Shropshire Council

Education, training and employment advice

Training

During your time in the armed forces, you would have received basic and trade training. In some trades the training you receive is widely recognised in ‘civvy street’, for other trades the training is specialised for the military environment. As part of resettlement you may have started retraining for a new career, or you may now be thinking you might like to gain new skills.

The Career Transition Partnership can help you decide what job you'd like to do, and help you work out the best options around education.

The MOD's Enhanced Learning Credits Scheme (ELC) promotes lifelong learning among members of the armed forces. The scheme provides financial support in the form of a single up-front payment in each of a maximum of three separate financial years. ELC funding is only available for pursuit of higher level learning.

Locally, if you'd like to receive support from an organisation not attached to the military, County Training is Shropshire’s largest training provider. With six bases across the county it's a major provider of work-based training.

Education

DIRECTORATE CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE

The Directorate Children and Young People (DCYP) was established in 2010 to provide a single Ministry of Defence (MOD) focus for all issues related to service children and young people.

Service children are the children of serving service personnel, but they also have a responsibility for the children of MOD UK based civilians and sponsored organisations serving outside of the UK.  The work of DCYP falls in to these 6 broad areas of responsibility:

  • strategic direction and policy;
  • provision of high quality education in MOD schools and settings;
  • safeguarding children and young people;
  • supporting the Armed Forces Covenant;
  • direct support and advice to service families with advice on a wide range of education matters;
  • educational psychology and social work services.

For more information on the services that DCYP provide, please visit the following pages:

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

Education in the UK for service children: information regarding aspects of education for service children in the UK, this will vary depending on where they live or may move to.

Higher education for service children: information about higher education for service children including funding, applying for university and top tips.

Childcare for service children: information on childcare for service families within the UK and overseas.

Safeguarding for service children: information about the MOD and who you can contact about the safeguarding of service children.

DCYP and CEAS forms and information provides relevant forms and further information for DCYP and CEAS.

SERVICE PUPIL PREMIUM

The purpose of the Service Pupil Premium (SPP)

State schools, academies and free schools in England, which have children of Service families in school years Reception to Year 11, can receive funding of £300 per year per qualifying Service child.  Schools should not combine SPP with Pupil Premium (PP) and the spending of each premium should be accounted for separately.  However, schools can claim both SPP and PP for the same child – DfE guidance states that if they meet the criteria for both then they are entitled to both. In Shropshire, we have over 900 pupils who are classed as Service children.

Eligibility Criteria

Pupils attract SPP if they meet the following criteria:

  • One of their parents is serving in the regular Armed Forces. Stepchildren of serving personnel are also eligible to receive SPP however, home-educated children are not and children of Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) personnel also do not qualify.
  • They have been registered as a ‘Service child’ on the January census at any point since 2014.
  • One of their parents died whilst serving in the Armed Forces and the pupil receives a pension under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme or the War Pensions Scheme.
  • Pupils with a parent who is on full commitment as part of the Full Time Reserve Service (FTRS) are classed as Service Children.

What can the SPP be used for?

SPP provides pastoral support for Service children, whereas the PP was introduced to raise attainment and to accelerate progress within disadvantaged groups.  Schools have flexibility over how they use the SPP, including the provision of counselling or nurture groups, or to improve communications between the child and their deployed parents.  Some schools have introduced ‘Skype time’ clubs, others encourage children to develop scrapbooks and diaries to show their parents on their return, highlighting achievements and day-to-day school life.  ‘Settling-in’ packs, complete with treasure hunts to help pupils navigate around a new school, have also been produced. 

SPP could cover the staff time required to support the needs of Service children when they join a new school, or when a parent is deployed.  One primary school, in Shropshire, spends some of their SPP on employing a bus escort which facilitates contact and engagement with military families and enables any concerns to be immediately raised with parents.

SPP should not be used to subsidise routine school activities, such as school or class trips, or music lessons.  However, schools can use SPP to fund trips exclusively for Service children, to help build a sense of a wider community and an understanding of the role their Service parent plays. For ideas of best practice including effective, creative and innovative ways in which both primary and secondary schools have used the available funding, please see:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-service-pupil-premium/service-pupil-premium-examples-of-best-practice

Finally, the decision to declare Service status to a school, triggering SPP, is the decision of the child’s parent, not the school. 

For further details see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-service-pupil-premium

Colleges

At college you can study full time during the day, part time during the day or evening, or by distance learning depending on which suits you best. You can study vocational qualifications, A levels or a degree. Colleges in Shropshire include:

Universities

There are two universities in Shropshire:

Both universities provide a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

If you already have a degree, a postgraduate degree could be considered to get more specialised knowledge.

Careers and employment

Coronavirus (Covid19)

On Thursday, 26 March, the Chancellor announced a new Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) to support those whose income has been negatively impacted by coronavirus.  The scheme will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

For more information and guidance on the SEIS Scheme, click on the link here: https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/self-employment-income-support-scheme/ and https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme.

  • This scheme is being delivered by HMRC.
  • HMRC will contact eligible customers directly once the scheme is operational – customers should not be advised to contact HMRC now;
  • The Grant will be paid directly into the eligible customers’ bank account;
  • Grants are expected to start to be paid out by the beginning of June 2020.

The SEIS Scheme will be treated as earnings in Universal Credit. A customer’s Universal Credit payment will adjust in response to changes in their earnings.

If you need financial help whilst waiting for SEISS, you should check your eligibility to claim Universal Credit here: https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit/eligibility.

More information is available on the Understanding Universal Credit website: https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/

Forces Families Jobs

Forces Families Jobs is the go-to place for training and employment for family members of currently serving UK military personnel.  You can apply for jobs and access employment and training opportunities with companies and organisations who are forces family friendly. You can also use the website with confidence in knowing that employers have signed the Armed Forces Covenant or are able to demonstrate their commitment to the Armed Forces. 

This is your gateway to accessing information about acquiring new skills, upgrading your existing skills or applying directly to employers who are understanding of the unique challenges that come with being a family member of a serving person.

Veterans with military experience have unique and transferable skills. There are a number of organisations that can help sell those skills to potential civvy employers.

Mears Shropshire Home Services is the home improvement agency serving the county of Shropshire. It delivers a range of services designed to promote and maintain independent living for older, vulnerable or disabled people in Shropshire.

Mears offers those leaving the services and venturing into 'civvy street' the opportunity of work placements to shadow the small repairs technicians in the field to learn new basic skills, or office-based staff to learn the various business roles that are fundamental to the day-to-day operation of any organisation.

In addition to this, general manager John Simcox would be willing to assist with CV writing, mock interviews and advice on how to approach vacancies and job applications to assist transitioning or former military personnel in finding gainful employment. Contact John at John.Simcox@mearsgroup.co.uk or call 01743 458332.

Jobcentre Plus

Contact Jobcentre Plus to find a job, change an appointment, check an existing claim or make a new claim or complaint.

Civvy Street

CivvyStreet provides help for ex-service personnel looking for employment. It holds lists of job vacancies and can help with writing a CV, amongst other support.

Lifeworks

Lifeworks is a fully funded five-day course which equips ex-armed forces personnel with the tools to get into and maintain a civilian job.

Troops to Teachers

As an Armed Forces veteran, you can bring invaluable skills and experiences to the classroom by training to teach and you could benefit from a tax-free bursary of £40,000.

From September 2018, this bursary will be available to eligible veterans who study for an undergraduate degree with qualified teacher status (QTS) in England, in secondary biology, physics, chemistry, computing, maths or modern foreign languages.  

To be eligible for the bursary, you must:

  • not already have a undergraduate degree;
  • have left full time employment from the British Army, Royal Air Force or Royal Navy no more than 5 years before the start of the course;
  • be entitled to support under the Student Finance England eligibility criteria.

Your eligibility will be assessed by your training provider and they will pay the bursary to you directly. With or without the bursary, you can apply for a tuition fee and maintenance loan for the duration of the course.  The bursary will be paid in 10 equal monthly instalments of £2,000, from October to July during the final two years of the course. You’re advised to confirm the actual payment schedule with your teacher training provider.

These payments are not taxable but might be included as part of your capital income if you receive state benefits. Contact your local benefits office to find out how this might affect your situation.

For more information and to search for undergraduate initial teacher training courses visit UCAS.

Poppy Factory Team

The Poppy Factory Team specialises in getting injured service personnel back to work.

Access to Work

Access to Work is a government funded programme available to support service leavers who have been medically discharged and disabled veterans to get back to work.

Starting your own business

Instead of being employed, have you ever considered starting your own business? Military veterans are being encouraged to use their unique skills and experiences to start their own business and become self-employed. There are many benefits in working for yourself, but it's not an easy journey. The Gov.UK website has information on self-employment.

The Royal British Legion provides ex-service personnel with financial help in starting a business.

The Princes Trust – Help For Heroes helps injured, wounded and sick ex-military personnel under the age of 30 to take part in tailored secondments with the trust’s team programme. These programmes give ex-military personnel who have been injured in recent conflicts new skills to sell to potential employers and enhance CVs.

X Forces supports veterans in their endeavours to start their own business, from business finance to training and mentorship.