Education Research

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    Is anybody currently conducting research into education within a military context? Would be really interested to hear more, as I am definitely in support of education as a powerful tool for changing lives, but have to say I don’t know a great deal about it in relation to the military. Apart from what I assume is the obvious, that the possible need for regular upheaval and having to move around means a break in the continuity of education and having to change schools/institutions, what are the issues being faced that require research?


    Jim McDermott
    Education & Training Expert
    Perception & Communication

    Hi Kristina, just seen your post. Can you clarify please; are you speaking of the education of serving personnel or the dependants thereof.


    Hi Jim,

    Thanks for your reply.

    This was a general question really. I’m just interested in getting some discussion going around what people are researching re education from a military angle. Would be interested in hear about what you might have to say re education of serving personnel and/or dependents etc.

    Does your research relate to education within a military context? What do you think needs more research?

    We at the VFR Hub are interested in both facilitating and participating in discussions relating to various aspects of the military/veterans, so people can learn of what one another are doing and network etc.

    Would love to hear more about your research.




    Jim McDermott
    Education & Training Expert
    Perception & Communication

    Hi Kris, I understand your intent. I am currently exploring the growth of Armed Forces Breakfast Clubs. Generally my main interest is in veterans who succeed rather than those who suffer. The effects of frequent changes of schools for children in service families is certainly an interesting topic to explore.


    Interesting to have a focus on those who succeed. I like the idea of emphasising the successful side of things, to create a balance between that and the difficulties people face, which seem to be becoming increasingly documented. I see that here on the Hub we have your ‘Old soldiers never die’ paper. Would be really interested to feature on the Hub any other research you have published that relates to veterans, and look forward to reading your findings re Armed Forces Breakfast Clubs.


    For in-service personnel, perhaps approaching the Education and Training Service (ETS) branch of the AGC, for Army personnel at least, I have some contacts within the Bicester Garrison if thats of any help? With regards to dependents, the families federations are a great source of knowledge on the topic, and its also worth looking at the number of service pupil premiums given out by unitary authorities and county councils, they should be able to identify moves within the school year as well to help assess the size of the problem.


    Thanks for pointing out links to SPPs, Chris, I hadn’t thought of this as a source of data for looking into movers…


    Hi Kristina, I’ve just seen this thread. You may be interested in my current PhD research project which is investigating the learning lives of children from armed forces families in a UK primary school. I also know others researching in a similar field. Claire.


    Jim McDermott
    Education & Training Expert
    Perception & Communication

    Hi Claire, your work sounds interesting and any papers you subsequently publish, including your finished Ph.D. will certainly be a useful contribution to this hub’s research collection. We don’t know what stage you are at with your research (and good luck with that, by the way) but if you are still seeking research participants then you could draft a request for publication on this site.


    Great minds must think alike, Jim, as I was also just typing out a reply to Claire!

    Thanks for getting in touch, Claire. I second Jim’s reply – if you have any links to your research or other work you’ve done then do feel free to share and we can help promote/tweet etc. We also accept guest blog posts if you’d like to advertise any aspects of your work a little more or gain support for anything else you are doing.

    We also have colleagues who are involved with the Service Children’s Progression (SCiP) Alliance, so there might be some interesting parallels there in the future when you publish your research.


    Hi Jim and Kristina, thank you for your interest in my work. This is just to let you know that I have now completed my ESRC-funded PhD at the School of Education, University of Bristol. My thesis title is Not “just a school day”: An arts-based dialogic inquiry into the learning lives of children from armed forces families in a UK primary school.

    I will share the link with you once it is available in the University of Bristol’s repository. I would be interested in writing a guest blog post for the VFR Hub.

    Best wishes, Claire.


    Jim McDermott
    Education & Training Expert
    Perception & Communication

    Hi Claire,
    First of all congratulations on finishing your PhD, I trust you found time to celebrate appropriately!
    I look forward to being able to read your work once the link is published. I have a particular interest
    not just in veterans issues generally but also your study sparked my attention because all three of my children
    went to Armed Forces school overseas – in the 1960s and 70s. A blog about your work would be very welcome
    and please make sure you promote your PhD completion and the link on Twitter to reach a wide audience.


    Hi Claire,

    Congratulations! Lovely to hear from you again. I echo what Jim said and look forward to reading your thesis. You are welcome to send your blog post directly to me if you like: – excellent, we are always really keen to receive guest posts for the blog.

    Many thanks,



    Hi Jim and Kristina,

    Thank you so much. Still waiting to celebrate – one day perhaps! I will work on a blog post and be in touch soon.

    Best wishes,


    User @BenK Ben Kotzee just posted the following message on this forum. Our apologies that the original message disappeared due to an error, but here is a copy of Ben’s message:

    Dear Everyone,

    I’m happy to see some other researchers here who are interested in veterans’ education and training.

    Does anyone know of previous research on the enhanced learning credits (ELCAS) scheme? I’m interested in things like degree of take-up, educational trajectories of service leavers, pass/fail/dropout rates, and, ultimately, the overall efficiency of the scheme in enhancing service leavers’ educational success.

    The US GI Bill provisions are very well researched… but I find little on the UK experience. Is ELCAS the UK GI Bill? Is it working or not?

    Any reading suggestions welcome!

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