The education of the children of Army families is of particular concern to the schools in Wiltshire. The Land Forces Headquarters is located close to Salisbury across two sites at Wilton and Upavon, and there is one of the highest densities of Army quarters in the UK on Salisbury Plain.
One of the main features of Army life is the frequent movement of troops and consequently of their families from one posting to the next. It would not be unusual for a family to move four or five times during the primary phase of a child’s education thus disrupting the continuity of learning. Schools located in areas with a high density of Army families have significant issues to consider particularly with regard to funding and to curriculum planning. Turbulence in the school population affects the school’s ability to meet its ‘targets’. ‘League tables’ by which parents judge the schools and accountability to the Local Education Authority and Central Government for attainment levels, ‘value added’ statistics and attendance figures all add to the pressures on schools when dealing with a constantly changing school roll.