Children of Armed Forces personnel in Monmouthshire are benefitting from a new package of support to help with their attainment and development thanks to funding and a dedicated support officer.

It follows Monmouthshire County Council’s successful bid in obtaining a grant from the Ministry of Defence Education Support Fund to employ a HMF Education Support Officer, who works across education and with third sector organisations to raise awareness of the unique challenges the children of military personnel may face.

The HMF Education Support Officer, whose role was introduced in April 2019, supports 98 children in Monmouthshire and also guides schools through funding applications for resources such as additional staff, learning materials and training.

Children whose parents have been or are in the Armed Forces are often more adaptable, independent and flexible having grown used to change, but they can also face challenges caused by the effects of mobility or deployment.

The introduction of the HMF Education Support Officer is just another example of Monmouthshire’s commitment to supporting our armed forces colleagues. The council has been awarded Silver in the Defense Employer Recognition scheme and has also signed the Armed Forces Covenant, which is a promise by the nation that those who serve or have served, and their families, are treated fairly.

Three schools across the county have been successful in securing funding from the ‘Supporting Service Children in Education’ grants. Gilwern Primary, which has nine service children within the school, is using the funding to help children through emotional literacy and developing resilience.

Gilwern Primary’s Deputy Headteacher, Sue Marles said: “I think knowing every child within an organisation is crucial, to be able to take those learners forward and get the best out of those learners and this was my motivation to apply for the grant.  Through this funding we will be able buy resources to promote the interventions we are putting into place to help these children and their familes.”

Councillor Laura Jones, Monmouthshire County Council’s Armed Forces Champion added: “I am delighted Monmouthshire continues to show brilliance in supporting our armed forces colleagues and their families. We know there are many more children across Monmouthshire who will benefit from these funding streams and the help of the HMF Education Support Officer. I would encourage everyone, whether you are from education, health or a third-sector organisation, to get in touch to find out more about the funding and support available.”

For more information regarding funding and support for service children please contact the HMF Education Support Officer, Emma Ashmead via emma.ashmead@newport.gov.uk