Grant for UK maintained schools with service children of frequently moved or absent parents.


MOD ESF: instructions and guidance


MOD ESF: scoring criteria sheet

ODT, 20.1KB

This file is in an OpenDocument format

MOD ESF: application form


This file is in an OpenDocument format

MOD ESF: in-year guidance


ESF poster

PDF, 953KB, 1 page


The 2022 ESF bidding round is now open for applications until 30 September 2021.


The MOD Education Support Fund (ESF), launched in 2011 and subsequently extended by the Secretary of State for Defence (2018-2020), provided funding to assist publicly funded schools, Academies and Free Schools throughout the UK to mitigate the effects of exceptional mobility and/or deployment of their Service communities; Regular Armed Forces, including Reserves on Full Time commitment (FTRS FC).

In light of ongoing rebasing activity, with further unit and personnel moves and associated disruption expected, Armed Forces Families & Safeguarding (AFFS) has secured £3-million per annum from the Head Office Top Level Budget to fund an extension of the ESF. Min DPV clearance and support of the extension was received on 31 March 2020.

Schools are a critical part of supporting our service families. Children may have to change school when a service parent is posted, or school may support a pupil when a parent is absent for long periods of time. This fund is available to support schools in embedding practices that can benefit the service children and their school.

The fund is different from the Armed Forces Community Covenant Grant Scheme, which is open to a wider variety of organisations and seeks to forge closer ties between military and local communities.

It is also different to the Service Pupil Premium, which is provided to schools in England by the Department for Education in respect of children of serving members of the armed forces.

Read the instructions and guidance for more details of eligibility and criteria.

Successful application samples

If you are new to writing bids, please take a look at these sample applications:

Separation sample (army)
Mobility sample (army)
Navy sample
RAF sample

If you still need assistance, you can email People-AFFSESF[email protected] and your query will be redirected to the Service Children in State Schools National Executive Advisory Committee (SCISSNEAC).

Since the inception of the ESF, SCISSNEAC members have helped evaluate applications and some members have previously secured funding; they may be able to offer additional advice.

ESF 2022

The bidding round for the 2022 ESF is now open until 30 September 2021 and applicant should forward applications to [email protected].

Applications are accepted from publicly funded schools, academies and free schools throughout the UK who meet the eligibility criteria. Local authorities are also able to apply in support of these schools.

The grant application pack consists of 4 documents:

  • instructions and guidance
  • regional panel scoring criteria sheet
  • application form
  • in-year bid guidance

Also available is an ESF Poster and you can read Service Children’s Progression (SCiP) Alliance case studies.

Applications from England, Scotland and Wales should be forwarded to People-AFFSESF[email protected]

Applications from Northern Ireland should be forwarded to [email protected]

Applicants in Scotland should contact the National Transition Officer [email protected] in the first instance. You can also read Scotland specific ESF guidance.

Applicants in Wales should contact SSCE Cymru at [email protected] in the first instance. You can also read Wales specific ESF guidance.

Handwritten, incomplete and postal applications cannot be accepted.

Late applications cannot be considered.

Related information

Directorate Children and Young People

Published 3 August 2018
Last updated 20 May 2021 + show all updates

  1. Added additional email addresses and links for further guidance on applying for ESF.

  2. Added new dates for the 2022 ESF, also added new instructions and guidance, scoring sheet, application form, in-year guidance and ESF poster.

  3. Updated the information about the Education Support Fund bidding for 2021 now being closed.

  4. Added a section on sample applications.

  5. Added new deadline details for 2021, 4 new documents have also been added: instructions and guidance, scoring criteria sheet, application form and poster.

  6. Removed out of date deadline information.

  7. Updated with new forms and information for 2019 applicants.

  8. Updated the information guidance and Northern Ireland application form attachments to reflect an update to the Northern Ireland contact email address.

  9. Updated the MOD application form for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

  10. Updated the application forms for England and Scotland/Wales/Northern Ireland.

  11. Updated the England and Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland application form to correct field error.

  12. First published.