National Child Measurement Programme

Height and weight checks for children in Reception and Year 6

Every year in England, school children in Reception and Year 6 have their height and weight checked at school as part of the National Child Measurement Programme. Height and weight measurements are used to calculate weight status. We collect this information because it is in the public interest to understand how many children are overweight, healthy weight or underweight and offer support to parents where required. Your child’s class will take part in this year’s programme.

The checks are carried out by registered school nurses or trained health care providers. Children are measured fully clothed, except for their coats and shoes, in a private space away from other pupils. The programme will be delivered in a COVID-safe way, in line with the school and local authority’s safety control measures and national guidance for schools and healthcare.

The wellbeing of children and families is very important. Measurements are conducted in a sensitive way, in private and away from other children. Individual results are not shared with your child or their school. The weight and height information is shared only with you in the parent or carer feedback letter. It is your choice if you share the information with your child.

The emotional impact of the NCMP has been researched and studies show that body image, self-esteem, weight-related teasing and restrictive eating behaviours do not change as a result of being measured or receiving feedback. If you are concerned about your child’s growth, weight, body image or eating patterns, seek further support from a school nurse or General Practitioner.


The information we collect and what it is used for is listed below: 

•    your child’s date of measurement, sex and date of birth are used to calculate your child’s weight category 
•    your child’s name, date of birth and NHS Number are used to link your child’s measurements in Reception and Year 6.

Other data sets held by NHS Digital and Department of Health and Social Care, may also be linked as this would let us add information from health and education records, where lawful to do so, to understand how and why the weight of children is changing, and how this affects children’s health and education and how we can improve the care children receive. This includes your child’s health data relating to; 
o    their birth, hospital care (including time in hospital and out-patient appointments and diagnosis of medical conditions) 
o    mental health
o    social care
o    primary care - includes all healthcare outside of hospital such as GP and dental appointments, 
o    public health - including data relating to preventing ill health such as immunisation records 
o    records for when and the reason why people pass away
o    medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes
o    health, lifestyle and wellbeing surveys that your child has participated in
•    your child’s ethnicity and address are used to help understand some of the reasons for the difference and changes in child weight across England 
•    your address is required to send you your child’s feedback letter. This will include your child’s measurements together with information about healthy eating, being active and related activities available in your area. 

All the data collected is also used for improving health, care and services through research and planning.

All this information is treated confidentially and held securely. No individual measurements will be given to school staff or other children.

The information collected from all schools in the area will be gathered together and held securely by Central and North West London NHS Trust.  We will store your child’s information as part of their local child health record on the NHS’s child health information database.

All the information collected about your child will be sent by us to NHS Digital. NHS Digital is responsible for collecting data and information about health and care so that this can be used to monitor and improve the care provided to people across England. 

The information collected about your child will also be shared by NHS Digital with the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) which is part of the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) but in a de-personalised form only. This means OHID will not be able to identify your child. OHID focuses on improving the nation's health so that everyone can expect to live more of life in good health, and on levelling up health disparities to break the link between background and prospects for a healthy life. 

Both NHS Digital and the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (DHSC) will use the information from the National Child Measurement Programme to better understand numbers and trends in child weight and body mass index (BMI). This helps with the planning of services to support healthy lifestyles in your area. No information will ever be published by NHS Digital or the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (DHSC) that identifies your child.

De-personalised information from the National Child Measurement Programme may also be shared by NHS Digital with other organisations, such as universities. This is to help improve health, care and services through research and planning. This information cannot be used to identify your child, and NHS Digital only ever shares information for research with the approval of an independent group of experts. 

If you are happy for your child to be measured, you do not need to do anything. 

If you do not want your child’s height and weight to be measured, or your child has a medical condition that affects their height or weight please let school know so that they can advise the Healthcare Professionals who will be carrying out the measurements.

Children will not be made to take part on the day if they do not want to. 


Further information about the National Child Measurement Programme can be found at

Information and fun ideas to help your kids stay healthy can be found at: 

Information about how NHS Digital and Office for Health Improvement and Disparities collect and use information can be found at and 

Information about the organisations NHS Digital has shared information from the National Child Measurement Programme can be found at

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