Since April, the number of SCVs for those assigned overseas has doubled. Provision has risen from three return journeys per year to six, enabling children to come home during half-term in addition to the main Easter, summer and Christmas holidays.
The changes have come as part of a package of measures to enhance the overseas offer for Service personnel.
Thrilled families took to AFF’s Facebook page to share their approval, with one poster saying: “Thank you to everyone who is involved with this, it will make a huge difference to us as the flights at half-terms are so expensive. We are very happy.”
SCV flights contribute towards the cost of reuniting Service children with their parents during school holidays. Families posted overseas told AFF that the previous entitlement of three return flights a year was insufficient.
AFF has called for the number of journeys to be increased for some time and ran a survey on the topic earlier this year. More than 300 families completed our survey, with responses received from 32 countries.
Seventy per cent of you thought the current number of SCVs did not meet your need to provide childcare during all the main school holidays, while 88 per cent of you had to pay for additional flights to enable your children to visit you overseas, costing up to £2,000 per year.
The majority of families (70 per cent) thought that there should be enough SCV flights to cover all the main school holidays, including half-terms.
AFF is delighted that the number of SCVs has doubled. Much needed family time can now be spent together during half-term holidays and the new provision more accurately reflects modern boarding school life.
Respondents also commented on flights for full-time university students. AFF recognises that whilst it’s good news that the annual entitlement to one return flight has been reinstated, many would like the number increased. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments.