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National child measurement programme

The National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) involves the measurement of the height and weight of children in reception class and year 6 in all state-maintained primary and middle schools every year. The Council has a legal responsibility to undertake the NCMP.

We know your child's health and wellbeing is very important to you, which is why, once the measurements have been completed, we will send you the measurements and the weight category for your child. You can use this information to check if your child is growing as expected for their age. The information is important as it supports the decisions you are already making that will help your child maintain a healthy lifestyle.

What happens on the day?

In Blackpool, after obtaining consent from parents/carers, the school nurse takes the height and weight measurements in a private area away from other pupils. The measurements will never be shared with teachers, other children or your child - unless you choose to do so.

How will I find out the results?

A letter is then sent to the parents/carers of the child advising them of the results. The letter will contain your child's BMI centile and your child will fall into one of four categories: underweight, healthy weight, overweight or very overweight.

What do I do next?

The results may be reassuring, but they may also surprise or worry you. We know you do a great job as a parent and this is not a criticism of what you have been doing. The results are designed to help you understand if your child's height and weight are growing as expected.

If the results worry you, speak to your GP or school nurse for advice. Many parents have found the tips on the Change4Life website useful in helping them make small lifestyle changes to keep their child in the healthy weight range.

If your child is overweight, you can read this advice for parents/carers of overweight children to help you decide what steps to take and advise you about what help is available.

Blackpool has a free Weight Management programme called Making Changes for children aged 4 to 11 who are above a healthy weight, and their families.  Visit the Making Changes webpage for more information and/or to register for the programme.

Should I tell my child the results?

This is entirely up to you. The letter is sent to you, and the school won't tell them the result. Some parents decide to tell their children and talk about the changes they need to make together. Others decide not to, and make subtle changes without their child noticing. You can get some advice on how to talk to your child about their weight on the Weight Concern website.

For information about a wide range of activities for children (including during the holidays), visit the Sport Blackpool website.  You can also find local services, activities and events on the Blackpool FYi Directory website.

Useful links

The National Child Measurement Programme - Live Well - NHS Choices

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