Best practice: Additional Support for learning

Additional Support for Learning (ASL) Teacher, Armed Forces – Carol Holloway
Service Pupil Advisor (SPA) – Emer Flett

Emer Flett and Carol Holloway at one of their Service Pupil events
Emer and Carol at one of the Argyll & Bute events

Children and young people from Armed Forces families may suffer high levels of emotional distress before, during and after the deployment of a relative. This is backed by evidence from headteachers, school staff, parents and Royal Navy Family and People Support (RN FPS) staff.

Learning is interrupted during a transition process which sometimes can involve more than one change of school.

HM Naval Base (NB) Clyde is the future site for the Royal Navy’s Submarine Flotilla and it is expected that naval personnel could rise by approximately 1,500 between now and 2030, with an estimated 400 people relocating from Devonport over the next few years.

RN FPS has indicated that Armed Forces personnel could be deployed on an individual basis rather than part of a unit or squadron, removing community support to already vulnerable children.

Action taken

Argyll & Bute Council applies annually for the MOD Education Support Fund to support the posts of Additional Support for Learning (ASL) teacher, Armed Forces and Service pupil advisor to support children, young people and families as follows:

ASL teacher, Armed Forces – Provide support in nurture, literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing with a focus on gaps in learning as a result of transitions in numerous schools across Helensburgh and Lomond.

Service pupil advisor – Liaise between schools and the Armed Forces Community. Support families moving to Helensburgh and Lomond with education questions and queries. Co-ordinate and support the delivery of Seasons for Growth in schools and the Professional Learning Community Group, which has developed into a much-needed forum that helps staff and services working with Armed Forces families learn from each other and build a greater collective capacity by working collegiately.   

Supporting Forces and Me groups in schools, RNRM Youth Forum, Cloud 9 Youth Group and the Armed Forces Ambassadors at Hermitage Academy.

Networking and exchanging of ideas nationally in order to benefit Armed Forces children from the area


“We have seen a marked increase in literacy and numeracy levels in the young people concerned and this has allowed them to increase their confidence and ability to access new areas of the Scottish curriculum, which has in turn closed the gaps in their learning.

The impact of COVID lockdowns has had a significant effect on the mental health of a number of children. The nurture and social skills group that have been running, facilitated by the ASL Teacher, Armed Forces, is playing a big role in mitigating the effects.”

Emer Flett, Service Pupil Advisor

“The role of Service Pupil Advisor is vital in channelling the right resources, to the right place, at the right time. Their involvement with local schools is of a huge emotional and practical advantage to the pupils, staff and third-parties.

My professional involvement with the SPA has bolstered my provision of Deployment Support to Armed Forces families not only through her support of our work, but her professionalism and willingness to ensure each Forces child receives the fullest support available to them. Her enthusiasm is infectious, demonstrable by the clubs, groups and drop-in sessions she has successfully developed within the local schools.”

Carol Holloway – ASL Teacher (Armed Forces)

More information

For further information please contact the Argyle & Bute, Additional Support for Learning Teacher, Armed Forces or Service Pupil Advisor.

ASL Teacher, Armed Forces: Carol Holloway
Facebook: Mod Teachers
Twitter: @ModLomond

Service Pupil Advisor: Emer Flett

Tel: 01436 658921
Facebook: Emer Flett or Service Pupil Advisor
Twitter: @AdvisorPupil
Instagram: servicepupiladvisor

More for

We have lots of useful guides for families of school-age young people in our Families section.

More for Educators

Our Educators section is filled with valuable information for teachers of Forces children across Scotland.