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11 Jan 12. Innovative projects to make sure children of Service personnel
are not disadvantaged by moving to different schools have received funding from the Ministry of Defence. A total of 139 schools from across the United Kingdom have shared the first £3m allocated under the Support for State Schools Fund. It is one of the key commitments of the Armed Forces Covenant, the principles of which were enshrined in law last year and builds on the promises in education for the Armed Forces Community already made as part of the Armed Forces Covenant. The Support for State Schools Fund was started by the MOD in 2011 and will run for four years. Examples of projects which have received funding in the first round of grants are:
*Thirteen schools in the Helensburgh and Lomond area will benefit from
£147,000 that has been awarded to Argyll and Bute Council. The money will help to prevent disruption to learning by providing short term support to Service children during while they settle into new surroundings process.
*Harestock Primary School in Winchester has been awarded a grant of £40,000 to help fund a support worker to act as the focal point for Service families
within the school, counselling for Service families with an absent parent
and materials for welcome packs to support the integration of recently
arrived Service families into the school community;
*£17,500 has been given to fund a Scottish Transitions Officer (STO) to benefit all Scottish Local Authorities affected by the re-basing announcements. The application, which was put forward by the Association of Directors of Education (Scotland), will support the secondment of a STO with the primary purpose of supporting all Service children and families moving school into, within or out of Scotland to ensure the effective, co-ordinated transition of pupils while maintaining pupils’ attainment and achievement;
*St Athan Primary School in Wales were awarded a grant of just under £10,000 to further support the good work taking place in the school regarding development of literacy skills;
*South Farnborough Infant School in Hampshire has been offered just under
£3,000 to support a scheme to improve communication with deployed parents. The scheme will loan, pupils whose parent or parents have deployed netbooks so that they can keep in touch via Skype. The school anticipates improved social and emotional resilience from this group through the scheme.

12 Jan 12. Minister opens £multi-million facility to develop efficient, lightweight aero-engine technology. Mark Prisk MP, Minister of State for Business and Enterprise opened a facility that will develop new composite aero engine components. The facility has been developed by CTAL, a joint venture between Rolls-Royce and GKN Aerospace, to pilot pioneering manufacturing processes for aero-engine fan blades and fan-cases made of composite materials. Lighter, but as strong as traditional metal components, composite blades and cases could improve aero-engine performance and reduce their environmental impact by reducing the overall weight of the engine. CTAL’s GBP14.8m facility will employ 70 highly skilled engineers on the Isle of Wight and has been supported with GBP7.4m in funding from the UK Government.
Business Minister Mark Prisk said, “The UK has the world’s largest aerospace industry outside the USA with a 17 per cent share of the global market, which is worth approximately GBP23bn per year to our nation’s economy. I am pleased to officially open this state-of-the-art facility and to see for myself the work of GKN Aerospace and Rolls-Royce in developing sustainable aviation technologies that will have benefits for marine, health, construction and energy sectors. It is ventures like this that are helping to place Britain as a world leader in the growth area of low carbon solutions, while affirming our commitment to providing the technological needs of the future.”
Marcus Bryson, CEO and President,

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