Skip to main content

Service Personnel Families: Pupil Premium

Volume 666: debated on Monday 21 October 2019

11. What steps he is taking with the Secretary of State for Education to ensure that armed forces personnel with children eligible for the service pupil premium inform their child’s school of that eligibility. (900011)

I have already met the Schools Minister on this issue. We work hard to get the message out there through payslips, posters and an advertisement campaign. We can all, as MPs, play a role in making sure the families of those who serve receive the benefits they are entitled to.

There are over 400 serving armed forces personnel in the Wakefield district, and they make a huge contribution to our nation’s defence, but there are concerns from the Army Families Federation that the service pupil premium is not being used properly by schools to improve pastoral outcomes for service children. What discussions has the Minister had with schools on guidance?

I am very keen that the service pupil premium is used in the way that it has been designed for—pastoral care and things like that—and if the hon. Lady has evidence that that is not taking place, I invite her to write to me and we can look into it.

When the Minister next comes to visit the Royal Military College in Shrivenham in my constituency, will he pop into Watchfield primary school, where he will see a brilliant primary school that educates children from all over the world—the children of those of many nationalities who study at the military defence college—and when he gets back will he ask the Secretary State why the Ministry of Defence gives no financial help to this primary school for the language teaching it has to do for those children?

I pay tribute to the school in question, which does a great job of looking after the children of those who come and serve at Shrivenham, and I am more than happy to look into the case my right hon. Friend raises.