Guidance

Education overseas for service children

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

Update 26 March 2020: A new DCYP COVID-19 webpage has been created for vital information and support for parents from DCYP.

All parents need to obtain educational clearance for their children, aged 0 to 18 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 and Settings

MOD Schools and Settings are part of the Directorate Children and Young People (DCYP). MOD Schools and Settings provide education to the dependent children of service personnel and MOD entitled civilians, entitled contractors and fee payers. MOD Schools and Settings 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 and Settings overseas mirrors the English education system including Ofsted inspections, assessments and examinations. This enables pupils to transition from our overseas schools and 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

Ramstein

St David’s Primary School (3 to 11 years)

Sennelager

Attenborough Early Years (0 to 3) (no website) Attenborough Primary School (3 to 11 years)

Cyprus

Akrotiri

Akrotiri Early Years Setting (0 to 3 years) (no website)
Akrotiri Primary School (3 to 11 years)

Ayios Nikolaos

Ayios Nikolaos Early Years Setting (0 to 3 years) (no website)
Ayios Nikolaos Primary School (3 to 11 years)

Dhekelia

Dhekelia Early Years Setting (0 to 3 years) (no website)
Dhekelia Primary School (3 to 11 years)
King Richard Secondary School (11 to 19 years)

Episkopi

Episkopi Early Years Setting (0 to 3 years) (no website)
Episkopi Primary School (3 to 11 years)
St John’s Secondary School (11 to 19 years)

Brunei

Seria

Treetops Early Years Setting (0 to 3 years) (no website)
Hornbill Primary School (3 to 11 years)

Italy

Naples

BFS Naples Primary School (3 to 11 years)

Belgium

Mons

SHAPE Primary School (3 to 11 years)

Falkland Islands

Mount Pleasant

Mount Pleasant Primary School (2 to 11 years)

Gibraltar

Europa Point

Sunflowers Early Years Setting (0 to 3 years) (no website)
St Christopher’s Early Years Foundation Stage (3 to 5 years)

The Netherlands

Brunssum

AFNORTH Primary School (3 to 11 years)

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.

As stated in JSP 342, Chapter 5, in countries where the first language is English, children accompanying their parents on assignments are expected to 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 Global Education team in DCYP of an Educational Suitability Review (ESR) or through casework. This is submitted to DCYP by parents following conversations with their receiving command requesting schooling provided by the international or independent sector.

Parents are 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 Global 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 have researched the educational provision in the new assignment location, they must complete and submit the Parental Declaration form (found in the travel pack issued by Families Section) to the Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS). If your child is attending an Early Year setting or is of school age, the Parental Declaration must be supported by an Education Overseas Supportability form (EOS) from your child’s current school. The information on this form will either result in educational clearance being provided or prompt further investigation and/or further documentary evidence relating to 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

Educational supportability

All parents need to obtain educational clearance for their children, aged 0 to 18 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. Service personnel must note the regulations in JSP 342, Chapter 5 and JSP 770, 2A (viewable on the intranet only).

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. In addition, if children are approaching or within a critical stage of education (for example doing GCSEs or A Levels) considerations must be made regarding qualifications and effects on the child’s education. 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 by CEAS who gather evidence from the school and local command for submission to the receiving command and assigner.

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 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.

MOD schools complaints procedure

The MOD’s complaints policy against MOD schools and further information on how to complain can be found at MOD schools complaints procedure.

Published 3 October 2018
Last updated 14 May 2020 + show all updates
  1. Added a link to JSP 770.

  2. Updated the text and added links to JSP 342.

  3. Added entry for Attenborough Early Years and updated broken link.

  4. Added an notice regarding the new DCYP COVID-19 webpage.

  5. Added a link to the MOD schools complaints procedure.

  6. Updated the page after a content review.

  7. First published.