Today on Armed Forces Day, WLGA are proud to announce the launch of Armed Forces Friendly Schools Cymru, a status given to schools to recognise their commitment to supporting service children, as well as their achievement engaging with the Armed Forces community.
There are three levels of awards for schools to work towards, gold, silver and bronze. Schools in Wales will be expected to complete the following three steps throughout the process to achieve the status;
Appoint Service children as SSCE Cymru ambassadors and have a key member of staff to become the Service Children School Champions;
Develop an understanding of Service children and their needs by completing the SSCE Cymru CPD/e-learning;
Engage with SSCE Cymru and the Armed Forces Community.
Six schools have already been awarded with bronze status across different regions, with more to follow. On Monday 6 June, the Education Minister, Jeremy Miles visited the first school to be awarded, Mount Street Junior school in Brecon, along with Brigadier Dawes, the Army Commander for Wales, to present the school with a bronze certificate.
When a school is awarded Armed Forces Friendly School status, they will be awarded with a certificate, a trophy, and a digital logo to use on the school website and email signatures, to celebrate their achievement and demonstrate their commitment to the Armed Forces community:
WLGA Leader, Andrew Morgan said
“The launch of Armed Forces Friendly Schools Cymru has been a huge success and a fantastic way to recognise the growing collaboration between education and the Armed Forces community.
“The SSCE Cymru team work closely with school across Wales to support them in understanding the needs of service children, celebrating their experiences and engaging with the Armed Forces.
“Congratulations to the six schools on being the first schools in Wales to achieve their Bronze status’. This achievement is well deserved, and we look forward to sharing examples of their good practice with many more schools in Wales. We also look forward to awarding more schools with the status.”
Brigadier Andrew Dawes CBE, Head of the Army in Wales, said: "On behalf of the military community based or settled in Wales, I'm thrilled that this scheme recognises the vital support our children receive in the wonderful schools that we are blessed with right across Wales.”
Also on Armed Forces Day, the Welsh Government has announced the continuation of the Armed Forces Free Swimming scheme.
The scheme enables serving members of the Armed Forces and Veterans to swim for free at participating leisure centres and pools, using their Defence Privilege Card.
The Armed Forces Free Swimming Scheme (AFFS) was first introduced in 2016 and represents the continued commitment to provide the Armed Forces community with access to services which meet their specific needs and recognise the service they have given to their country.
Notes to Editors:
To find out more about the award please visit: SSCE Cymru :: Armed Forces Friendly Schools
The free swimming scheme is being provided only to Veterans and members of the Armed Forces who reside in Wales.
On their first visit to access their free swim, all eligible Armed Forces personnel and Veterans will be required to produce their Defence Privilege Card and where necessary, to complete an application form for a ‘leisure card’ which is commonly used by the leisure centre to control, monitor and record usage of the facility.