Your Scotland posting

A families’ guide to living in Scotland


01   Welcome to Scotland

AFF contributed to a publication from the Welcome to Scotland – a guide for Service personnel and their families (updated 2023).

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.

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

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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.

Scottish Veterans Commissioner

There is also a Scottish Veterans Commissioner whose primary role, as laid down by the terms of their appointment by Scottish Ministers, is: “to improve outcomes for veterans in Scotland, by engaging with, listening to, and acting on the experiences of veterans, individually and collectively, and to be an ambassador for veterans in Scotland, helping public services focus on veterans’ experiences of their service provision.”

The Scottish Veterans Commissioner (SVC) works to improve the lives and opportunities of the veterans’ community in Scotland. This includes recognising and factoring into plans the support that Armed Forces’ and veterans’ families may also require, in preparing for and during transition from military life.

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03   Housing in Scotland

SFA in Scotland comes under the Pinnacle & Amey contract for allocations and repairs.

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.

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04   Early years support

From August 2021, all 3 and 4 year olds, and around a quarter of 2 year olds, are able to access 1140 hours of Early Learning and Childcare, funded by the Scottish Government. That works out at about 30 hours a week if you use it during school term-time, or around 22 hours a week if you use it year-round.

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. For more information see

Find out more information and what your child is entitled to at

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05   Education

There is a huge amount of support and information available for families regarding the education system in Scotland.

National Transitions Officer for Children and Young People of Armed Forces families in Scottish Schools. See

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

More information on education in Scotland can be found on our education and childcare pages.

Other links

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

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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 NHS waiting list times on our health page for details on how the Armed Forces Covenant may be able help in this area.

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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.

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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.

Service personnel posted to Scotland will receive an annual payment to compensate for paying a higher rate of income tax whilst in Scotland. More details can be found in JSP 754 Chapter 6 section 3. Any queries should be directed to the Service person’s unit admin team. If you would like to provide any feedback about Scottish income tax, please contact

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

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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

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