Posting overseas and children

We know that moving home can be unsettling for anyone, children included. As a member of the Armed Forces your children are as much our priority as you are.

To help your posting go smoothly there’s help at hand to help your child(ren) move too, from the Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS) and the Service Children’s Education (SCE).

Children's Education Advisory Service (CEAS)

CEAS provides information and advice as well as supporting parents at meetings with UK schools, local authorities, at tribunal etc. No question is too small or too large for them to deal with. If they don't know the answer they usually know someone who does. You can contact them by phone, fax or email – see for details.

Schools overseas

If you’re posted overseas, there’s likely to be Service Children’s Education (SCE) primary and secondary schools, and you’ll be expected to use one of those schools. They cover from Foundation Stage through to sixth form and follow the National Curriculum (England). See the SCE website for information on what’s available where you’re posted.

In Extra Command Areas (ECAs) and Isolated Detachments (ISODETs) overseas, there probably won’t be an SCE school. In this case get advice on the educational options available from the person who you’re replacing at post or the Commanding Officer of the receiving unit, but in every case the Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS) should be able to help. 

Nursery education

All three and four year olds are entitled to 15 hours of free nursery education for 38 weeks of the year. Families living in isolated detachments, where access to SCE provision is not available, may be able to claim a Nursery ISODET Allowance. Get the explanatory leaflet 'The Foundation Stage - information for claimants' from your local HIVE. You can also contact CEAS for more information.

Boarding in the UK

Children who live beyond daily travelling distance of an SCE secondary school may attend boarding education at one of SCE's Secondary Boarding Schools. SCE has boarding houses at Prince Rupert School, King’s School, and Windsor School.

Admission to boarding is subject to the parent’s written agreement to accept a range of responsibilities. Boarding is free of charge except for payment of a Home Savings Contribution, details of which are available from the HQ SCE School Budget Manager. See the SCE website for more information.

If you prefer to have your child(ren) continue their education in the UK and your spouse wants to accompany you overseas, you may be eligble for an allowance called the ‘Continuity of Education Allowance’ (CEA). It is available for children 8 years and over. Find out more on and check your eligibility with your pay office.

Last reviewed: 19/09/2017