Defence and armed forces – guidance

Service children in state schools (SCISS) handbook

The handbook is a guide for teachers and other professionals, to the specific issues relating to the needs of children of service personnel.


Service children in state schools (SCISS) was formed as a working group to look into the issues relating to English state schools providing for children whose parents serve in the armed forces. It was convened by Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS) in the latter part of 2003. CEAS is a UK, wide Ministry of Defence (MOD) service which provides information, guidance and support to service families, schools and local authorities and, since 2010, has been part of the MOD’s Directorate for Children and Young People (DCYP).

The SCISS handbook is intended to be a supportive resource, written largely by practitioners in schools for their peers. It is not a directive. The specific implications of providing for children of service personnel and working with their families relate essentially to service-induced mobility and deployment. The handbook addresses each of these issues in turn and the resources available to schools, including the web-based toolkit produced by Service Children’s Education (SCE) for its own schools.

The toolkit, like this handbook, focuses heavily on the impact on schools, children and families of service-induced mobility. Although SCE’s resource is primarily for its own schools which operate within a framework modeled very closely on the English system, the children on roll there come from and return to schools all over the UK but, in the main, England.