Thursday, 27 July 2017

Armed Forces Covenant survey

The Armed Forces Covenant website has now been live for over a year and is being updated continually but to ensure the content meets the user's needs, we are currently hosting a customer survey - the feedback will help us improve the website's content. The survey will run until 31 July and can be accessed via the front page, https://www.armedforcescovenant.gov.uk    

MOD Supporting Families with Childcare Costs

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Minke Whale Carcass - Reres Wood Beach.



The Minke whale carcass on the beach at Reres wood is being left to decompose naturally.  The area is a nature reserve and this is part of the natural environment of the area.  It is a remote stretch of coast and the cost of removal is complex and high.

The carcass poses no threat but please keep children away from it and keep dogs on leads when approaching this bit of beach (to prevent your dogs rolling in it!). 


Ranald Strachan
Countryside Ranger
Fife Coast and Countryside Trust
East Sands Leisure Centre
East Sands
St Andrews
KY16 8LH
Ranald.Strachan@fifecountryside.co.uk
07985 707593

Monday, 24 July 2017

DIO Customer Survey


QVS OPEN MORNING 16 September 2017

QVS Open Morning 2017

Our annual Open Morning is an opportunity for families interested in sending their children to the School to see around it, meet some pupils and some staff, ask questions and share their views, interests and any concerns.

This year’s Open Morning is on Saturday 16th September.

Visitors are welcome to arrive between 0900 hrs and 0930 hrs, during which time tea, coffee and juice will be served in the Theatre and members of the House staff, parents and pupils will be available to talk with visitors.

At 0930 hrs the Headmaster will welcome everyone and give a short talk about the School.   At this time you will be able to ask questions of him and other senior members of staff.  

At approximately 1000 hrs tour groups will set off around the School, led by senior staff and escorted by some of our pupils. The tours are fairly lengthy, designed to give visitors a chance to see most parts of the campus and to have the chance to talk with staff and pupils during the walk-around.  

The morning finishes with a very informal buffet lunch in Central Hall where the Headmaster will round off the morning by outlining very briefly the “next steps” if you intend to apply for Admissions Board 2018.


Although it is possible to accommodate visitors who arrive on the day without notice, it is very helpful if you can let us know beforehand that you intend to be with us for Open Morning. If you would like to join us on that occasion, please contact the Admissions Secretary, Mrs Ann Macfarlane, on +44 (0) 131 310 2927, admissions@qvs.org.uk or by post at Queen Victoria School, Dunblane FK15 0JY, Scotland.

Extended Childcare Entitlement - Overseas Locations

EXTENDED FREE CHILDCARE ENTITLEMENT IN OVERSEAS LOCATIONS
BACKGROUND
1.                  In overseas locations the MOD provides services (or access to services) that, so far as is reasonably practicable, conform in type, scope and standard to that required by legislation in England (but paying due regard to the equivalent legislation in the Devolved Administrations).
2.                  The 2006 Childcare Act provided for 15 hours of childcare per week for 38 weeks of the year for 3 and 4 year olds free of charge.  In overseas locations the MOD currently delivers this entitlement through places at MOD-provided settings or through access to the MOD Overseas Nursery Allowance.
3.          The 2016 Childcare Act provides for an extension of the current entitlement and offers an additional 15 hours per week for 38 weeks of the year of free childcare for children that are eligible, with effect from 1 September 2017.
4.          The additional 15 hours will be available to families where both parents are working (or the sole parent is working in a lone parent family) a minimum of 16 hours each per week. Parents each earning £100,000.00 or more do not qualify for the additional entitlement.
ENTITLEMENT
5.                  The additional entitlement will be introduced by government on 1 September 2017 across England and is mirrored in MOD locations overseas, using the same eligibility criteria defined under the 2016 Childcare Act above.
6.                  The additional entitlement has been trialled across England prior to the rollout on 1 September 2017. The MOD entitlement will not be backdated to include these periods.
7.                  In overseas locations where the MOD-provided settings have sufficient capacity, the additional entitlement will be provided through those settings, free of charge. Free childcare cannot be claimed when using childminders or nannies.
8.                  In overseas locations where there are no MOD-provided settings, or where MOD-provided settings lack sufficient capacity, the additional entitlement will be provided through the MOD Overseas Nursery Allowance.

9.                  The entitlement applies to eligible Service Personnel and entitled Civilians only. The latter means UK Based Civil Servants posted overseas or Specially Recruited for Overseas Service. Fee-paying contractors cannot apply.

Veterans Mental Health - Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service



NHS veterans’ mental health services now available for armed forces personnel approaching discharge

Information for patients

Armed forces personnel approaching discharge can now get treatment and support at NHS veterans’ mental health services across England and thereafter into their civilian life, whether this is months or years later. 

If you are experiencing mental health difficulties, these services can provide a range of treatment and support in close liaison with Defence Medical Services (DMS).  This includes recognising the early signs of mental health problems and providing access to early treatment and support, as well as therapeutic treatment for complex mental health difficulties and psychological trauma.  Patients are also provided with help, where appropriate, with employment, reduction in alcohol consumption, housing and social support.

To access these services whilst you are still in the armed forces, you must meet the following criteria:

·       be a resident in England
·       have an identified or diagnosed mental health illness / disorder; AND
·       have a discharge date from the Ministry of Defence (MOD) or be found to be unfit for continued military service by their medical board; OR
·       have been identified by the Departments of Community Mental Health as requiring follow on psychiatric care on discharge from the MOD; OR
·       have had their pre-release medical and been identified by their DMS GP as requiring mental health transition support; OR
·       have had a pre-release medical before they self-refer.

If you wish to access these services once you are a veteran, you must meet the following criteria instead:

·       be a resident in England
·       have served in the UK armed forces for a full day
·       be registered with a GP practice in England or be willing to register with a GP
·       be able to provide your military service number or another form of acceptable proof of eligibility.

If you meet either of these criteria, you can self-refer or request referral via a health care professional or service charity. 

Upon receipt of referral, patients will be offered an initial face to face assessment within two weeks and where appropriate a clinical appointment two weeks thereafter. 

Do you need help?
To find out more, speak to your DMS GP or use the information below to get in contact with your local service.

                                                 North of England
(County Durham, North Yorkshire, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside, East Riding of Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire)
Service contact
Email
Contact number
Anna Burke
0191 441 5974

Midlands and East of England
(Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Rutland, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Worcestershire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk)
Service contact
Email
Contact number
Diane Palmer
0300 323 0137

London and South East England
(Greater London, Kent, Surrey, East Sussex and West Sussex)
Service contact
Email
Contact number
Sue Ferrier
020 3317 6818

South Central and South West England
(Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Bristol, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly)
Service contact
Email
Contact number
David Wilcox
(Gloucestershire, Bristol, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly)
0300 365 0300

Adele Stevens
(Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight)

Further information
Information on the service can be found on NHS Choices.


Veterans' Housing Advice



Friday, 7 July 2017

AFF achieves housing success on behalf of Army families

AFF achieves housing success on behalf of Army families

The Army Families Federation (AFF) is celebrating a success for those living in Service Family Accommodation (SFA) who have recently faced unfair increases to their accommodation charge.

Many families contacted AFF to say their rental charge or final charge had unexpectedly increased by an unreasonable amount without proper notice and without a chance to appeal.

Fighting for families
On behalf of these families, AFF approached housing organisations Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and CarillionAmey (CA) to push for a fair outcome in accordance with the original guidelines of the CAAS system. The original guidelines stated that rental increases would be implemented on a transitional basis and that any changes to the final charge as a result of a survey or data review would be able to be appealed within a contracted time scale.

AFF has now announced that DIO has agreed to investigate where properties have jumped by two or more rental bands - some families told the charity they had received a letter to say their rent would jump by three bands.

A new letter will now be sent to affected families advising of the planned increase and offering them 28 days to appeal the decision. Any subsequent increase will then only be enforced 93 days after the date of receipt of the letter, unless the appeal is successful.

Families' feedback vital
AFF Chief Executive Sara Baade said, "This has been a long and complicated issue, but we have fought on behalf of the families affected to achieve a fairer deal including protection from large jumps in rental charges, as promised to families when the new accommodation charge was first introduced. It is thanks to families' feedback that we've been able to approach DIO confidently and achieve a positive result."

To find out more about the housing support and advice AFF offers to Army families, visit their website www.aff.org.uk

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

SERVICE FAMILIES ACCOMMODATION




See information from DIO about Service Families Accommodation in these video links

Opportunities for Partner Employment

OPPORTUNITIES FOR PARTNER EMPLOYMENT SUPPORT 

The following employment support opportunities are open to Service partners. The list is intended as a guide and not to be taken as an endorsement by the MOD; See Partner Employment Opportunity details HERE

Monday, 3 July 2017

Craigtoun Park Family Tickets available from the HIVE

The HIVE has 2 Craigtoun Park Family tickets that can be booked out for a £10 refundable deposit.

If the HIVE is on annual leave or training days the cards will be left with Marie-Anne 2 CS REME welfare clerk in the community centre welfare corridor.