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Grants and Funding


MOD Education Support Fund

10 June 2021/Categories: Grants_and_Funding

Grants are available to publicly funded schools, academies and free schools throughout the UK to mitigate the effects of significant mobility and/or deployment of their service communities.

Fund Information

Funding body:
Ministry of Defence
Maximum value:
Application deadline:


In 2011 the Ministry of Defence’s Education Support Fund (formerly the Support Fund for State Schools with Service Children) was launched. The Fund has been made available to assist publicly funded schools, academies and free schools throughout the UK, to mitigate the effects of mobility or deployment of their Service communities.

Objectives of Fund

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is providing the Education Support Fund (ESF) to help mitigate the effects of significant mobility and/or deployment of service communities.

Schools are a critical part of supporting service families. Children may have to change school when a service parent is posted or the school may support a pupil when a parent is absent for long periods of time. This fund is available to support schools in embedding practices that can benefit the service children and their school.

The fund is different from the Armed Forces Community Covenant Grant Scheme which is open to a wider variety of organisations and seeks to forge closer ties between Military and local communities.

It is also different to the Service Pupil Premium, which is provided to schools in England by the Department for Education in respect of children of serving members of the armed forces.

Value Notes

The maximum amount of funding an applicant can request is not stipulated.

Who Can Apply

Eligible applicants:

  • Maintained Schools
  • Academies
  • Free School
  • 6th form colleges
  • Groups of any schools described above (referred to as ‘Cluster bids’ - these are strongly encouraged)
  • Local authorities on behalf of the publicly funded schools in their area.

If applying as a cluster an individual school can also submit their own separate bid, provided it is for a different initiative (no double bidding allowed).

Schools must be subject to either significant mobility of Service children or have Service children whose parents are subject to deployments.


The following are not eligible to apply:

  • Childcare providers
  • Colleges of higher education or further education
  • Commercial organisations or those that would seek to charge for their solution to be provided to a school, for example an organisation could not be awarded a grant to develop a training course which it then charged schools to attend.

The Fund cannot be used for infrastructure projects. Contributions to smaller scale refurbishments, such as adapting current spaces, and indoor or outdoor equipment are acceptable.

Eligible Expenditure

Because this is the final year of the fund, bids that show long-term impact and exchange of knowledge between school staff and between schools will be particularly welcome.

The MOD are seeking bids that will equip Service children with the skills to cope with significant mobility and deployment throughout their schooling as well as bids which deal with the here and now challenges faced by schools.

Implications of Mobility on Service Children, Families and Schools

Service Personnel often need to move for career and strategic reasons. They may move as individual families (known as ‘trickle posting’), typically every 2 to 3 years or as whole Unit moves. Service children may have changed schools several times and it is important to understand the history of that child and seek information from the previous school. They can bring experiences of living in different locations and add a richness and interest to a school’s community which should be embraced. There may be gaps in learning, differences in curriculum covered (especially if they come from different devolved region or overseas) or they may have SEND/ASN. Early assessment of the child is key. Individual children may take time to settle in and classes that have high levels of mobility may find it disruptive. Parents may need encouragement to become engaged with the school and be less inclined to participate in the extra activities as they are unfamiliar. Knowing that the school understands and caters for Service children’s needs can be a great comfort to parents. Schools may have added administrative burden or funding gaps because of fluctuating numbers.

Implications of Deployment on Service Children, Families and Schools

Deployments can be anything from a month to up to 12 months and can place a strain on family life and have an impact on the education and wellbeing of children. Parents must feel able to inform schools of any upcoming deployments so that the school can effectively assist the child with the challenges. Each child will have a unique way of dealing with or responding to the deployment. Schools can help children and parents through these periods in several different ways. Awareness, planning and communication are key. The Service person may have increased periods away before deployment for training, they may come home for a short period of Rest and Recuperation (R&R) mid way through the deployment and finally after the homecoming they will have a period of post operational leave. Each period can be disruptive to the family routine and can unsettle the child. Schools may wish to help children keep in touch with the parent or have a named member of staff whom the child can talk to.

How To Apply

The 2022 ESF is open to applications until the deadline of 30 September 2021.

Applications from England, Scotland and Wales should be forwarded to [email protected].

Applications from Northern Ireland should be forwarded to [email protected].

Applicants in Scotland should contact the National Transition Officer [email protected] in the first instance.

Applicants in Wales should contact SSCE Cymru at [email protected] in the first instance.

Useful documents & links

Useful Links

Addresses and contacts

For further information on how to obtain this grant locally, please contact the following:

  1. Directorate Children and Young People
    Ministry of Defence
    Room 222
    Old War Office
    SW1A 2EU
    Tel: 087 0607 4455
    Email: [email protected]

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