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


MOD ESF: instructions and guidance

PDF, 349KB, 6 pages

MOD ESF: scoring criteria sheet

PDF, 153KB, 3 pages

MOD ESF: application form

ODT, 24.1KB

This file is in an OpenDocument format

ESF poster

PDF, 2.56MB, 1 page


The 2021 ESF bidding round is now closed and result letters will be circulated in early December 2020. Details about future funding rounds will appear here once known.


The 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, the Directorate Children and Young People has secured £3-million from the Army Top Level Budget to fund an extension of the ESF for the 2020/2021 financial year. 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.

Directorate Children and Young People (DCYP), which is the MOD’s professional focal point for all matters relating to children and young people associated with the armed forces, are the lead organisation supporting the fund. 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:

Deployment sample (army)
Mobility sample (army)
Navy sample
RAF sample

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

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

The bidding round for the ESF 2021 is now closed.

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 3 documents:

  • instructions and guidance
  • regional panel scoring criteria sheet
  • application form

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 DCYPMODESF[email protected].

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

Hand written, 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 30 October 2020 + show all updates

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

  2. Added a section on sample applications.

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

  4. Removed out of date deadline information.

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

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

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

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

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

  10. First published.