School entry health screening

School nurse measures child

The school nursing service carries out routine screening of height; weight and hearing. In addition to this, children are offered a vision check which is carried out by orthoptists from Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust. This is offered to children of reception age or those new in school in years 1 and 2 who have not been seen elsewhere.

Why do we screen?

Screening is important to ensure any issues are identified at an early stage and that your child will be able to fulfill their potential in school. All screening for children attending school will be carried out in school by trained staff from Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust. If your child is home educated please contact our service to arrange for this screening to take place (0114 3053224)

The National Child Weighing and Measuring Programme (Reception and Y6 only)

Changes to our service during COVID-19 school closures:

Reception aged children
If your child is in reception and has not yet had their school entry height, weight and hearing check we would like to reassure you that these checks will be carried out when schools are up and running again.This may be when your child joins Y1. In the meantime if you have any concerns about your child’s height, weight or hearing you can contact the School Nursing Service on 0114 3053284 for advice.

Year 6 pupils
If your Child is in year 6 and has not had their height and weight checked as part of the NCMP programme we will try to see them where possible if schools reopen before the end of the Summer term. If you have any concerns about your child’s height and weight please contact the School Nursing Service on 0114 3053284.

What is the Weighing and Measuring Programme?

In Reception and Year 6, your child’s height and weight is recorded as part of the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP).  For this programme the following data is used:

  • Child’s name
  • Date of birth
  • Sex
  • Address and postcode
  • Ethnicity
  • Parent contact number

The results of the height and weight screening are not given to the child or staff in school. We will inform you by letter of the results within eight weeks of the measurements being taken if your child is measured in reception or year 6.

How else is this data used?

The NHS and local authorities need to understand how  children are growing across the country and how many children are over or underweight so that the best possible services can be provided to help support them. Data collected as part of the NCMP programme is submitted for national analysis to support this process but is done so in a way that children cannot be directly identified.

As part of the National Child Measurement programme, if your child is identified as being very overweight, we will share your child’s name, date of birth, address, height and weight details and a parental contact number with the Live Lighter Service. This service has been contracted by Sheffield City Council to contact you to offer further information, advice and support. The service will not contact any child directly only the parent/career. The service provides free age specific programmes for families with children aged from 5-19 years. Each programme is specifically designed to provide age-appropriate messages, activities and strategies that will be helpful to the whole family.

What help is available if I have concerns about my child’s height and weight?

Please contact the school nursing team if you have any concerns about your child’s height and weight. School nurses are able to provide support and where needed, able to make referrals to other services such as the growth clinic if assessment by a paediatrician is required, or to local community dietitians.

School entry hearing tests

Audiologist checks a childs hearing

Changes to our service during COVID-19 school closures:

Children who were due to have a repeat hearing in school will be seen in school when they return, or you will be invited to a community venue, as soon as we are able to do so. If you have concerns about your child’s hearing please contact the school nurse team on 0114 3053284.

What is the hearing test?

School entry screening includes a hearing test. The test used is called a ‘sweep test’ and involves a series of sounds played at different volumes and frequencies through headphones. Your child is asked to respond when they hear the sound.

The test is a basic screening exercise. If your child’s outcome is below a certain level we will inform you of this by letter sent to your home address.  This is not uncommon and may be due to a recent cold or simply a lapse in concentration. The test will be repeated in school approximately six to eight weeks later. If a child has a very low score a second time, a referral will be made to the audiology department at Sheffield Children’s Hospital for a more detailed test. You will be informed of the outcome of the second test by letter. If you have any concerns about your child’s hearing please contact your school nurse or GP.

What if I do not wish my child to have school entry health screening?

If you do not consent to your child taking part in school entry screening of height, weight, vision, hearing and the NCMP programme you must write a letter confirming this to the School Nursing service.

This should be sent to the School Nursing Service by Monday 29 October 2019. We are not able to accept this information by telephone or email.

You should provide the following information in your letter:

  • Yours child’s name
  • Date of birth
  • The name of the school they attend
  • What part of the screening you do not wish your child to take part in

Please do not send the letter to school. It should be sent to

Sheffield 0-19 Service
Centenary House, Lower Ground Floor
Heritage Park
55 Albert Terrace Rd
S6 3BR

If we do not hear from you your child will be seen as part of the school entry screening programme.

What if I have any questions about school health screening or concerns about my child’s health?

If you have any questions about the screening process or concerns about your child’s health please contact the Sheffield Children’s 0-19 Community Service on (0114) 305 3224, option 4.


It is important that your child is up to date with their vaccinations to prevent them from getting a number of serious illnesses. Please contact your GP or Practice Nurse if you think your child is not up to date with their vaccinations. Information regarding school based immunisation programmes carried out by our service will be sent to you by post at the appropriate time.

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