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Our Forces Story

Anderson Education have been working with Forces families since the company was founded in 1999.

In those early days there were 50,000 military and civilians in BFG (British Forces Germany) alone, based across a range of garrisons. Serving parents were often deployed due to the intense pressures on the UK Forces worldwide, including commitments in Iraq, Kosovo and Afghanistan, meaning large periods of separation for families.

Visiting families on the barracks was key to understanding their way of life, the uncertainty and disruption that they often faced as well as the support the families gave to each other in these small communities. This support remains as strong today as it was then.  Forces families move frequently, as many still do, and it was not uncommon then, as it is now, to meet an 11-year old who had attended five schools before they even start their secondary education! I distinctly remember one such trip to Germany in September 2005, we arrived to families busy arranging their Christmas celebration as the regiment was being deployed and loved ones would be apart for the next 6 months, something non Forces families might find very hard to comprehend.

With the then entitled ‘Education Clinic’, we visited HIVE’s (information centres on the barracks which are often the first point of call for families looking for advice) in JHQ Rheindahlen, Osnabruck-Woolwich and Hameln as well as NAAFI stores in JHQ Rheindahlen, Osnabruck, Hohne and Gutersloh.  The tours were well supported by the SCE schools (Service Childrens’ Education), BFBS radio and Sixth Sense Newspaper.

During our visits those families already familiar with boarding education often described eagerly awaiting the ‘trooper’ flight which carried boarding students’ home on school holidays, and past pupils have described the great camaraderie of meeting up with fellow boarders from different independent schools during the holidays. One mother commented on knowing exactly which quarter (forces home) the children were in, as there would be a large number of bicycles in the path outside.

The British army may have reduced in size and the vast majority of troops based in Germany have now returned to the UK, however our British Forces remain committed and ever ready to the challenges they continue to face. For 20 years Anderson Education have offered Free and impartial advice to Forces families, and we remain as committed to doing so today, helping families find the most suitable school for their needs.

Posted: 18.06.2020

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