Today I received an email from my children’s primary school, telling us the date about the National Childhood Measurement Programme.
I was not surprised, as knew it would be coming up, as have three older children that were put through it.
I have not hesitated to send a email straight back, informing the school that I wish to opt out for my son to be put through this, I mean I do not need a letter telling me just how perfect my child is, I already know this as his mother. I do not think they gain anything from doing this, come on we can see if certain children are a little more padded or in fact on the slender side, each child, in fact each human is unique, surely they would be better spending the time and money on those that need the help.
Why am I so frustrated by this, well my daughter was classed as OVERWEIGHT at 5yrs old, this is my daughter who is extremely tall and on the slender side, I was upset, but also found it worrying to think, some parents might just take this piece of paper and put their children on a diet, seriously it is so outdated and could in my opinion be dangerous, can you imagine a child hearing that they are over weight, or a parent telling them what the letter says, we need to build up our children’s self esteem, not knock them back and then put them on a downward spiral of self loathing, worrying about appearances and not feeling good enough, one simple word can have a devastating effect, you know saying ‘you are fat!’
So I say think about this seriously, do the government really need to be wasting time and money on outdated, charts, that do not represent the huge differences that make up our children.
I would personally get someone to help the select few, use the money spent on school nurses, making their presence known in schools, let them become like we used to have the nit nurses, for that is still spreading across whole age groups and now after so many rules brought into place, saying you can not touch a child’s head, you can not tell a parent your child has headlice, oh please stop with all the political mumble jumble, bring back authority, caring where it is needed and encouragement to all our children, in fact bring in lessons about healthy eating, what type of problems people can face as they grow older, through smoking, eating the wrong foods and partaking in illegal substances, educate our children do not send out ridiculous national statistical measurements!
Also Take note of all the information that they are saying that will be kept on our children’s health record, keeping personal details, it is not on!
Is the NCMP compulsory for children?
Participation in the programme is not compulsory, but non-participation is on an opt-out basis only.
National Childhood Measuring Programme (NCMP)
Height and weight checks for children in Reception and Year 6 on 11.03.16
Every year in England, children in Reception and Year 6 have their height and weight measured as part of the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP). Your child’s class will take part in this year’s measurement programme.
The NCMP provides information to help build an understanding of national and local trends in child weight. It is important to have a good understanding of how children are growing, so that the best possible advice and support can be provided for them and their families.
The measurements will be supervised by trained school nursing staff from the School Health Nurse team at school in a private space away from other pupils. Children who take part will be measured fully clothed except for their coats and shoes. Routine data such as your child’s name, date of birth, sex, address, postcode and ethnicity will also be collected.
The data from all schools in the area will be gathered together and held securely by our local authority public health team. Please note that we may store your child’s information on their health record. No individual measurements will be given to school staff or other children, and all information will be treated confidentially.
The programme’s data are used within the local authority and NHS to help plan the provision of services and advice to support healthy weight and lifestyles in the area. The information is also submitted for national analysis and publication in a way that means individual children cannot be identified.
We will send you your child’s results within six weeks of measurement, to your home address. Please do not hesitate to contact the school health team if you have any concerns; we may also contact you to discuss your child’s results.
If you are happy for your child to be weighed and measured, you do not need to do anything. If you do not want your child to take part, please contact us as soon as possible to discuss your concerns. with the School Health Team.
The National Child Measurement Programme
Measuring height and weight in schools
Every year, throughout England, more than a million children in Reception and Year 6 have their height and weight measured as part of the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP). If your child is in Reception or Year 6, you should receive a letter with more information about the programme in your child’s school.
Trained staff will measure your child’s height and weight, in their clothes, at school. They will take care to ensure that the measurements are done sensitively and in private, and your child’s results will not be shared with teachers or other children. Your child does not have to participate, but we urge you to encourage your child to take part.
Why is it important that my child takes part?
Almost one in three children in England is overweight or obese by age 11. With so many children being overweight, an overweight child may not look different from their friends. Therefore, we tend not to notice when a child is overweight and are becoming accustomed to heavier children as the norm. That is why an objective measurement of how a child is growing is useful.
Collectively, information about children’s weight helps to build a national and local picture on how children are growing. The more children that take part, the clearer that picture will be. The information collected is used to help plan and provide better health and leisure services for the children in your area.
Will I find out my child’s result and what will the result tell me?
How you get your child’s result will depend on how the programme is run in your area. Most areas will send all parents a letter with their child’s result after the
measurement. In other areas, parents can ask for their child’s result. The letter telling you about the programme in your child’s school will advise you of this.
The result will tell you your child’s height and weight when they were measured and whether this means they are underweight, a healthy weight or overweight for their age, sex and height.
The letter will also include details for getting further advice and support to help your family lead a healthy lifestyle.
What happens to the results?
Results from all the schools in your area will be gathered together and held securely by your local public health team. Some of the information will be sent to the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). The HSCIC collects and holds health data on behalf of the NHS and social care. This information is used to produce reports and information to assist the development of services to help families lead healthy lifestyles.
Why is a healthy weight important?
Research shows that modern living makes it more difficult to be a healthy weight. If we carry on as we are, many children may grow up with dangerous amounts of fat in their bodies, putting them at a greater risk of developing cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease in later life.
Because it is not easy to tell just by looking if a child is overweight, the results can help parents make decisions about their child’s lifestyle and make simple changes if necessary.
To help your child achieve and maintain a healthy weight, encourage the whole family to enjoy eating healthily and being active. Children who see their parents, grandparents and carers following a healthy and active lifestyle tend to join in and learn by example. These habits become a normal part of everyday life for the whole family.