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RBWM School Nursing Service

National Child Measurement Programme

The National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) measures the height and weight of children in Reception class (aged 4 to 5) and year 6 (aged 10 to 11), to evaluate overweight and obesity levels in children within primary schools.  

Height(s) and weight(s) are measured and used to calculate a Body Mass Index (BMI). The measurement process is overseen by trained healthcare professionals in schools. The measurements will be completed in a sensitive manner in a private setting within the school.  Individual results will not be shared with school staff or other pupils.

The data can be used nationally to support local public health initiatives, and locally to inform the planning and delivery of services for children. The programme is recognised internationally as a world-class source of public health intelligence and holds UK National Statistics status.

Parents or carers can choose to withdraw their child from the process by responding to the letter that is sent out for year 6 and Reception children from the School Nursing Team.

Defining overweight and obesity in children

Defining children as overweight or obese is a complex process, given that children of different ages and sexes grow and develop at different rates.  This means that a different method is used for children than for adults.

BMI is calculated by dividing their weight (in kilograms) by the square of their height (in metres), and for children, this is then compared to a reference sample of measurements gathered in 1990, which takes age and sex into account.  You can check your child’s BMI using the NHS BMI calculator.

The data is then submitted to NHS Digital, and all of the returns are collated and validated centrally.

Some parents or carers like to discuss the results with their child and then decide together whether to make any changes to the family’s diet or activity levels. You can find further information and tips on how to keep healthy and fit on Change4Life

Should you receive a letter stating your child is underweight/overweight/very overweight, you may receive a phone call from the School Nursing Team to offer further support. 

Please note: referrals are accepted from parents/carers, young people over the age of 13, and other health professionals.  Referrals from other professionals need to be processed via the Early Help Hub, requesting School Nursing Team input.