What is the National Child Measurement Programme?

Each year between September and July, the school nurse teams in Buckinghamshire measure children in school to identify those that are either under or overweight. More than one million children are measured every year.

The NCMP measures the height and weight of children in reception class aged 4 to 5 years, and year 6 aged 10 to 11 years. The NCMP has two key purposes:

1) To provide a robust public health surveillance data on child weight status.

2) To provide parents with feedback on their child's weight status. This is to help you to understand your child's health status, and support and encourage healthy behaviour change.

This data can be used at a national level to support local public health initiatives and inform the local planning and delivery of services for children.

Why have I been contacted?

If your child has been identified as being very overweight you’ll likely receive a phone call from a school nurse who will talk you through the resources and services available in your area. If you provide them with consent to have your details passed onto us, we can then contact you directly in regards to enrolling your child onto a Spark programme.

We take the security of your personal information very seriously and our Privacy Policy is available at the bottom of this page. 

Should I be worried?

Today, nearly a third of children aged 2 to 15 are overweight or obese. We are seeing an increase in younger generations becoming obese at earlier ages and staying obese for longer. It’s becoming more common, which is why it’s important to utilise the resources and services available in your community to help your child adopt a healthier lifestyle.

The fact that you're on our website shows you’ve taken the first step towards helping your child attain a healthier weight. Our goal is to help support you throughout the programme and following your completion.

How do I speak to my child about being above a healthy weight?

Conversations with a child about their weight can be a difficult experience for any parent. Ask them how they feel about their weight. Listen to what they say, and feel free to ask questions. Your child's response can guide the conversation. Weight related labels can hurt feelings even if that wasn’t your intention, so avoid words like obesity and overweight and try to focus more on health, and the importance of healthy living.

I'm ready to access the programme with my child, how do I self refer? What's the eligibility criteria?

You can either contact our team on 01494 490436, or complete a referral form. For your child to attend a programme, they must be at or above the 91st percentile on the BMI chart. You can easily check this yourself before completing a form using the calculator below. 

How can I get healthy lifestyle information for my child if they aren't eligible for Spark?

Our website contains a broad range of resources that are free and easily accessed at home. We also offer a Spark support line if you’ve any further questions about advice and support. If your child is aged between 13 and 16, they may be eligible for Free2Go, a young persons weight management programme offered by our partners, Slimming World. Please contact us to find out more. If your child is over the age of 16, they can visit and see what alternative healthy lifestyle support is available to them.


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