We are in the Military. My son has dyslexia. I’ve heard that the MoD will pay my son’s school fees?

The MoD may help with fees for eligible personnel to pay for the boarding school education of your child through the Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA).

For children with Special Educational Needs (including Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia and others; there are 3 further subdivisions of the Allowance – Non Specialist independent (NSI), Dyslexic Unit (DU) and Special School (SP) Allowances. NSI and DU claims are normally for 1:1 tuition perhaps one or 2 per week, whilst SP means a whole school approach to the problem.

If you think your child has a specific learning difficulty, you should talk to the class teacher and find out what support your child is receiving.

If the child needs a higher level of support you should obtain a mandatory Boarding School Information Pack and blank CEA Entitlement Certificate (EC) from the MOD Children’s Education Advisory Service. At this stage you should check with your unit admin office whether you might be entitled to claim CEA.

Once you know you child’s needs and that you are entitled to claim CEA you should look at a number of schools to try and find the right school to cater for your child’s needs.

If your child has a statement of Special Educational Needs that is maintained by the local authority, he or she is not required to have an Educational Psychologist’s report. Parents who have a child with a statement must seek advice from CEAS. However, if your child does not have a statement, you will have to arrange for an assessment by Dyslexia Action; the assessment cost may be recovered from the MOD in some circumstances. The assessment will measure a range of skills such as word recognition, spatial awareness, short and long term memory, visual perception etc. These tests will identify strengths and weaknesses in your child’s learning and provide the basis for designing an appropriate teaching programme. Should the EP report not support the need for additional tuition to support a specific learning difficulty, the cost of the EP report would not be re-imbursed by the MOD.

Once a school has been selected the serviceman or woman completes the CEA EC and submits the forms to his/her assignment authority and then to the CO for countersignature.

For children attending SP schools CEAS will request a school report every year or an annual review if the child has a statement.

You should be aware that the CEA is constantly under review by the MOD.

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