and providing safe, supervised activities for children and young people through a network of trained youth workers provided by children’s charity 4Children

Many RAF stations, army garrisons and naval establishments in UK host youth forums. Please contact your local HIVE for further information and local activities for children and young people.

Inspirational and exciting learning activities

Providing inspirational and exciting learning activities that ensure Service children and young people raise their expectations and acheive at the highest possible levels.

The MOD recognises that support provided to children and young people, whether in the UK or overseas and whether provided by MOD agencies, statutory services or the voluntary sector, needs to be structured and targeted in order to have the greatest effect; and that at the heart of that support lies the family.

Whilst there are many services and organisations involved in providing support, the needs of children and young people may be better met if their parents and carers have ready and consistent access to high quality information, advice and support.

Primary and secondary education overseas

Service Children’s Education (SCE) is responsible for the delivery of primary and secondary education at a number of locations across Europe and worldwide. All SCE schools are subject to Ofsted inspections and high standards are maintained with performance targets linked to national performance in England and Wales.

Where there is no SCE provision, but a posting is accompanied, information on options available and the entitlement to allowances is provided by the Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS).

Primary and secondary education UK

Advice on education and admissions and the differences between England, N Ireland, Scotland and Wales is available from Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS).

SCE, CEAS and 4Children are organisations that aim to guide and advise children, young people and their families about exciting, informative educational events and useful information.

4Children is the government’s strategic partner for early years and childcare and has a crucial role in co-producing policy with the Department of Education and representing the sector’s views and experiences

Term time absence advice

Situations can arise when the operational needs of the armed forces may legitimately prevent service families from taking leave during school holidays; therefore the MOD has provided advice to head teachers on term time absence for children of service personnel.

Pupil information profile

There has been overwhelming evidence from a series of inspections and reviews of the education of service children that high quality transfer documentation is an important part of the process of moving schools and that it can make a significant difference to the successful outcomes for service children who move schools more frequently than most.

The Directorate Children and Young People (DCYP), as well as head teachers and local authority staff, recognises the importance and significance of good, timely and appropriate information for families, children and their schools but, the context and complexity of service mobility (frequency of moves, range of educational establishments, different legislative frameworks) meant that it had not been possible to produce a single document that takes into account this complex requirement.

However, the DCYP, in conjunction with North Yorkshire County Council, commissioned the development of a single service pupil’s record through funding from the MOD Education Support Fund and a project officer was appointed to undertake the research and consultation necessary to develop a single record of a service child’s experiences.

Extensive research was undertaken through 2012/13 involving school leaders in a diverse range of local authorities in England and SCE schools in Germany. Policy discussions have taken place with the DfE, representatives of Scottish and Welsh governments and representatives of head teacher groups and School Boards in Northern Ireland.

Service Welfare organisations and Family Federations were also consulted. A questionnaire was sent to schools in England on the Service Children in State Schools (SCISS) database and returns represented over 103,524 children (10,000 service children) from 235 schools in 79 of England’s 150 local authorities.

The project has embraced service children, parents, schools, local authorities, government agencies and a range of military organisations and schools have actively welcomed and supported the work to develop a single transfer document containing core information which is consistent for all pupils. The transfer document, the Pupil Information Profile (PIP), will be consistent for all pupils in any school setting, is available to support specific aspects of a pupil’s background and learning and will signpost the recipient to the relevant source. It is intended to support continuous learning by identifying the pupil’s current and future learning needs. It does not attempt to offer more than this core information as the danger is that it would become unwieldy and not helpful to the receiving school.

The PIP covers the following core areas:

  • pupil profile information
  • behaviour for learning
  • next learning steps

The PIP is available online and parents are encouraged to bring this to the attention of their child’s school about using it as a helpful tool, when the child is about to move to another school.

If you have any queries, you can email or call us on +44 1980 618 244.

Where a PIP cannot be completed, equivalent information about your child from their current school relating to the previous 4 months can be provided.

Learning pathways

DCYP are committed to working with MOD and external partners, including the government and devolved administrations, local authorities, schools and various organisations to ensure that young people are supported into the learning pathway which best meets their needs.

Service mobility support

The Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS), which is an integral part of DCYP, in mitigating the impact of mobility on Service children and young people, is committed to:

  • targeting support to parents, children and young people prior to/immediately following a move
  • improving awareness and liaison between government departments, MOD Service units in UK and overseas, the devolved administrations, local authorities, schools and health authorities
  • working together in partnership with charities and voluntary organisations to provide support to service children and young people

As well as seeking advice from CEAS, parents are advised to visit their local HIVEs and libraries, and trawl the internet for national and local schools support networks.

If you are a voluntary or charitable organisation which may be able to offer help to service families who are getting ready to move, in the middle of a move, or have just moved, we would like to hear from you.

You can write to us at:

Directorate Children and Young People
Trenchard Lines

Or you can email

Operational deployment

DCYP works in partnership across central and local government with schools, charities and voluntary organisations to give service children and young people practical and emotional support before, during and after deployment.

You will find links to relevant organisations at the end of this detailed guide.

DCYP structure

The Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS) is an integral part of DCYP. It provides service families with advice and information about all aspects of children’s education in the UK and around the world

On 1 April 2013 Service Children’s Education (SCE) ceased to be an MOD agency and now sits within DCYP. SCE continues to provide education for many of the dependent children of armed forces personnel and UK based civilians serving overseas

MOD education support fund

The bidding round for the 2019 ESF will open on Friday 14 September 2018 and close at 1800 hours on Friday 19 October 2018.

For further details read our MOD support fund for schools with service children: grant application pack

Education of Service Children Change Programme

The Education of Service Children Change Programme (ESCCP) has been set up within the Directorate Children & Young People (DCYP) in recognition of the changes that are taking place within defence, and other policy which may impact upon children of service personnel.

There are 5 projects within the programme:

  • Project 1: Improving access to high quality education for service children in the UK
  • Project 2: Managing the closure of SCE schools in Germany while maintaining education standards
  • Project 3: Managing the needs of service children returning from Germany and those affected by major unit moves within the UK
  • Project 4: Defining the future operating model for service children’s education overseas This project is currently undertaking a strategic review of the education provision and associated targeted services, more information on how to be involved in this exciting opportunity can be found in the published advert.
  • Project 5: Defining the future operating model for the Directorate Children and Young People

The success of the ESCCP will be largely influenced by main stakeholder engagement, support and collaboration, and a communications strategy is being developed to identify opportunities for moving projects forward. This will include working with the Department of Education, local authorities, Single Service Families Federations; Command HQs and service families.

Whilst some of the individual project activities will be focussed on service children returning from BFG, the wider emphasis of the ESCCP is on the development and delivery of a framework that supports access to the provision of high quality education for all service children in the UK and overseas. This project is working closely with the MOD’s £6 million Education Support Fund to help mitigate the impact of rebasing on schools.

More information can be found in ‘A guide for service families: UK education systems’, which is produced by the Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS).

For more information on the work of the ESCCP please contact:

Please read our introductory guidance on Dyslexia and MOD Schools: