MOD education allowances


Joint Service Publications (JSPs) are rules and regulations for the Armed Forces. They are numbered and available on the defence intranet (Dii) for all soldiers to access.

Certain ones directly affect families including JSP 752 that deals will allowances; chapter four deals with School Children’s Visits and chapter nine deals with education allowances.

It is updated nearly every month, so make sure that you have a copy of the most up to date version when referring to it.


01   Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA)

Firstly, you’ll need to contact the MOD Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS). To find out more about who they are and their contact details, click here. They will issue you with a serial number unique to you. You’ll need to fill in the paperwork on Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) and when completed, if you are eligible, you will be issued with an eligibility certificate. There are a few considerations and many regulations to abide by.

The following is an over view of what the CEA process involves.

  • Contact CEAS for information and a serial number
  • Complete the forms on JPA
  • If eligible, your solider will be issued with an eligibility certificate by Pay and Allowances Casework and Complaints Cell (DBS PACCC)
  • CEA is claimed via JPA in a published ‘window’ three times a year ready for the next term
  • Once you start to claim, you will need to keep the receipts from the school to show that you have paid them
  • The CEA rate is calculated every summer and the new rate is published in August

You must renew your CEA eligibility certificate (CEA EC) every time anything changes including: when withdrawing from CEA for one child but continuing for another, when changing school, when your certificate expires and at any other time when directed by the DBS PACCC.

It is worth noting that:

  • Claimants who are assigned for six months or less, or on an operational assignment of any length, are not required to renew their CEA EC on assignment, provided their current CEA EC remains valid.
  • If a claimant is extended in post for six months or less, but is in possession of an assignment order to join a new unit within six months of the expiry of their current CEA EC, they may seek permission from the DBS PACCC to extend their current CEA EC and complete one immediately on arrival at their new assignment.
  • A change between junior and senior school, where there is a change of Head Teacher or location, is regarded as a change of school.

Got a question or wish to discuss this in more detail? Contact the AFF Education and Childcare Specialist at

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02   CEA rates

AFF fully supports the choice of accompanied Service for Army families.

When choosing to accompany the soldier, we recognise the impact this may have on the whole family, including the disruption and uncertainty of their children’s education.

One of the ways the MOD supports a continuous education is through the Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA), which is available for all eligible, mobile soldiers. It is a capped allowance and has risen very little in the last few years.

Ensuring better access

AFF is often invited to comment on the CEA reviews that regularly take place. This has resulted in ensuring that the lower paid soldiers are not prevented from using the allowance despite regular increases in fees by schools and it also ensures that your views and experiences are considered in the decision making. This is ongoing work.

Whilst we recognise the fiscal quandary for the MOD to keep up with the spiralling cost of private education, for continuity of education to work, there is a necessity to sign up for the long term. State Boarding Schools are not the only solution as these schools are often full and there are simply not enough places across the UK.

Talk it through

If you have any comments or queries about CEA, email AFF’s Education and Childcare Specialist at

Education allowances per term from 01 August 2018: 

CEA Board – Junior: £5,845
CEA Board – Senior: £7,407

Your soldier can access more information on Joint Personnel Administration (JPA).

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03   What is SENA and who can claim it?

SENA is the Special Educational Needs Addition. This can be claimed by Service families if a child, who is already in receipt of CEA, is then found to have Special Educational Needs (SEN). You’ll need to contact the CEAS in the first instance.

How do I apply for SENA?
It is important that you contact the Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS) first, who will give you further information about the process and put you in touch with someone to assess your child.
You’ll also need to include a letter from the school outlining the support that they think your child needs.

Useful things to know

  • It can only be claimed to cover the cost of additional lessons to support your child’s SEN, it cannot be used for equipment
  • It can’t be claimed specifically for extra time in exams
  • It’s possible to receive help from the local authority as well as from the MOD
  • In some cases, you may not have to pay a minimum of a 10% contribution
  • After claiming for six terms, your child is likely to have to undergo further assessment to carry on receiving the allowance.
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04   CEA (Guardians) Allowance

Sometimes, postings don’t coincide with school years and it can become tricky especially when your child is at a day school and studying for examinations. It’s also an issue if the posting is abroad and a similar curriculum isn’t offered.

The aim of this allowance is to financially assist families who choose for their child to stay with a guardian so that the child may attend a particular day school continuously.

The allowance is intended to cover the additional costs of living away from your home such as postage, telephone calls and stationery. The allowance is not intended to cover school fees.

Contact CEAS for more details –

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05   Day School Allowance (North Wales)

This allowance is to support families who live in North Wales to have access to education in English.

Teaching in English is often only available at independent day schools and therefore this allowance is a contribution towards the fees.

Currently this is for all children of statutory school age.

If you have experience of this, please contact

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06   School Children’s Visits (SCV) - AFF campaign

School Children’s Visits (SCVs) are a contribution towards the cost of reuniting children with their families wherever they are posted to, over a certain distance away. This could be for half terms and/or holidays.

Parents contribute to these journeys. The SCVs year is from September to August; to find out more details and claim, please visit your unit admin office.

AFF has been campaigning for all children to have equal access to be able to visit their parents wherever they live in the world.

If you’re divorced and posted overseas, then current military policy doesn’t offer you the same access to some MOD family allowances as your married peers.

The inability to claim SCVs is significantly affecting the ability of many in your position to see their children due to the additional cost of travelling to an overseas posting. To find out more, including AFF’s view, please click here.

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