Childcare Building on the 2010 survey to feed further evidence to the RAF policy staffs and the Covenant team on this important aspect of family life. Questions covered level of demand, access, cost, quality and choice.
Definition of Family Building on the 2010 survey to inform the New Employment Model and Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff Personnel policy staffs. Questions covered potential recognition of unmarried partners and the differing needs of divorced parents, lone parents and those families seeking to support elderly relatives or older children.
Employment & Training Opportunities for Family Members Building on the 2010 survey to inform Ministers and the Covenant Reference Group of the continuing challenges Service family members face in accessing and retaining employment and training.
Youth Building on the 2010 survey to gather evidence from 10-17 year old children of RAF parent(s), exploring their unique perspective on Service life. Questions covered changing schools, deployment of parents and access to youth-friendly facilities at unit level.
In 2011, our visit programme took us to five RAF units and we gathered 735 votes from audiences of both serving and non-serving family members. Audience levels fluctuated – with a notable excellent showing by the RAF Regiment at RAF Honington. We were delighted with the support offered at unit level and we gathered many meaningful quotes and anecdotes to colour our reports.
Our thanks go to RAF stations Henlow, Honington, High Wycombe, Waddington and Ramstein for supporting our visit programme and we also wish to thank those on the Future Commanders Study Period and the Community Support courses for their votes. One disappointment for 2011 was our inability to visit units in Scotland and we will certainly do our best to ensure we get to these in 2012.
Our online surveys were launched in June 2011 and, following initial difficulties with password access, we opened up all surveys and captured 2,361 votes online, bringing our overall total to 3,096, more than double the number of votes cast in 2010. Going online gave access to a far wider audience than previously achieved and we saw votes coming in from more than 40 locations world-wide and a better representation of those family members living ‘beyond the wire’.
In terms of top-level data, the 2011 surveys saw the following participants:
71% serving (Regular), 6% serving (Reservist) and 23% non-serving 43% female and 57% male 75% living in SFA/SSFA or SLA/SSLA with 25% living in their own or rented accommodation
All ranks were represented, with the most prominent ranks being cpl, sgt, flt lt and sqn ldr. The split between commissioned and non- commissioned voters was 30% to 70%. Sadly, very few gp capts+ or WOs took the time to contribute evidence this year, something we will seek to address in 2012.
All ages were represented, with the majority of votes coming from the 31 to 40 age group (39%) closely followed by the 41 to 55 age group (33%).
For details of the top-level results arising from each of the surveys listed above, please go to the relevant supplementary report(s) published with this Annual Report.
Overall, the 2011 evidence-gathering activity, combining live data capture and online surveys, was considered our best to-date and we look forward to building on this experience to shape the 2012 programme.
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