About the Continuity of Education Allowance

If you are concerned about the costs involved in placing your child (or children) into an independent boarding school in the UK, rest assured there is help available.

Read on to learn more about the Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA), a government initiative that allows families to move together without causing unnecessary disruptions to their children’s education by covering up to 90% of school fees.

If you have any further questions with regards to how the CEA works, or you would like assistance with the application process, please do not hesitate to contact the team at CSF Educational Consultants. We have helped countless clients claim the funds they are entitled to!

What is the Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA)?

The UK’s Ministry of Defence (MOD) offers capped funding to help cover the costs of boarding school placements for military families that need to relocate on a regular or semi-regular basis in order to fulfil their duties. This is known as the Continuity of Education Allowance, often shortened to the CEA.

The CEA can be claimed from the start of the school year in which the child turns eight years old, until they turn 18/19.

How much is the CEA?

As we mentioned earlier, the CEA is designed to cover up to 90% of boarding school fees for each child.

The allowances change every year; guidance is usually reviewed and published every August. As of August 2022, the education allowances per term are as follows:

CEA Board – Junior: £6,998.00

CEA Board – Senior: £8,692.00

You can use these term costs to calculate exactly how much the placement will cost on a weekly or monthly basis.

What are the eligibility criteria for the CEA?

If you want to claim the CEA, you will need to meet the following requirements:

• Your family must live together

• You must be likely to move over 50 miles away within the next four years

• You must agree that your child will complete their education at the boarding school you have chosen

There are also certain rules that may affect your ability to purchase a home while you are receiving the CEA.

For more information, and to check if your family is eligible for this allowance, contact our consultants today.

How do I claim the CEA?

Firstly, you need to contact The Education Advisory Team, EAT (UK) who were formerly the Children's Education Advisory Service (CEAS).  They will provide you with a unique serial number that you will need to have to hand when filling in the relevant paperwork on the Joint Personnel Administration (JPA), the intranet used by the British Armed Forces.

If the JPA is satisfied you are eligible for the grant, you will receive an eligibility certificate from the Pay and Allowances Casework and Complaints Cell (DBS PACCC).

You will be able to claim your latest CEA installment three times a year, within a specified timeframe. You are advised to keep all receipts from the show as proof you have used the money to pay their fees.

Do I need to renew my CEA eligibility certificate?

You should apply to renew your eligibility certificate every time your circumstances change. For example, you should contact the DBS PACCC if your child changes schools; if you withdraw funding for one of your children, but not another; and, of course, when the certificate is reaching its expiry date.

There are other conditions that apply, too. Please get in touch with CSF Educational Consultants for more information on the CEA applications and renewals processes, or for help understanding the system’s requirements as your child prepares to attend boarding school.

Additional support

If your child is already in receipt of the CEA and is then found to have special educational needs or a disability that will affect their schooling, you may be able to place a claim for SENA, a separate Special Educational Needs Allowance.

You will need to meet very specific criteria in order to qualify for this extra funding, so we would highly recommend contacting our team for help liaising with The Educational Advisory Team, EAT (UK) and completing your application to the best possible standard.

There are other options available to suit families in specific circumstances, including the CEA (Guardians) Allowance, which can be used to cover the costs involved in a child living away from their parents with a guardian; and the Day School Allowance, which provides families in North Wales with access to education in English. Again, if you would like more information on any of the schemes mentioned here, please drop us a message or give us a call.

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