Misleading stories about the National Child Measurement Programme

There have been several stories in the national news today (Wednesday 22 March) about the National Child Measurement Programme. The stories are misleading as they single out one Plymouth primary school.

A Plymouth City Council spokesperson said: “The National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) is one of five mandated programmes that local authority Public Health teams are required to take part in on an annual basis.

“It is not fair to single out one school for taking part in the programme as it is something our Public Health Team co-ordinates across all infant, junior and primary schools in Plymouth in partnership with Livewell South West.

“In Plymouth, the programme is operated in strict accordance with detailed national guidance which is updated annually. This means the programme is operated on an opt-out basis and parents are asked in advance if they wish to withdraw their child from the programme. Children themselves are also free to decline to take part on the day.

“The parents of those children who are weighed and measured as part of the programme receive their child’s results through the post. Results are not given to the children themselves or to the school.

“It’s important to remember that all children are unique and clearly some children will not fit the national average. This is why we encourage parents to talk directly to the school nurse if they have any concerns about their child’s weight or any aspect of this national programme”