School nurses are qualified nurses with specialist training for children, young people and families.
The school nursing team consists of Specialist Community Public Health Practitioners, school nurses, and school health assistants and all schools have a named school nurse and attached team. We focus on spotting signs of difficulties early and intervening to make sure young people get the best possible start in life. School nurses lead on the Healthy Child Programme (5-19) and support school-aged children to achieve the best possible health outcomes.
Our team picks up where Health Visitors leave off to make sure every child gets the good start they need to lay the foundations of a healthy life.
The Healthy Child Programme is available to all children and young people (aged 5-19). Through the Healthy Child Programme we promote positive physical, emotional and mental health and assess the health and development of children and young people.
We support children and young people with their families to eat healthily, take part in physical activity and get immunised. We also offer information and guidance on sexual health, mental health and transition support for young people moving schools. We work especially closely with young people with additional health needs, like allergies or seizures.
As part of this we also provide the National Child Measurement Programme, where we weight all children in Wiltshire in Reception and again in Year 6, to track how successful programmes of support are in encouraging healthy lifestyle choices and to identify families who we could support more effectively.
A number of services are in place to tackle overweight and obesity in Wiltshire including:
- The Eat Better, Start Better Award for nurseries for meeting the School Food Trust voluntary guidelines and Top 10 healthy eating tips for nurseries
- Cooking / healthy living 6-week courses for families (ABC Cook) - aimed at areas where obesity levels are high and delivered in Children's Centres for parents/ carers with young children.
- HEY! also provided by Danone in partnership with Wiltshire Council
- Support for families of young people identified as overweight or obese through the National Child Measurement Programme including provision of a free 3 month family swimming membership
- Bike It Plus: The Wiltshire Bike It officer encourages more cycling, walking and scooting to school. Active travel events for pupils, staff and parents are held in selected primary schools.
- The GP Slimming on Referral scheme can accept children and young people from age 11 if accompanied by a parent/ carer.
For full details of the School Nursing service.
We are a universal service, we are here to support all young people.
We will work with any young person referred to us by a teacher, or who comes to us themselves with a problem or challenge they would like to talk about.
School nurses work with all young people in all schools across Wiltshire. Each school will have a school nurse working with them. For the exact times and days your nurse is available, it is best to talk to your individual school or have a look at their website.
We see students while at school and usually have our own space so young people feel safe and secure coming to us for help. We support young people during term time only.
We run drop-in sessions and we try to make sure young people feel welcome and safe talking to us. Individual schools will be able to give you the details of how these sessions work there.
We offer different levels of support depending on the individual needs and circumstances of a young person we meet:
- Community (Your neighbourhood)
We work with local communities to make sure they are equipped to provide local services. This means we are a great source of information about the health services available for your young person in their community and can refer or signpost families onwards.
- Universal (Available to every family)
We provide the Healthy Child Programme, promoting positive physical, emotional and mental health and assessing the health and development of children and young people.
- Universal Plus (Extra support for families)
We are able to support parents, young people and their families when they need extra help. This might be with specific parenting issues or challenges a young person is facing, helping when a young person is feeling unhappy or is struggling with asthma, emotional difficulties or bullying.
- Universal Partnership Plus
For families facing really complicated challenges we can offer extra support over a period of time. This can be helping young people and their families deal with issues like drug and alcohol misuse or mental health challenges. We can also offer extra support to young people and their families affected by special educational needs.
We work with young people in schools, up to the age of 19. As young people prepare to leave school, we can work with other health and educational professionals to identify your on-going needs and signpost or refer families and young people onwards.
Moving in and out of Wiltshire
We work with specific schools, which means if a young person moves out of Wiltshire we will no-longer work with them. Your new school will have a registered school nurse who can offer the same support in your new area. When a new student joins a school we work in, we can meet with them to get to know them and identify underlying challenges they may need support with.