Your Scotland posting

A families’ guide to living in Scotland

Please check our COVID-19 section for up-to-date information, as the coronavirus outbreak may affect the advice given on this page.


01   Welcome to Scotland

AFF contributed to a publication from the Scottish Government welcoming families moving to Scotland.

This booklet covers all you need to know, from housing to healthcare, employment to education and lots more.

If you’re on the move to Scotland, or are already living there, and want to know more about what’s available in terms of services and support, take a look at the report here.

AFF provides excellent support to families in Scotland on all aspects of Army family life. If you have a query or concern, contact

Back to top

02   The Scottish Government

The Scottish Government is committed to supporting the Armed Forces, veterans and their families. Their document – ‘Renewing Our Commitments’ – outlines the Scottish Government’s ambition of making Scotland the destination of choice for those leaving the military, and sets out the priorities they are pursuing in partnership with organisations to continue to support our Armed Forces and veteran community.

They are clear that this community is an asset to Scotland and makes a valuable contribution to Scottish society.

There is also a Scottish Veterans Commissioner who can provide impartial advice to the ex-Forces community in Scotland.

Scottish Veterans Commissioner

The Scottish Veterans Commissioner (SVC) works to improve the lives and opportunities of the Armed Forces and Veterans community in Scotland. The remit of the Commissioner has expanded to include serving personnel and their families. This means that the Commissioner will look at the Armed Forces community as well as having a focus on support for Veterans.

Back to top

03   Housing in Scotland

SFA in Scotland comes under the same Amey contract as the rest of the UK, and the system for allocations and repairs is the same. The recently introduced CAAS banding also applies in Scotland. As with anywhere in the UK, the housing can be of various ages and standards.

Other links

Scottish Housing Guide for people leaving the Armed Forces and ex-Service personnel.

Military Matters is a Housing Options Guide created by Housing Options Scotland.

Back to top

04   Early years support

The Scottish Government has pledged to increase the provision of free early learning and childcare provision to 1,140 hours per year for children who are three or four years old, as well for two-year-olds whose parents/carers are on qualifying benefits and are eligible for the 600 hours free entitlement through the Children & Young People’s Act 2014. This was due to be introduced in 2020, however now delayed until August 2021.

Currently, free provision of early learning and child care is offered to all three and four year olds as well as vulnerable two-year-olds. This equates to around 16 hours per week during school term time.

This free provision is delivered by a mixture of local authority nurseries, nursery classes attached to schools, partnerships offered by private or non-profit nurseries, and some child-minders. The 16 hours’ provision per week can be taken in sessions of between 2.5 hours per day and up to a maximum of eight hours. For more information, click here.

Back to top

05   Education

There is a huge amount of support and information available for families regarding the education system in Scotland. There is a National Transitions Officer for Children and Young People of Armed Forces families in Scottish Schools.

There is also a Parent Support Officer (Scotland) who is part of the Children’s Education Advisory Service.

Education in Scotland-An Introductory Guide has been produced and is aimed at providing information to Service families.

See also

Other links

Student Awards Agency Scotland – Advice for members of the Armed Forces and their families on entitlement to SAAS funding.

Back to top

06   Health

Prescriptions are free in Scotland, for all members of the family. As with moving elsewhere in the UK, waiting times and priorities for treatment may be different – see our health page for details on how the Armed Forces Covenant may be able help in this area.

Back to top

07   Employment

There are a number of initiatives in Scotland to support spouses who would like to gain employment and/or return to work after a career break. Women’s Enterprise Scotland (WES) have worked with Service spouses to help them develop their own business ideas. WES schemes are run within local unit areas, and there are many success stories. Skills Development Scotland supports families with employment and training advice in Scotland.

Forces Families Jobs is the go-to place for training and employment for family members of currently serving UK military personnel.

Back to top

08   The Scottish Rate of Income Tax (SRIT)

As a result of devolution, the Scottish Government, as a Devolved Administration, can set its own income tax for those whose main place of residence is in Scotland. This does include Service personnel and their families if their main place of residence is in Scotland.

The Scottish Rate of Income Tax (SRIT) will mean that some lower earners will pay less tax than if they were resident elsewhere in UK; however, others will pay more. Click here for more information on Scottish income tax.

Service personnel posted to Scotland will receive an annual payment to compensate for paying a higher rate of income tax whilst in Scotland. Full details are available in the Defence Information Bulletin.

Please remember to contact HMRC when you leave Scotland, to ensure that your tax code is correctly updated.

Back to top

09   Specialist support

There are a number of Scotland-specific specialist support services.

The Armed Services Advice Project (ASAP) provides dedicated information, advice and support to members of the Armed Forces community in Scotland on a range of areas, including benefits, debt, employment, relationships and housing.

Forces Children Scotland (formally RCET) is an education trust supporting the children of Scots who are serving, or have served, in the British Armed Forces. They also work through their education programme in Scotland with schools, local authorities, Armed Forces charities and the military on initiatives to support Armed Forces Children, their teachers and their families in the school environment.

Military Matters (MM) is a specialist project within Housing Options Scotland, focusing on housing issues affecting people serving in the military in Scotland, Service personnel transitioning into civilian life and veterans. MM provides housing information, advice and support to family members too.

Moray and Highland councils have launched a website for the Armed Forces community, after receiving funding from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust. For information on local schools, employment, training, housing and more, check out

Back to top

10   Further sources of information

The HIVE can provide useful local information before or during your posting to Scotland, the Leuchars HIVE covers Scotland and can be found at

Back to top

What our families say about AFF

“AFF - just a thank you for all that you do!!”

“What an awesome organisation”

“Thank you so much Army Families Federation!”

Find out more
11,177enquiries received in 2020
10,500+followers on Facebook
33,198unique website views during November
9,500+followers on Twitter