If you have a question about your children’s education and Army life, the Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS) is on hand to help. We caught up with Anna, part of the CEAS team, to find out more…
What is CEAS?
It’s part of the MOD’s Directorate of Children and Young People, which is the lead for all matters relating to children and young people across all three Services. CEAS has a small, friendly team consisting of teachers employed as parent support officers and civil servants working as advisers.
What does CEAS do?
We cover a whole range of issues, from advice about state school admissions through to guidance on overseas allowances. No two enquiries are the same and because we aren’t a large team, generally there are only one or two advisers on duty each day, we all get to deal with everything as it comes in.
Is it a busy team?
Incredibly so! We average about 100 queries per day, but each of those may take a good few hours to deal with so we take turns on the enquiry line. It’s much clearer if you email your issues so we can take them away and deal with them, especially complex queries.
What do you mean by complex?
Well, today I’ve spoken to a mum who was really distressed as her child might be excluded from boarding school. Some of our parents are very upset by the time they get in touch so we need to understand what they are asking and also be emotionally supportive – it can be complicated.
Is every contact like that?
We get lots of routine queries, such as questions about Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA). But we can deal with things such as a Service parent needing to retain their SFA for a child to finish their GCSEs for example. A lot of these issues are tricky and CEAS can advise, but we’re not the decision makers – we are here to help as much as we can.
What do you do around Special Educational Needs (SEN)?
We run the SEN registration system and advise parents as they try and make sense of SEN wherever they are in the world. The general message is that if something doesn’t seem right then you can always ask for advice from CEAS.