Public Health England (PHE) is publishing new guidance on the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) today (1 August) for implementation in the 2013 to 2014 school year.
The guidance supports local authorities to meet their new statutory duty to deliver the NCMP, which measures the height and weight of children in reception and Year 6 annually.
Until March 2013, primary care trusts were responsible for delivering the programme, but on 1 April 2013 local authorities became responsible for NCMP. PHE is working with local authorities to support them in delivering the programme.
Professor Kevin Fenton, National Director for Health and Wellbeing, said:
The real benefit of this programme is that it supports local authorities to understand their local population and also helps parents identify whether or not their child is maintaining a healthy weight.
The guidance details changes to the programme resulting from the new public health landscape, and the new IT system that will be available from September.
Template letters for local authorities to use when delivering the programme are included in the guidance, including a template for sharing results with parents, which they can edit to suit local preferences.
Notes to editors
View the National child measurement programme: operational guidance for the 2013 to 2014 school year
National Child Measurement Programme
The NCMP was established in 2005, and involves the annual weighing and measuring in schools of all eligible children in reception year and Year 6. Its two main aims are to:
- provide robust, local public health surveillance data on child weight status: to understand prevalence of obesity and trends at a local and national level
- provide parents with feedback on their child’s weight status: to help them understand their child’s health status, support and encourage behaviour change and provide a mechanism for direct engagement with families with overweight and obese children
Since 2005, nearly 7 million children have participated in the NCMP, and the programme holds National Statistics status and is regarded as a world-class source of information.
About Public Health England
Public Health England’s mission is to protect and improve the nation’s health and to address inequalities through working with national and local government, the NHS, industry and the voluntary and community sector. PHE is an operationally autonomous executive agency of the Department of Health.