Council launches welcome pack for Armed Forces families

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Published Date: 

22 Sep 2015 - 10:59

Armed Forces families moving to Helensburgh and Lomond are to receive a warm welcome in the shape of a welcome booklet from Argyll and Bute Council’s education service that will provide vital information about schools and early learning and child care provision in the area.

The booklet was collated by Service Pupil Advisor, Davina Blair, who works with children and parents from armed forces families. Davina’s post and the welcome book have both been funded by the MOD Education Fund and will provide families with critical advice on the transition to the Scottish education system, a detailed explanation of how our age 3-18 education system works and how to identify their catchment school. It also provides a guide on how parents can enrol their child, even when they are awaiting allocation of service family accommodation.

The booklet has been written with extensive consultation from existing parents from Armed Forces families in the area who have moved to Scotland from England or abroad. It will be widely publicised and hard copies will be distributed to families who make contact with schools in the area. Hard copies will also be given to base port areas for families to access prior to moving, as well as the Royal Navy Welfare Team based in Helensburgh. Electronic copies will be available shortly on Argyll and Bute Council’s website by logging on to

Her Majesty’s Naval Base (HMNB) Clyde is home to the UK submarine fleet and senior officer for the Royal Navy in Scotland. Helensburgh and Lomond has the highest concentration of Armed Forces families in Scotland. This figure is expected to increase due to the recent announcement by the UK Chancellor of an extra £500 million of funding for HMNB Clyde.

The Council’s Armed Forces and Veterans Champion, Councillor Maurice Corry welcomed the booklet, “This information will be extremely valuable for service families moving to the area and will provide parents with valuable information about how the Scottish education systems operates, and ease the transition for them.

“HMNB is to become the single integrated operating base for submarines which will result in personnel rising to 8,200 by 2020. This will have a massive effect on the number of submariner families moving to the area from Plymouth. Royal Marines currently stationed in Plymouth, Taunton, Poole and Arbroath could also be asked to serve at HMNB Clyde.

“This welcome booklet is a great initiative by the Council and those involved in establishing it are to be congratulated.”

A parent from an Armed Forces family said, “I like the fact that school contact details, catchment areas and links to websites are included in the book. It is so helpful to have all this information together to look into, rather than having to search yourself and possibly miss important information.”

Another parent added, “It’s very informative and I like the comparison tables of the different education systems; they are very helpful. There are often questions about what year children will go into on the forces Facebook pages."