The Thriving Lives Toolkit interactive platform developed by the SCiP Alliance in partnership with the Office for Students Uni Connect Programme and The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust was launched this week.
The Thriving Lives Toolkit is a free evidence-based framework of seven principles to assess, develop and implement a support structure to best allow Service children to thrive.
Underpinned by rigorous research and thoroughly tested in school, the free Thriving Lives Toolkit provides schools with a framework of 7 principles through which to reflect on their practice in supporting Service children and a 3-tier set of CPD resources. The resources in the toolkit have been developed in collaboration with a range of partners across the UK and consist of an introductory animation; a detailed resource introducing the evidence base, what schools can do to support their Service children and who can help; and school case studies.
Now available in an online interactive platform, schools can register for the Thriving Lives Toolkit to evaluate their level of support for students from military families as well as set actionable goals to achieve as they increase their work towards the 7 key principles of effective support laid out in the toolkit.
The seven key principles are:
- Our approach is clear: Leaders’ understanding and approach ensure resources and policies improve Service children’s outcomes;
- Wellbeing is supported: Tailored pastoral provision supports Service children‘s mental health and wellbeing;
- Achievement is maximized: Teaching, assessment and support ensure the continuity of Service children’s learning and progression;
- Transition is effective: Systems and support ensure seamless transitions for Service children arriving at and leaving school;
- Children are heard: Service children’s diverse voices are heard and inform the support they receive;
- Parents are engaged: Strong home-school partnerships help Service families feel valued as part of the school community;
- Staff are well-informed: Supportive training and networks ensure all staff understand and support each Service child.
The Thriving Lives Toolkit online platform allows schools to reflect on their practice, update their progress in supporting their Service children, and gain insight into evidence-based guidance for helping children of armed forces personnel and veterans to improve their educational progression. The platform’s user-friendly interface allows multiple members of staff to access the school’s record and chart progress and goals without requiring additional software training or knowledge.
A Service child is defined by the SCiP Alliance as ‘a person whose parent or carer serves in the Regular Armed Forces, or as a Reservist, or has done at any point during the first 25 years of that person’s life’. Children can benefit from life in a military family, but they are under-represented in higher education, may not always achieve as highly as their peers and can experience hidden mental health and well-being challenges. Service children can experience disrupted schooling and challenges with access to extra-curricular activities and with the curriculum when transitioning between schools. Service families may move frequently, with little agency and at short notice and many experience frequent separation, anxiety during deployment and the stress of transition out of the military, all which may have complex impacts on children and young people.
About SCiP Alliance
The Service Children’s Progression (SCiP) Alliance is a partnership of organisations focused on improving outcomes for children from military families. It is hosted by the University of Winchester and supported by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). Their mission is to bring together practitioners, researchers, policymakers and funders to build a stronger evidence-base, better policy, and enhanced support for Service children’s education and progression. The SCiP Alliance pursues this mission by leading collaborative work to develop a robust evidence base, connect and support practitioners and influence the policy environment.
To access the Thriving Lives Toolkit online interactive platform, visit: https://thrivinglives.scipalliance.org