Sunderland school pledges support for Armed Forces heroes

A Sunderland school has pledged its support to serving and former members of the Armed Forces by signing the Armed Forces Covenant.

Argyle House of Thornhill Park which is a part of the Forfar Education Group has signed the covenant which promises serving or former members of the Armed Forces, and their families, should be treated fairly and should not face disadvantages when seeking to access public or private goods and services in the UK.

In addition to supporting service leavers and veterans, Forfar is also leading the way in providing support for current and former members of the military at their schools.

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John Forsyth, chairman of Argyle House and CEO and founder of Forfar Education, served as an officer in the British Army between 2000 and 2007, said the Armed Forces Covenant was a simple and impactful way of supporting ex-service personnel as they navigate reintegration into civilian life.

John Forsyth (Left) Serving in Iraq

Forfar is the first independent schools group to offer this support to veterans and serving members of the armed forces in the hope that this becomes standard across the independent school sector.

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John said: “We wish to support veterans of the services, many of whom have spent a decade or so in the military serving their country and then left to start or bring up a family. Again, we feel that more should be done here.

“Across the group, we aim to teach not just great academics but also resilience and confidence via team sports and outdoor learning, which again appeals to many military parents. Also, our school in Harrogate is well placed to support military families there, who wish for a welcoming family environment for day pupils.”

Argyle House

The Forfar group has close ties to the military with many famous and highly regarded military alumni, including former Chiefs of Defence, Chiefs of the General Staff and Victoria Cross holders.

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John added: “Our goal is to establish ourselves both as an employer known for its open-door, welcoming policies in regard to those seeking work after leaving the forces and also to be a company that supports where we can, all our serving military and veterans, and we wish to lead the way here so that support of our Armed Forces personnel and veterans becomes normalised across the independent school sector.”