Guidance

Education overseas for service children

The education provision for service children overseas can be categorised as Ministry of Defence (MOD) schools or non MOD schools locations.

All parents need to obtain educational clearance for their children, aged 0 to 19 years of age, before proceeding with a move overseas.

Prior to a service parents posting overseas, the needs of all service children will be assessed to ensure that the educational needs can be met, this process is part of the MOD’s Assessment of Supportability (MASO).

Ministry of Defence (MOD) Schools

MOD Schools is part of the Directorate of Children and Young People (DCYP). MOD Schools provide education to the dependent children of service personnel and MOD entitled civilians, entitled contractors and fee payers. MOD schools are predominantly overseas, with one school in Scotland. For information and guidance specifically for Queen Victoria School in Scotland, please see Education in the UK.

The diverse locations of our schools and the dedication of our staff ensure pupils engage in a rich and fulfilling curriculum whilst overseas. MOD Schools overseas mirrors the English education system including Ofsted inspections, assessments and examinations. This enables pupils to transition from our settings to UK based schools and nurseries with the minimum amount of disruption. We work closely with UK schools and local authorities to ensure information is shared to support the varying needs of pupils.

MOD schools and settings by location

Germany

Country Name of School Age Website (if applicable)
Paderborn Acreswood,Early Year Setting 0 to 3 years  
Bielefeld Bielefeld Butterflies, Early Years Setting 0 to 3 years  
Sennelager Happy Days, Early Years Setting 0 to 3 years  
Sennelager Happy Hippos, Early Years Setting 0 to 3 years  
Gütersloh Little Chicks, Early Year Setting 0 to 3 years  
Sennelager Attenborough Primary School 3 to 9 years www.attenborough.school
Bielefeld Bielefeld Primary School 3 to 11 years www.bielefeldschool.com
Paderborn Bishopspark Primary School 3 to 9 years www.bishopsparkschool.com
Gütersloh Haig Primary School 3 to 11 years www.haig.sceschools.com
Ramstein St David’s Primary School 3 to 11 years www.stdavids.sceschools.com
Paderborn John Buchan Middle School 9 to 13 years www.johnbuchan.sceschools.com
Gütersloh Kings Secondary School 11 to 19 years www.sce-kingsschool.net

Cyprus

Country Name of School Age Website (if applicable)
Akrotiri Akrotiri Early Years Setting 0 to 3 years  
Ayios Nikolaos Ayios Nikolaos Early Years Setting 0 to 3 years  
Dhekelia Dhekelia Early Years Setting 0 to 3 years  
Episkopi Episkopi Early Years Setting 0 to 3 years  
Akrotiri Akrotiri Primary School 3 to11 years www.akrotiri.school
Ayios Nikolaos Ayios Nikolaos Primary School 3 to 11 years www.ayiosnikolaosprimary.school
Dhekelia Dhekelia Primary School 3 to 11 years www.dhekeliaprimary.school
Episkopi Episkopi Primary School 3 to 11 years www.episkopi.sceschools.com
Dhekelia King Richard Secondary School 11 to 19 years www.kingrichardschoolscyprus.com
Episkopi St John’s Secondary School 11 to 19 years www.stjohnsschoolcyprus.com

Brunei

Country Name of School Age Website (if applicable)
Seria Treetops Early Years Setting 0 to 3 years  
Seria Hornbill Primary School 3 to 11 years www.hornbillschool.com

Italy

Country Name of School Age Website (if applicable)
Naples BFS Naples Primary School 3 to 11 years www.thelifecloud.net/schools/BritishforcesSchoolNaples

Belgium

Country Name of School Age Website (if applicable)
SHAPE (Mons) SHAPE Primary School 3 to 11 years www.britishsectionshape.com

Falkland Islands

Country Name of School Age Website (if applicable)
Mount Pleasant Mount Pleasant Primary School 2 to 11 years www.mountpleasant.school

Gibraltar

Country Name of School Age Website (if applicable)
Europa Point Sunflowers Early Years Setting 0 to 3 years  
Europa Point St Christopher’s Early Years Foundation Stage 3 to 5 years www.stchristophers.sceschools.com

The Netherlands

Country Name of School Age Website (if applicable)
Brunssum AFNORTH Primary School 3 to 11 years www.afnorth-is.com/british-canadian-office

Non MOD school locations

Supporting children’s education in isolated detachment (ISODET) areas

There are many locations around the world where service personnel and their families may be posted, which are not served by an MOD school. Children’s education in these locations can either be provided by local state schools or by schools from the independent or international school sector.

In countries where the first language is English, children accompanying their parents on assignments would normally attend local state provided schooling, unless this is deemed inappropriate (either at an individual student level or more broadly incompatible with the UK education system). There are significant benefits associated with a student being immersed in the local education system, however there are occasions where the local education system is deemed inappropriate for the needs of students from the UK.

The decision whether a local state provided school system is appropriate is either made through the completion by the Education team in DCYP of an Educational Suitability Review (ESR) or through casework which is submitted to DCYP by parents requesting schooling provided by the international or independent sector.

Parents are advised to complete their own research into the educational options in ISODET locations and may access previously completed Educational Suitability Reviews.

Parents may also contact the Education Team at DCYP via dcyp-ceas-enquiries@mod.gov.uk who can provide additional advice and guidance regarding educational options in ISODET locations.

Once parents are satisfied that their child’s educational needs can be met in a location, they must complete and submit a parental declaration form to the Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS). The information on this form will either result in educational clearance being provided or prompt further investigation into the supportability of a child in the proposed assignment location.

Educational suitability reviews by location

If you would like the latest educational suitability reviews for any of the following locations, please contact the Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS).

  • Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
  • Brussels, Belgium
  • Belize City and Belmopan, Belize
  • Bandar Seri-Begawan, Brunei
  • Ralston, Cochrane, Medicine Hat and Redcliffe, Alberta, Canada
  • Ottawa and Kingston, Ontario, Canada
  • Nicosia, Cyprus
  • Nanyuki and Nairobi, Kenya
  • Riyadh, Dharan, Tabuk and Taif, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Istanbul, Turkey
  • Izmir, Turkey
  • Enterprise, Montgomery and Huntsville, Alabama, USA
  • Edwards Airforce Base, California, USA
  • El Paso (Fort Bliss), Texas, USA
  • San Diego, California, USA
  • Destin, Pensacola, Okaloosa, Fort Walton Beach (Eglin Air Force Base), Florida, USA
  • Clarke County, Las Vegas (Creech Air Force Base), Nevada, USA
  • Fairfax County, Washington DC, Virginia, USA
  • Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA

Education clearance

All parents need to obtain educational clearance for their children, aged 0 to 19 years of age, before proceeding with a move overseas. Educational clearance is provided by the receiving MOD school or by CEAS, dependant on the assignment location and the age of your children.

The educational clearance process can take up to 9 weeks if a service child has an additional need as checks will take place to ensure that those needs can be met in the new assignment location. As the process can take a considerable amount of time, early application for educational clearance is strongly recommended.

If you are in receipt of an overseas assignment order you should first contact the Families Section at MOD Abbeywood in order to obtain the family travel pack. The email for the Families Section is desdscom-famsec-gp@mod.gov.uk.

MOD Assessment of Supportability Overseas (MASO)

The availability of educational, medical and social care facilities to support children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) is different in overseas commands and varies between commands.

Prior to a service parents posting overseas, the needs of all service children will be assessed to ensure that the educational needs can be met. This process is part of the MOD’s Assessment of Supportability (MASO).

Those service children who have SEND will require further assessment by the assignment location to ensure that the child’s needs can be met. In MOD schools locations, this process will be undertaken by the school and local command. In non MOD school locations, this will be coordinated through the school and local command.

If you are in receipt of an overseas assignment notice, and have a child with a special educational need or disability, you are required to register your child with CEAS. It is recommended that this is done as early as possible for advice to be given in a timely manner.

It can be difficult as a parent to move a child abroad with special educational needs, and MOD schools and CEAS, depending on assignment location, will endeavour to support families in the process. If it is determined that a child’s needs cannot be met overseas, you will be advised not to proceed with the posting.

For those personnel assigned to a location supported by an MOD school, each MOD school has its own SEND school offer, based on the resources available in the geographical location. Please visit the individual school’s website to view each school’s SEND offer.

For those personnel assigned to an area not supported by an MOD school, the provision on offer can differ greatly dependant on the location.

More advice is available from CEAS on the SEND provision in non-MOD schools location.

You should not proceed with your posting until you have heard the outcome of the MASO process.
Families Section at MOD Abbeywood will not book travel for service children aged 0 to 18 years of age unless educational clearance has been given. It is recommended that you email Families Section on desdscom-famsec-gp@mod.gov.uk when an overseas assignment is received as they are responsible for issuing the family travel pack which contains the information on educational clearances.

Published 3 October 2018