S h a rin g b es t p ra ctice to s up p o rt S ervice C h il dren Quart e rly Ne ws le t t e r : S p rin g 2 011 SCSN Service Children Support NetworkWelcome to the first of the SCSN Quarterly Newsletters which includes articles from anumber of our erstwhile members. We hope you find it interesting and will considercontributing something for the next issue. Let us know what’s going on in your area!
Seer Green School Pupils during their recent visit to the Chiltern Woodland Burial Park.The Gallery ‘ Go n e b u t No t Fo rg o tten ’ - b y Jil l A da ms , C B C Forthcoming Events On a freezing cold November happens when someone dies. morning, a class from Seer Green “Now I know that all my relatives May Seminar Primary School, Buckinghamshire, and pets are in a good place.” 24 may 11 - The Defence arrived at the Chiltern Woodland Everyone who wanted to, then Academy, Shrivenham. Burial Park, full of chatter and shared memories or thoughts curiousity. “I wasn’t sure if the trip about people or pets who had died was going to be good because it and Fran Hall, manager of the site, was a burial park and I wasn’t sure reminded us all that love never what we would do”. goes away, even when that person They were the first school to carry is no longer around. The children out the Child Bereavement Charity then split into groups and did the visit to the Burial Park based on the nature hunt. “I enjoyed doing the CBC lesson plan. Accompanied by nature trail the most and I found it their teacher, Michael Cole- interesting and fun”. As part of that Johnson, and headteacher Olwyn they also visited the Peace Pole Davidson-Oakley, the children were and the Remembrance Day Post. first taken to the beautiful Gathering Favourite was the labyrinth. “Really Hall. Despite being distracted by liked the labyrinth – it was a really Professor William Yule – the birds and squirrels they could good idea” Fran told the children Emeritus Professor of see through the floor to ceiling that a maze is where you get lost, a Applied Child Psychology windows, the children were labyrinth is where you find yourself. Kings College London, warmly welcomed by Peter Taylor Before entering, the children picked Consultant Clinical and Fran Hall who briefly explained up a stone, thought of a worry, and Psychologist, Founding about the Burial Park and its having worked their way around Director of Child Traumatic purpose. As the children had the turning and twisting path, left Stress Clinic, Honorary already discovered, Fran pointed their worry or whatever was Psychologist Advisor to the out that the Park is a haven for bothering them, with their stone at British Army will be wildlife and a beautiful, peaceful the centre of the labyrinth. “It was speaking on the subject place. really cool during the day because of: they dealt with something adults Using the song “The Circle of Life” don’t like to talk about and I’d as his theme, Peter told the story of ‘PTSD and Mental Health never been talked to about death issues in the Military, the the Hungry Caterpillar. before”. Accompanied by much laughter, impact on families and he got two of the children to The lesson plan and how educational and pretend that they were caterpillars accompanying information for welfare professionals can and to then transform into teachers can be found in the support Service Children’. butterflies. Peter built on the theme schools section of the CBC web, by pointing out to the children that www.childbereavement.org.uk. the Circle of Life involves change, To organise a school visit to the To book a place and that change can sometimes Chiltern Woodland Burial Park be difficult, especially when a pet contact Fran Hall, Contact Joy O’Neill at : or someone we know dies. He then firstname.lastname@example.org or Joyoneill45@hotmail.com spoke about how different people Tel: 01494 872158. by 1 May 11. believe different things about what
deposits on rented housing. Our guiding rule for SSAFA help is, “One day’s service, a lifetime of care.” Only if all else fails do we use SSAFA money in very urgent cases such as the housing of an ex- commonwealth soldier on 23 December, after he had been living on the streets. All SSAFA care workers are volunteers and as the Divisional Secretary for the Vale of White Horse, I allocate jobs to my case workers almost on a daily The Gallery basis, having volunteered originally for a day’s voluntary work per week! We now deal with these cases on an electronic Case Management System (CMS), which means that I have sent off an assistance request at 5 pm one evening and received an offer of some £750 by 9 am the following morning. The CMS system captures our statistics, when I can understand it, and provides the annual returns to SSAFA Central Office at year ‘ A l if e-l o n g l in k w ith S S A FA ’ - end. I have known about SSAFA all my life, as I b y J o h n K el l y come from a Service family and can well remember the embarrassment, when my parents arranged for SSAFA ladies to escort me across London from myI served as an Infantry Officer in both the Regular boarding school as an 11 year old to their postingArmy and the Territorial Army after University, where in Germany in the late 1950s. Since then, I haveI read Classics in the middle 1960s. After leaving seen uniformed SSAFA personnel helping youngthe Army I worked as an Emergency Planning servicemen and women on bases and helping theOfficer in various District and Boroughs and latterly families when the troops are on operations.for some 16 years as the County Emergency My wife is surprised at my role, as I have neverPlanning Officer for Oxfordshire dealing with natural been renowned for my patience with bureaucracyand man-made major incidents, in particular the but it is satisfying to obtain money for a funeral forfloods of July 2007. I was awarded an MBE in the a destitute wife or provide the train fare for an ex-2008 New Year’s Honours list for “Services to Local soldier wishing to visit his estranged family. SadlyGovernment.” we do not see our work diminishing with the age ofDuring my time at Oxfordshire CC, I liaised with the World War Two veterans and those from moreArmed Services on welfare and ceremonial matters distant campaigns. The ongoing fashionable warsran a number of Civic events for the Lord will provide work for SSAFA and the other ServiceLieutenant such as World War commemorations Charities for many years to come.and the Queen’s Jubilee Baton Run, which endedin Oxford United Stadium. I am still called upon to John Kelly MBE BA MBA SSAFA Divisionalgive expert comment by the media on major Secretary Vale of White Horse, Oxford.incidents in the absence of comment from theauthorities and to provide a critical view of some 01865 765146/07766 713369failings in major incident management. In Johnkelly2005@hotmail.co.ukretirement, I divide my time between walking thedogs, house-keeping duties and SSAFA- Forces These are the views of an individual and do notHelp work. SSAFA is a service charity which has necessarily reflect the views of my Charity.just celebrated its 125th anniversary, culminating inOxford with a Lord Mayor’s reception and a carolconcert in Christ Church cathedral to raise funds.Locally we have started using the shortened form For your Diary .....for the charity – Forces Help, as that explains ourrole more easily, particularly over the telephone. Next SCSN MeetingOur main role is to act as case workers for largeService charities such as the Royal British legion,The Navy, Army and Royal Air Force Benevolent The next SCSN meeting will take place from 1300Funds and Regimental and Corps charities, which -1500 on Wed 28 September 2011 at RAF Brizeare spread across the country. We almonise funds Norton, Oxfordshire.from Service and civilian charities for anything from Further details will be sent out to members in duechild care to stair lifts and funeral grants though course.furniture buying to arranging housing bonds for
SCSN Member ProfileThe Gallery Name: Wendy Scott Employment: Abingdon HIVE So what’s your job? As the HIVE Information Support Officer at Dalton Barracks in Abingdon, I am the main focal point for the Military community. My role is to ensure Serving Personnel and their Dependants are aware of the latest information on the Unit, and from outside agencies. What does that entail? I act as a Confidential Signpost and referral point to other organisations. I provide support and information for both Serving Personnel and families on their arrival at Abingdon and on their departure to their next unit,. This is the main part of my role. I provide information about local schools, SEN provision in the area and also have access to a lot of useful information about Boarding Schools. What does that mean day to day? I Support the Unit during deployments by providing deployment packs for both the person who is deploying and their Families. I attend and present at deployment briefs. Any issues, such as Housing, Schooling, Health, or Financial problems that are presented to the HIVE staff are reported through the chain of command as examples of the kinds of issues that Service families face to both military and civilian organisations. What other agencies do you work with? I attend relevant meetings, such as SCSN, to gather information or publicise the work of HIVE. I work locally with Education Extended Services, the Oxfordshire PCT, Oxfordshire Family Information Services and Surestart, as well as the local Citizens Advice Centre. I maintain daily contact with all three Regiments based at Dalton Barracks as well as the 7 Rifles TA Unit, to ensure up-to-date information is available to Service personnel and their families throughout the Dalton Barracks area.
Under the initiative, additional funds are allocated to schools that have Service children on the School Roll (on a per capita basis) and it is intended that the money will be used to specifically provide extra support for all Service pupils. How can you help ensure that the children in your school receive the best support possible? The Gallery Many Service parents are perhaps understandably concerned that, at this time of significant financial pressure, the money allocated specifically for their children may simply be absorbed into a wider ‘ Th e Pu p il Prem iu m ’ - school budget rather than being used to directly support Service pupils as intended. To ensure this b y J o y O ’ Neil l doesn’t happen, it is in the interest of all ServiceThe ‘Pupil Premium’ – Additional Government parents to engage with and work alongside theirFunding for Service Childrens’ Education child’s school in order to have a say in how these additional funds will be spent.For many years, Service parents have expressed Some schools have introduced additional staffconcern that their children may be disadvantaged training (including bereavement training) to increasebecause, unlike their fellow pupils from non-Service awareness of the pressures of parental deploymentfamilies, they face frequent relocation due to on their pupils. Others have employed additionalpostings (‘transition’ to new schools) and also suffer staff who have responsibility for providing extrathe unique pressures of parental Operational tuition for pupils who have gaps in their academicDeployments. Research supports these concerns knowledge arising from frequent school moves.and suggests that children who are suffering from The provision of additional counselling for Servicestress are less likely to be able to learn effectivelyand may also display challenging behaviour or pupils has also been shown to offer effectiveother emotional upset. solutions to the emotional or behavioural issues that may arise from Service life. A handful of schools have employed a ‘Family Support Worker’The Situation around the Country or ‘Mobility Co-ordinator’, a person whose role incorporates all the initiatives described above andMany Service families have commented that they also supports families and pupils through deployment and transitions.feel that across the majority of the Country, thecomplexities of Service life are not wellunderstood within the wider community and the It is clear that the number of Service pupils within aspecific needs of Service children are often school will determine the amount of additionaloverlooked as a result. I know from personal money allocated to it. Schools which have veryexperience that although some schools and Local small numbers of Service pupils will obviouslyAuthorities are actually very aware of the issues receive less money than one that has a largerfacing Service families and put additional time population of them. However, this should notand money into offering the best support they necessarily prevent them from achieving goodcan for Service children, there are a significant results as it has been proven that by working withnumber of others who do not, either because other schools in the local area that also haveThey are unaware of the Service children Service pupils, it is possible to pool resources andpopulation in their midst or worse, are unsupportive put in place initiatives that provide genuinelyof their specific needs. Indeed, the picture across effective support yet also offer great value forthe Country is quite polarised with some Local money! For example, a Family Support WorkerAuthorities offering specific additional financial or could be employed to support the Service pupilsPractical support to Service pupils , while others within a group of Schools that share the costsappear to be either unable or unwilling to do between them.so, often citing financial constraints as thereason for not doing so. For more information or ideas please contactThe Coalition Government has decided to introduce Joy O’Neill.a ‘Pupil Premium for Service Children’ from 2011.
The Gallery ‘Through the eyes of a RAF Child’ ‘ Th e M il ita ry C h il d Ed u ca tio n C o a l itio n by Emma, Year 11, John Colet School, Wendover. ( M C EC ) C o n f eren ce’ - b y A l ex B o s to ck MCEC is the U S based non-profit organisation Sessions thoroughly explored the theme of New formed to provide advice and assistance with all Normal with professionalism and enthusiasm. aspects of educational and family support in Introducing the 7 Cs of Resilience (competence, collaboration with the Armed Forces of the USA. confidence, connection, character, contribution, Being invited to the MCEC symposium hosted at coping and control) gave the session leaders a the ARRC Joint Visits Bureau raised much curiosity framework based on research by Dr K. R. Ginsburg. within me. The chance to see at first hand the This framework will prove to be particularly valuable headquarters of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps for professionals and families alike. It can provide a was simply too good to miss. The venue and the shared vocabulary with which to address the issues organisation behind the scenes was first class, and and feelings aroused by deployment, and to thanks to Brigadier Allison and his team, the address the notion that families might be better welcome received by all delegates was warm able to take ownership for themselves. Hopefully all indeed. concerned will feel more confident in helping our pupils who can be especially vulnerable at times of What of the conference itself?As the first session stress. got under way it became increasingly clear the MCEC plays a huge and vital role in supporting Leaving the conference with an MCEC bag pupils and families connected to the US Military. generously filled with books, pamphlets and other MCEC figures relate that 2 million military pupils materials, I reflect on the ever continuing need to have schooling throughout the world, and that one support our soldiers, families and schools in this million have been, or are currently, separated from time of high levels of deployment, and how we can one or both parents due to deployment. play a part in giving such support. Recognising the implication of this deployment By Alex Bostock meant that for many families a “New Normal” needed to be coped with became the central Clarendon Junior School, Tidworth, Wiltshire theme of the conference.
When my son joined the school when he was 7 I became a member of the PTA. From 2000-2006 I served as a staff governor which really helped me initially in my role as SENDCo as I was already familiar with policy, the SDP etc. I have been involved in many initiatives over the years including Workforce Reform and the launch of SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) in Wendover/Halton which included running a The Gallery parenting course in partnership with St. Marys Church in Wendover. The role is constantly changing and evolving as schools are now more involved in early intervention programmes including working with families to improve long term outcomes. I often feel scared and out of my depth with the various ‘hats’ and constant demands however one thing I’ve learned over the past 5 years is it doesn’t matter what your ‘position’ is, it’s how you do what you do. Even if you can’t do everything, it shouldn’t stop you doing something which might make a difference. By Sue Wellington ‘ A New R es o urce f o r ‘ W el f a re in W en d o ver’ S up p o rtin g S ervice C h il dren ’ b y S u e W el l in g to n b y R o b ert B ea delMy name is Sue Wellington and I have lived in thebeautiful village of Wendover for almost 12 years All of us find moving a challenge but what if wewith my husband Lester, who is a retired had to move every 3 years, or even every year?Metropolitan Police Officer and now runs this own That is just what many Service children have to dokarate schools throughout Buckinghamshire. I with consequences for their learning, social andhave a daughter Grace who is 14 and is currently emotional development. This is not to say thatin Year 10 at the John Colet School in Wendover. moving is always a negative experience, manyMy son Christopher who is 20 is doing a degree in Service children benefit greatly from the opportunityActing at Drama Centre London. to make new friends and see new places. However, all of us find that that upon arrival in an unfamiliar environment we need to adapt to new routines,I started working at Wendover CE Junior School 11 people and situations.years ago as a teaching assistant workingthroughout the school with children with Special The Educational Psychology Service in partnershipEducational Needs. I was employed for 15 hours with the Transfer Support Team and Halton Schoolper week and my first month’s salary was have developed the ‘Passport’ to help pupils adapt£150! Back then I was the only teaching assistant to their new school. The ‘Passport’ is a collection ofworking at the school, apart from the schools resources and activities to help pupils acquire thewelfare assistant. Gradually the school employed knowledge, skills and understanding they will needmore teaching assistants and today we have 22! to get off to a flying start. It includes 6 sections focused upon welcoming the pupil to the new school, the people they will meet, and importantThe SENCo, who had been at the school for 17 information they will need. The ‘Passport’ isyears, decided to move on and the head teacher intended to build up into a personal record of theasked if I’d take over her role as none of the pupil’s time at the school which can then be takenteachers at the time felt able to take it on. I agreed to the next school promoting a sense of continuityto give it a go. 5 years and a few grey hairs for these highly mobile children.later I’m still doing the job, although now under thenew title of ‘SEND Manager’. (SENDCo’s are nowrequired to have QTS status). I love my job, it is so By Robert Beadelvaried and interesting and I feel privileged to have Chartered Educational Psychologistbeen given such a great opportunity and I have got Educational Psychology Serviceto know so many wonderful people. Buckinghamshire County Council
contacts For more information please contact SCSN By telephone on: 01296 625779 By e-mail at: email@example.com Or visit our website: www.servicechildrensupportnetwork.com Next Issue The Summer Issue will be released SCSN in June 2011 and will contain a report from the May Seminar. An Appeal from the Editor... theseSharing best practice to support newsletters will only be as Service Children informative and interesting as the articles it contains so please consider submitting something for publication. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece of prose, just be of interest to your fellow members! It might describe a particular event you have organised or attended, it might describe work that you have carried out or an issue that you wish to bring to wider attention. We are also pleased to receive examples of work from the Service children in your area, a drawing or piece of poetry related to their lives perhaps. Please submit articles in word format (together with any pictures you want to use) to The Chair. Editorial Note: The views expressed by the contributors to this newsletter are not necessarily those of the Editor, SCSN, the MOD or any other organisation. All precautions are taken to ensure accuracy.