Welsh Conservative Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education and Children, Darren Millar, has welcomed a UK Government announcement boosting financial support for children from military families by £5 million over the next two years.
The Education Support Fund (ESF) was introduced in 2011 as a Ministry of Defence (MOD) fund to supplement the provisions made by the relevant educational authorities across the UK to mitigate the adverse effects of family mobility and parental absence on the children of Service personnel. The fund is not set to continue for a further two years.
Darren Millar AM, who also chairs the Cross Party Group on the Armed Forces and Cadets in the National Assembly for Wales, said:
“I welcome the UK Government’s announcement of extra cash to support the education of children from Service families.
“It is imperative that any dividend subsequently received by the Welsh Government as a result of the extension of the Education Support Fund is used to support Service children in Welsh schools.
“In addition to this support, I urge the Welsh Labour-led Government to follow the UK Government’s example and establish a Service Pupil Premium here in Wales.
“A Service Pupil Premium would go a long way in supporting those children who face disadvantage as a result of their parents service in the armed forces due to frequent relocation or the impact of active service.
“Our armed forces personnel do so much for us – the very least we can do is to honour the our Covenant with them by ensuring that they and their families get the support they deserve.”