Closing date: 08 May 2024

Funded by MOD

The Service Pupil Support programme

Under this programme, which sites within the MOD’s Armed Forces Families Fund, the Trust will award grants for projects which support Service children along their Educational Pathway. 

Two-year grants of £5k to £80

Closing date midday 8 May

Supporting educational pathways for Service pupils aged 4-18 years

Following the launch of the Families Strategy in January 2022, the MOD created a dedicated fund, ‘The Armed Forces Families Fund’ (AF3). This programme sits within the AF3 Fund. The MOD has partnered with the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust to administer the AF3 Fund.

Under this programme, the Trust will award grants for projects which support Service children along their Educational Pathway. 

This funding will enable Service children to reach their full life potential. This programme is primarily focused on schools and local authorities across the UK.

We will expect you to work in clusters and be collaborative.

Applications can only address the needs of children aged 4-18 in full-time statutory education, who are from currently serving Armed Forces families. This includes pupils whose parents are on full commitment as part of the full-time Reserve Service.

This funding is for stand-alone projects lasting up to two years.


We invite applications from local authorities, and schools in the UK which have children of currently serving Armed Forces personnel on roll. Service refers to Regular Forces or Reserves (Full-time Reserve Service).

We can accept applications from:

  • maintained schools
  • academies
  • free schools
  • sixth form and FE colleges
  • local authorities
  • multi-academy Trusts

Specialist educational organisations can be involved in a bid; however, the lead applicant will need to be one of the above. There is more information about this in the Programme Guidance document.

There are two ways in which you can apply for a grant under this programme. We expect that most applications will come through the cluster route. In the context of this programme, we consider a cluster to be a group of three or more school.

Applications from single schools can only be made in exceptional circumstances.

Where possible, you should make your local authority aware of your application – you’ll be given the opportunity in the application form to say whether the local authority is supportive of your proposal.

Under this programme we cannot support the following.

  • Childcare providers (including early years).
  • Commercial organisations that would seek for their solution to be provided to a school for profit. For example, an organisation could not be awarded a grant to develop a training course which it then charges schools to attend.
  • Independent (fee-paying) schools including boarding schools, whether or not registered as charities. 
  • Charities and charitable organisations (though they can be part of a project working with an eligible applicant).
  • MOD schools

Full eligibility criteria is available in the guidance documents below.

What’s available

If you are applying for a grant as a cluster, then you can apply for up to £80,000 in total towards a project being delivered over a period of up to two years.

If you are applying for a grant as a single school, then you can apply for up to £40,000 in total towards a project being delivered over a period of up to two years.

Themes and priorities

This year, the programme will prioritise applications from clusters of three or more schools supporting Service children.

Through this programme, we would like to support projects that reach these children, ensuring the needs of Service pupils are met. Projects that support a cluster of schools working together, are considered most likely to provide the best opportunity to reach these small cohorts with high quality and reasonably costed support.

This programme is designed to help support Service children along their educational pathway by:

  • closing the gap in attainment between Service and non-Service pupils, using data led evidence
  • addressing the needs of Service pupils with additional needs through early identification and intervention using a collaborative and coordinated approach
  • identifying and addressing the needs of small cohorts of Service pupils within educational settings.

For the purposes of this programme, we consider a small cohort as where your military child cohort is less than 40%, for primary settings, or less than 10% for secondary settings.

Your project will need to meet at least one of these themes.

Deadlines and dates to note

This programme is now closed. If you applied by the application deadline of midday on Wednesday 8 May 2024, you will receive a decision before the end of June 2024.

Guidance and resources

We encourage you to take a look at the application questions before beginning your online application to the Service Pupil Support Programme.

Please note, this is for reference only and applications can only be made via our online application portal.

You can also view sample terms and conditions of grant here.

Application questions

Service Pupil Support Programme – application questions (for reference only before filling using the application portal)

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Ready to apply?

If you’ve read the guidance and are ready to begin your application, please click below.

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