Funding from the Scottish Children’s Lottery Chance to Study Fund Supports RCET’s Education Programme During the Pandemic

Funding from the Scottish Children’s Lottery’s Chance to Study Fund has enabled Royal Caledonian Education Trust’s Education Programme to successfully support Armed Forces children and young people overcome unique challenges to education and learning, despite ongoing COVID-19 restrictions to face-to-face engagement.

The charity’s Education Programme enables children and young people, from serving personnel and veteran families, to reach their full potential when it comes to education and learning as well as support progression into employment or further education. Despite the many challenges presented by the COVID-19 Pandemic, Royal Caledonian Education Trust’s Education Programme has delivered a range of outcomes.

Creative Force

Restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic prevented delivery of face-to-face engagement as a means to bring Armed Forces young people onto university campuses for a series of activities to help inspire academic aspiration. Royal Caledonian Education Trust’s Education Programme successfully worked in partnership with Abertay and Strathclyde Universities, as well as the Service Children’s Progression Alliance, to develop an alternative plan to support Armed Forces young people develop academic aspiration.

Three short social media videos were developed, via the partnership, which served to highlight how unique experiences and skills gained by Armed Forces young people will serve as strengths to adapting to student life and successfully achieving a degree qualification. The videos will feature on the websites of partnership organisation and a series of social media campaigns will launch to raise awareness and encourage greater numbers of Armed Forces young people to consider pathways towards higher education.

E-Learning Platform

RCET’s Education Manager, Moira Leslie, and National Transitions Officer, Carolyn MacLeod, worked in partnership with Education Scotland to successfully develop an eight-step Professional E-Learning Platform, which is designed for professionals who have an interest or responsibility for supporting Armed Forces children and young people at any level of their academic pathway towards positive futures. The platform is currently in its final production stage and the launch of the Professional E-Learning Platform is anticipated in later summer 2021.

Advisory Service

In October 2020, RCET launched a publication of partners and stakeholders as well as a dedicated Advisory Service telephone number in response to the increasing number of requests for advice on a range of issues from individuals and organisations. Requests included advice on resources, training, coping with separation when a parent is working away from home, funding, transitions, additional support needs and many more.

“The RCET Advisory service was hugely helpful with my inquiries. As a University student, I was writing an assignment upon service children in education. The excellent insight and expertise provided by the Advisory service was significantly useful for my research. The Education Manager also kindly sent me some resources and handouts that have since caused productive conversations amongst my colleagues and peers on how best to support service children. I am hugely grateful to the advisory service for their assistance and support.”

Resource Boxes

RCET produced and distributed a total of five Resource Boxes to Drumfork, Clyde and Lossiemouth nurseries as well as Scots Corner Library and the Army Welfare Service in Penicuik.

The Resource Boxes have provided an invaluable resource for professionals who work with Armed Forces children and young people to enable them to better understand and support many crucial transitional points in their lives.

Teen Talks Resource

The original plan was to produce two Teen Talks leaflets, which included one for pre-teens and one for transitions. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, engagement within schools for the transitions leaflet was no longer possible. Permission was sought and granted to develop an alternative, tri–service project to produce a Teeny Talks Leaflet as well as continue our preparatory work for the transitions leaflet. The transitions leaflet is now on track for publication in 2021/22.

If you would like to find out more about the Education Programme, please contact Moira Leslie edprogofficer@rcet.org.uk or telephone 0131 322 7350.