Directorate Children and Young People

Find out how the Directorate Children and Young People help children fulfil their potential.

The Directorate Children and Young People (DCYP) provides appropriate professional direction, support and advice in order to ensure that children and young people are provided with every opportunity to achieve the best possible outcomes and fulfil their potential.

The ‘Children and young people’s strategy and improvement plan’ seeks to provide the framework for the delivery of children and young people’s services across defence.

The plan aims to co-ordinate and concentrate the efforts of a broad range of organisations which contribute to the wellbeing of service children and young people.

One of DCYP’s top priorities is to ensure access for children and young people to a range of learning pathways so that they are able to meet the challenges of adulthood.

DCYP are striving to ensure the work carried out by Ministry of Defence agencies connected to children and young people is in line with relevant safeguarding policies.

We are working with MOD, Service Children’s Education overseas, other government departments and various charities who are involved in all aspects of supporting children and young people.

This work includes tackling the various challenges experienced by children and young people separated from a parent or family member who is deployed on operational duties.


DCYP on behalf of the MOD is committed to establishing processes which will ensure as far as possible and practical that all our children and young people are supported, protected and that they feel safe.

The MOD Safeguarding Children Board (SCB), which is chaired by an independent ‘safeguarding professional’, was established in September 2009 in order to put in place consistent world wide governance arrangements for safeguarding on behalf of the service community overseas and to ensure that minimum legislative requirements as set out in UK guidance including Working together to safeguard children (and young people) are in place.

The SCB will achieve this through providing the strategic leadership, co-ordination and advice on policy direction and will ensure the effectiveness of command level safeguarding arrangements and services through assessing their compliance with the legislation.

The SCB will also undertake a champion and advocate role in respect of the following groups:

  • children and young people (0 to 18) who belong to the service community but reside within the UK where the local authorities have the statutory responsibility

  • children and young people (0 to 18) who engage in youth and cadet activities provided by the MOD within the UK and who are not members of the service community.

The SCB reports to the Children and Young People Trust Board (CYPTB) which in turn is accountable to the Secretary of State but in accordance with the ‘Working together guidance (2010)’ retains independent accountability as a Safeguarding Board for its work.

Promoting healthy lifestyles

Promoting and supporting healthy lifestyles to secure the physical, spiritual, social and emotional wellbeing of all service children and young people.

DCYP and its partners are working towards:

  • encouraging children and young people to lead healthy lifestyles through appropriate lifestyle choices and providing them with the opportunity to participate in a range of activities that promote their spiritual, social, emotional and physical wellbeing

  • ensuring that young people are equipped to make positive choices, about their sexual health, their lives and minimise risk taking behaviours

  • ensuring children and young people who suffer from poor mental, physical or emotional health have access to high quality healthcare that is, where possible, local and responsive to need

Providing opportunities for children and young people to have their voices heard

The aim of the work being done within this priority area seeks to ensure that all young people have the chance to participate in positive activities to develop personal and social skills, promote wellbeing and reduce behaviour that puts them at risk.

  • the MOD aims to provide a structured and co-ordinated range of opportunities for service children and young people to have their voices heard and to help shape the services available to them

  • We will empower children and young people to make a positive contribution to the communities where they live, through consultation with them and encouraging their active participation in decision making about the development of services in their local area and the wider Services community, which may include issues such as:

    • schools
    • transport
    • housing
    • environmental issues
    • communal play
    • youth activities
  • implementation of an ongoing co-ordinated and structured programme of seeking the views of children and young people about what they want

  • facilitate participation, for example ‘Hear by right’, UK Youth Parliament, schools councils, youth group management boards and the ‘Children and young people pledge’

  • representation through partnership with stakeholders and service providers eg Children’s Fund, Community Safety, Crime and Disorder Reduction and Disorder Reduction Partnerships

  • the Annington Trust was set up in 1996 and is committed to enriching the lives of families living in service communities by supporting a range of community projects

  • airplay was developed in consultation with the RAF and is building new multi use games areas, rejuvenating play parks and providing safe, supervised activities for children and young people through a network of trained youth workers provided by children’s charity 4Children

Many RAF stations, army garrisons and naval establishments in UK host youth forums. Please contact your local HIVE for further information and local activities for children and young people.

For young people in Germany please visit the BFG Youth Forum.

Inspirational and exciting learning activities

Providing inspirational and exciting learning activities that ensure Service children and young people raise their expectations and acheive at the highest possible levels.

The MOD recognises that support provided to children and young people, whether in the UK or overseas and whether provided by MOD agencies, statutory services or the voluntary sector, needs to be structured and targeted in order to have the greatest effect; and that at the heart of that support lies the family.

Whilst there are many services and organisations involved in providing support, the needs of children and young people may be better met if their parents and carers have ready and consistent access to high quality information, advice and support.

Primary and secondary education overseas

Service Children’s Education (SCE) is responsible for the delivery of primary and secondary education at a number of locations across Europe and worldwide. All SCE schools are subject to Ofsted inspections and high standards are maintained with performance targets linked to national performance in England and Wales.

Where there is no SCE provision, but a posting is accompanied, information on options available and the entitlement to allowances is provided by the Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS).

Primary and secondary education UK

Advice on education and admissions and the differences between England, N Ireland, Scotland and Wales is available from Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS).

SCE, CEAS, SCE Arts and 4Children are organisations that aim to guide and advise children, young people and their families about exciting, informative educational events and useful information.

  • SCE Arts aims to offer opportunities to explore exciting creative initiatives through learning projects

  • 4Children is the government’s strategic partner for early years and childcare and has a crucial role in co-producing policy with the Department of Education and representing the sector’s views and experiences

Learning pathways

DCYP are committed to working with MOD and external partners, including the government and devolved administrations, local authorities, schools and various organisations to ensure that young people are supported into the learning pathway which best meets their needs.

Service mobility support

The Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS), which is an integral part of DCYP, in mitigating the impact of mobility on Service children and young people, is committed to:

  • targeting support to parents, children and young people prior to/immediately following a move

  • improving awareness and liaison between government departments, MOD Service units in UK and overseas, the devolved administrations, local authorities, schools and health authorities

  • working together in partnership with charities and voluntary organisations to provide support to Service children and young people

As well as seeking advice from CEAS, parents are advised to visit their local HIVEs and libraries, and trawl the internet for national and local schools support networks.

If you are a voluntary or charitable organisation which may be able to offer help to Service families who are getting ready to move, in the middle of a move, or have just moved, we would like to hear from you.

Directorate Children and Young People
Trenchard Lines


Operational deployment

DCYP works in partnership across central and local government with schools, charities and voluntary organisations to give service children and young people practical and emotional support before, during and after deployment.

You will find links to relevant organisations at the end of this detailed guide.

DCYP structure

  • The Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS) is an integral part of DCYP. It provides service families with advice and information about all aspects of children’s education in the UK and around the world

  • On 1 April 2013 Service Children’s Education (SCE) ceased to be an MOD agency and now sits within DCYP. SCE continues to provide education for many of the dependent children of armed forces personnel and UK based civilians serving overseas

Organisations working together to achieve the best possible outcomes for Service children and young people

DCYP works with a broad range of other government departments, in particular the Department for Education, organisations within the MOD and external organisations and charities, to ensure that children, wherever they are in the world, are given every opportunity to fulfil their potential. Examples of the organisations and agencies which DCYP work closely with in this respect are listed below:

  • The Department for Education (DfE) is responsible for education and children’s services in England. The Directorate works in partnership with DfE to ensure that policies for service children and young people are up to date and in line with Government policy. DfE sit on both the MOD Children and Young People’s Trust Board and the Safeguarding Children Board

  • Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) offers help and support to serving members of the armed forces and those who used to serve, and care for the families of both. The professional Director of Social Work for SSAFA is a member of both the MOD Children and Young People’s Trust Board and the Safeguarding Children Board

  • The Royal British Legion provides welfare to the whole armed forces family - serving, ex-service and their dependants

  • The Children’s Society wants to create a society where children and young people are valued, respected and happy

  • The Child Bereavement Charity is the UK’s leading charity that supports familes and educates professionals both when a child dies and when a child is bereaved

  • The Army Families Federation is the independent voice of Army families and works hard to improve the quality of life for Army families worldwide on any aspect that is affected by the Army lifestyle. AFF are represented on the MOD Children and Young People’s Trust Board

  • The RAF Families Federation represents the views and concerns of RAF personnel and their family members on the issues that affect them as part of a RAF family. It is an independent organisation which operates entirely outside the RAF chain of command. RAF FF are represented on the MOD Children and Young People’s Trust Board

  • The Naval Families Federation (NFF) was established in 2003 to give Royal Naval and Royal Marines’ families an independent voice. Views and concerns expressed by families may be taken forward by the NFF either through the chain of command or at ministerial level. NFF are represented on the MOD Children and Young People’s Trust Board

MOD Education Support Fund

The MOD Education Support Fund (formerly the MOD Support Fund for State Schools with Service Children) was launched in 2011 to assist publicly funded schools, academies and free schools throughout the UK to mitigate the effects of exceptional mobility and/or deployment of their service communities; regular armed forces and reserve forces. Originally £3 million per year, in 2014 the fund was increased to £6 million per year and extended for a further period until 2017.

The fund is different from the Armed Forces Community Covenant Grant scheme which seeks to forge closer ties between the community and the services who form a part of that community and which is open to a wider variety of organisations to apply once a local community covenant has been signed.

It is also different to the Service Pupil Premium, which is provided to schools in England by the Department for Education in respect of children of serving members of the armed forces.

Directorate Children and Young People (DCYP), which is the MOD’s professional focal point for all matters relating to children and young people associated with the armed forces, are the lead organisation supporting the fund.

DCYP received over 200 applications during the last bidding round which totalled £8.8 million and were able to issue grants to 160 applicants. Grants from the 2013 round went to a wide variety of different types of application which included funding towards:

  • a Home School Link Worker supporting 25 schools
  • counselling services
  • nurturing projects
  • male play rangers available to a cluster of 6 schools

Those applications that were successful had in common the fact that they were able to provide strong evidence of a requirement against the criteria and evidence of how the effect of exceptional mobility/deployment would be mitigated by the actions identified within the application.

The 2015 bidding process will commence in June 14 with applications being accepted from publicly funded schools, academies and free schools throughout the UK who meet the eligibility criteria. Local Authorities are also able to apply in support of these schools. The grant application pack consists of 5 documents:-

  • a covering letter explaining the role of the fund and the type of information required
  • frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the fund
  • the scoring criteria, which shows how applications will be scored
  • the application form itself
  • bid ideas, examples of successful bids from the 2013 funding round

All 5 documents should be downloaded and read before completion of the application form.

Completed application forms are to be submitted to the DCYP-MOD-ESF-Mailbox by 12:00hrs on 14th September 2014.

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