In this insightful blog post, Nathan Hazledene, KMPF Schools Manager, discusses the launch of the new South East SCiP Alliance Hub, a collaborative initiative led by KMPF to support the education of Service children. Drawing from his experiences as a service member and parent, Nathan highlights the unique challenges Service children face and the collaborative efforts needed to help them achieve their full potential.

Q: How did the South East SCiP Alliance Hub come about?

A: The inspiration for the Hub emerged from my personal experiences and those of my children. As a member of the Armed Forces, transitioning from a reservist to regular service and then back to the reserves, I’ve seen firsthand how varied the experiences of Service children can be.

Parents in the Armed Forces make a conscious decision to serve, but minimising the impact of their service on their family, particularly their children’s education, is vital. When parents are deployed, they shouldn’t have to worry about their children’s education. This issue hits very close to home for me. SCiP Alliance already has regional networks across the country, so it’s great to use their support and expertise to bring practitioners together across Kent and Medway.

Q: What are some of the challenges Service children face?

A: The challenges are numerous and multi-faceted. Constant moves disrupt children’s learning, affecting their ability to form and maintain friendships and find consistent educational support. I’ve seen friends finish operations and then have to relocate their entire family halfway across the country over a weekend, putting enormous pressure on everyone involved.

Sometimes, schools in the new location are oversubscribed, leading to situations where children need to be home-schooled for extended periods. For example, a friend’s child was home-schooled for nine months until they could get into a local school. Some parents opt for private schools to provide stability and avoid these disruptions, but not everyone wants or should have to choose that option.

Support for young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) can also be inconsistent, adding to the family’s stress. It’s hard for Service children emotionally, too. When Mum or Dad deploys on operations, the child may have no idea where they are or when they’ll get to talk to them next.

Q: How can schools and communities support Service children better?

A: Schools need to recognise which of their students are Service children to provide better support. It’s complicated because some students might not identify or want to be identified as Service children, so they often fly under the radar. That’s why it’s so important for schools and communities to engage with us, join the conversation, and connect with the Hub. Even schools with only a few Service children can benefit from linking with others.

Q: What are the Hub’s priorities for its first year?

A: We plan to conduct an audit to understand which local organisations need to be involved and what they are already doing to support Service children.

We aim to run a professional development event for schools, either in person or virtually, to share best practices, particularly around using the Service Pupil Premium effectively. By tapping into the expertise and contacts of our partners, we can bring everyone together to work towards the common goal of ensuring equal educational opportunities for all Service children.

We also intend to collaborate with initial teacher training programs to ensure we can better support the next generation of Service children.

Want to know more?

For more information about the new South East SCiP Alliance Hub , please contact Nathan Hazledene:

For more information on the SCiP Alliance and the resources available, visit


Nathan Hazledene, KMPF Schools Manager

Lucy King

20 May 2024

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