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Exciting collaboration helps bring Thriving Lives to young people

The Service Children’s Progression (SCiP) Alliance and six Uni Connect Partnerships including the Southern Universities Network (SUN) have developed a brand new toolkit to support young people from Armed Forces families in their journey to higher education.

The Thriving Lives Toolkit includes CPD sessions for education professionals which will be delivered to teaching staff by the SUN team, and will provide schools with information and resources to support young people from Armed Forces families.

This support is vital as the children of Armed Forces personnel are known to be underrepresented at higher education, and schools are not always fully equipped to support these young people to progress through their education due to the complex interplay of factors such as mobility, separation and transition.

The toolkit provides schools with a framework of seven principles through which to reflect on their practice and a set of CPD resources. Underpinned by rigorous research, each section of the toolkit consists of an introductory animation, a detailed resource for schools and some case studies. The toolkit can be viewed here.

The partnership work between SUN and the SCiP Alliance seeks to address this and to upskill schools across the SUN region to support the Service children in their care through utilising the Thriving Lives toolkit. 

The SCiP Alliance and the SUN first began to collaborate in June 2018 and the benefits and opportunities to this collaboration are evident. The premise behind the Uni Connect programme, of which the SUN is a part of, is to provide support to young people from particular geographical areas where progression onto higher education is low, through targeted outreach activities. The SUN focuses on offering sustained outreach to support young people to progress onto any form of Level 4 education, fostering collaboration with partnerships wherever possible.

Similarly, the work of the SCiP Alliance focuses on a sustained and progressive approach that enables young people to make informed decisions and confident transitions through their education journey and beyond. Supported by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), the SCiP Alliance’s Mission is to ‘support education practitioners to champion the progression of the children of military personnel, so that they can make informed and confident transitions through further and higher education into thriving adult lives and careers. Further details can be found on the SCiP Alliance website.

SUN covers the geographical region of Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight, encompassing a high population of Service children across a vast number of schools.  Within these schools, there is a noticeable disparity between staff who are fully aware of and proactively support the Service children within their school, and staff in other schools who are unaware that they have Service children within their school, and would welcome guidance on how they may be able to support them.