Armed Forces Covenant in Action? Part 4: Educating Service Personnel

05 December 2012

The Defence Committee today announces a major new inquiry into the provision of education of Service personnel.

This inquiry will be the fourth in a series of inquiries looking at the Armed Forces Covenant. The Committee’s first inquiry into the Armed Forces Covenant was on the support and treatment of military casualties and the Report was published on 15 December 2011. The Committee’s second inquiry into the accommodation provided for Service personnel and their families, that Report was published on 26 June 2012. The third such inquiry is running in parallel to this inquiry and is examining the education of the children of Service personnel.

The Armed Forces Covenant states that:

Service personnel should expect to receive appropriate training and education for both personal and professional development, including the opportunity to gain nationally recognised civilian qualifications, in order to support them through their Service career and to prepare them for life after leaving the Service.

The Committee wishes to scrutinise the provision of education to all Service personnel throughout their careers. In particular, the Committee is very interested in what happens to new recruits in the early stages of their careers. It will also examine how the MoD is progressing in providing training which allows personnel to obtain civilian qualifications useful in their careers when they leave the Armed Forces.

In particular, the Committee is interested in:

  • The provision of education to new recruits including help with literacy and numeracy;
  • The provision of education to Service personnel throughout their careers;
  • The provision of higher education to those personnel for whom it is relevant and useful;
  • The progress made by the Armed Forces in ensuring that training undertaken by Service personnel leads to civilian qualifications;
  • The impact of education on the resettlement of Armed Forces personnel; and
  • The adequacy of oversight of the education of Armed Forces personnel.

The Committee intends to develop a web forum to obtain the opinions of a wide range of Service personnel and their families.

How to respond

The Committee would welcome written evidence to this inquiry. This should be sent to the Clerk of the Defence Committee by Monday 21 January 2013. If you have any queries on the submission of evidence contact Christine Randall, Senior Committee Assistant, tel: 0207 219 6872, email:

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