By Aileen Maclennan
Argyll and Bute Council has put a range of success measures in place to support families and pupils from an armed forces background.
The report was presented to the Council’s Community Services Committee today, and outlined a range of initiatives that provide support for around 680 children from armed forces families in primary and secondary schools across Helensburgh and Lomond.
The Clyde Naval Base at Faslane and Coulport accommodates both the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines.
The Council initiatives include:
- Employment of a Service Pupil Advisor and a Pupil Support Teacher to assist young people from armed forces families
- Staff support for young people settling into new schools and for pupils moving between different schools
- Early years and primary school support – the Story Sacks initiative provides books to encourage discussions on topics such as moving house, starting a new school and making new friends
- A Council partnership with Reading Force provides all pre-schools and nurseries attended by armed forces and veterans’ children with Early Years packs with a wide range of specialist picture books and scrapbooks
- Forces Children Scotland receive funding from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust to deliver the Your Mind Matters project which offers mental health and well-being services for young people
- The Seasons for Growth programme promotes works on the well- being of children and young people coping with loss, separation and change in their lives
- The Professional Learning Community group, which includes staff from schools, the third sector and representatives from the armed forces community , meet several times a year to discuss a range of social, emotional and educational issues affecting youngsters from armed forces families
The Council’s Policy Lead for Education, Councillor Yvonne McNeilly, said: “The long-standing presence of our armed forces in Argyll and Bute is something we are particularly proud of and forces’ staff and their families make a significant contribution to the success and prosperity of Helensburgh and Lomond and to the local economy as a whole.
“We are committed to delivering, through our local schools, funding and initiatives which provide the support needed to ensure young people from an armed forces background continue to thrive in our communities.”