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And occupying army children with schoolwork and needlework also had the advantage of keeping them out of trouble!
Today, the schooling of army children abroad is provided by Service Children's Education (SCE), and when in Britain, army children attend local schools, that is, unless they are at boarding school.
Officers' children may always have received an education appropriate to their perceived status, but at the price of separation from their parents (often for years on end), for they were generally sent to a boarding establishment, be it a public school, a ladies' academy or a finishing school, in Britain.
Yet during the eighteenth century, the only schooling that the sons and daughters of non-commissioned officers would have received was in cursing and fending for themselves and, if they were girls, making themselves useful by washing and sewing for their father's soldier comrades.
Although regimental schools were increasingly being established, with senior non-commissioned officers initially doing the teaching, these were originally intended to teach illiterate recruits how to read, write and calculate.