Individual grants

Armed Forces Education Trust exists to help ease the difficulties that sometimes happen with the education of children of members of the Armed Forces as a result of their parents’ service. The Trust believes the education of children and young people is a vital part of their lives and our society, and that no child should miss out.

An individual grant is a grant awarded to an individual child who needs funds to support his or her education.

Our impact

In the last five years we have given individual grants of over £1.1 million to support service children and young people

We have given continuity to service children to enable them to complete their GCSEs or A-Levels at their current school when their parent(s) left the Armed Services and Continued Education Allowance stopped

We have paid for specialist support for children with special educational needs where frequent moves has hampered the provision of this support

Success Stories

Frequently asked questions

Most grant applications, unless urgent, are reviewed at our quarterly grants meetings.  The key dates are as follows:

  • Closing date for applications each term: 15 January / 1 April / 15 May /  1 October
  • Allocate funding and notify applicants by: End February / Mid May / End June/ End October

In exceptional circumstances, we can make a grant in between grant meetings.

Click here to confirm that you are eligible to apply for an individual grant prior to submitting an application form.

No. We receive a large number of applications from eligible parents and sadly are not able to help them all. The Trustees review all applications at the termly grants meetings to decide on grant allocations.

In addition to means-testing applicants, we take into account a range of criteria including for example: Are you able to describe the impact on the child of their parents’ service? Are either parent still serving? How long did the qualifying person serve in the Forces and how long ago did they leave? Has any injury while serving impacted their ability to work?

Please do note that the final decision on who receives grants is at the absolute discretion of the Trustees.

There must be a link between Service disadvantage and the need for support for university costs for us to consider a grant for this purpose. We would only consider an application for fees for tertiary education where a loan is not available.  In such cases, we may consider a grant for years 2 and 3. This allows us to ensure that you are committed to your studies by passing successfully through your first year at university.

In some circumstances, the Trust may support accommodation-related charges where a maintenance grant is not available or insufficient, but this will be on a means-tested basis and, again, must be related to disadvantage due to the parent’s military service.

The amount of the grant award is primarily influenced by the extent of need.  Each case is assessed on its own merits and awards are made accordingly, subject to the Trust’s ability to fund these within the context of what is viable within its overall budget.  It is recognised that judgements about what sacrifices a family should make to pay school fees will be personal.  However, the Trust has a duty to ensure that all grants are well focused and so, as well as current earnings, other factors which will be considered in determining the necessary level of grant will include:

  • The ability to improve the financial position or earning power of the family. For example, where there are two partners, both would be expected to be employed unless one is prevented from doing so through incapacity, the need to care for children under school age or other dependents, or the requirements of their partner’s work.
  • Opportunities to release any capital. Significant capital savings and investments would be expected to be used for the payment of school fees, as would equity values in houses.
  • Although there are no set limits for family income Trustees would not usually award a bursary if the family income is over £50,000 per year, or there is a large value of savings/ investments or capital in family property. (Family income includes maintenance payments, partner’s income if relevant, benefits, pensions, rental income from additional properties etc).
  • In cases of separation, the contribution made by the absent parent.
  • Contribution to household costs by other, wider, family members, any adults unrelated to the child or by outside sources.
  • Where fees are being paid to other schools (or universities) the grant will take into account all these outgoings.
  • Acknowledging that others might have a different view, the Trustees consider that the following would not be consistent with the receipt of a grant:
    • Frequent or expensive holidays.
    • New or luxury cars.
    • Investment in significant home improvements.
    • A second property/land holdings.

If the grant is for a child over the age of 18 we would also ask for details of their income.

If the parents’ or guardians’ financial circumstances do not change, we will always aim to make our grants available to allow a child to complete the full period at school (or college) up to the next obvious break ie to end of GSCEs or A’Levels. However, please note that the means testing is an annual requirement, so if parents or guardians are able to contribute to fees at a later date, they will be expected to do so.

No. Continued Education Allowance (for boarding school) is paid up to a maximum value with parents being expected to pay a minimum of 10% of the fees plus any excess. However, the Trustees may consider an application for other specific education related costs not covered by CEA.

Serving parents are generally able to anticipate the effect of their leaving the service on the education of their children and thus make arrangements for the continuation of their education. The Trust does appreciate however that at times this is not possible, particularly when unforeseen circumstances cause an end to a service career, and also when children are in an important / exam year when their parent leaves. In these situations, the Trustees may consider an application for short term support up to the original CEA element.

If you’re not sure about CEA rules you should refer to JSP 752. PACCC casework will be required for anything not adhering to policy.

If you are leaving at end of service JSP 752 states: the final payment will be in respect of the academic term which includes the claimants last day of service ( 14.0120)

If you are being medically discharged or in the case of death of the service parent,  JSP 752 states CEA is paid until the end of a stage of education or up to 2 full terms whichever is the longer – can include public examinations(14.0121)

In the case of marital breakup, eligibility to claim CEA and change of PSTAT are all set out in JSP 752 chapter 14. Personnel can claim CEA for step-children if they determine that they are the prime mover and that the children have residency with them. If they split up then if the child is no longer resident with them they cannot continue to claim. There may be dispensation to continue if the child is in GCSE or A-level years subject to casework to the PACCC.

Yes. Sometimes Parents apply for CEA and for whatever reason it is refused. If this is the case, we would expect you to have made an appeal to CEAS/DCYP before applying for a grant and would ask to see the details of the CEA refusal.

As long as you have served in one of HM Armed Forces as either a regular or reservist, you can apply. But you will need to demonstrate that the education of the child on whose behalf you are applying has been affected in some way by your service and that education facilities where you now live cannot meet their needs as a result. If the child was born or reached school age after you left the Services, a grant is likely to be made only in the most exceptional circumstances.

While of course sympathising with such difficulties, the Trust will only consider grants in such cases where it is clear that the child’s needs cannot be met from existing resources, or that there are particular reasons why health or education provision cannot do so, due to the parent’s situation as a Service person.

In exceptional circumstances, we will consider additional requests for expenses (up to an agreed limit). However, we are not able to make payments directly to the individual / family in receipt of a grant.

We pay fees direct to the school or university/college or other education provider concerned by BACS. We are not able to make payments directly to the individual / family in receipt of a grant.

Applying for a individual grant

The first step is to answer a few short questions about your child’s situation. If your child meets the application criteria you will be asked complete a second form with your personal details, contact information and a brief summary of the nature of your enquiry. We will then contact you to discuss the best way forward which may be to invite you to complete an online, means-tested, application. Once the completed application and supporting documents have been received, it will be considered by the Trust at the next Trustees' meeting or sooner if the need is time critical. We will contact you if we need any more information and will keep you up to date with progress.

See if your child may be eligible