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Forces' children support to double

Support for armed forces children to help them cope with the disruptive lifestyle of the services will be doubled, David Cameron has announced.

The Prime Minister, who is expected to meet troops separated from their families for Christmas soon, has said the school support programme funding will be doubled to £6 million a year.

It will also be extended for a further three years to 2018 under the plans announced today.

The fund was set up as part of the Armed Forces Covenant two years ago and provides support for pupils and schools hit by service mobility or deployment. That includes extra support to help children settling into a new school or help for pupils to deal with their fears about parents serving overseas.

Mr Cameron said: "We have a moral duty to ensure that the children of our servicemen and women are not disadvantaged by the vital job that their parents do keeping our country safe. That's why we are doubling the school support fund to £6 million every year for the next four years.

"This funding ensures that service children receive the best possible care and support, helping them to settle in to new schools or deal with the challenges of time apart from their parents.

"And it helps our local communities that look after our armed forces families too. Over the last two years, the fund has supported almost 400 projects up and down the country and I'm delighted we can build on that success and help many more children in the coming years."

About £9 million has gone towards 394 projects over the last three years but the demand has exceeded the funding by double that provided, officials said.

The extra cash is expected to particularly benefit 3,000 service children who are expected to return from bases in Germany by 2018.


From Belfast Telegraph