This briefing was prepared for the House of Commons Defence Committee to help inform its inquiry into the education of Service personnel, its fourth in a series of inquiries looking at the workings of the Armed Forces Covenant.

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The Armed Forces Covenant was published in May 2011 and sets out the relationship between the nation, the state and the Armed Forces. The Covenant sets out that Service personnel can expect to receive appropriate training and education and, in particular, the opportunity to gain qualifications relevant to civilian employment.

This briefing is based on an online consultation of over 200 Armed Forces personnel and their spouses/partners carried out by the National Audit Office. The purpose of the consultation was to gain insight into how the Covenant is working ‘on the ground’ through first-hand experiences and views. The consultation provides an illustrative (rather than representative) picture of Service education experiences.

April 2013