NCMP is an essential source of reference for schools and local authorities when it comes to the health of children. But Slough Borough Council has also recognised it can be an important opportunity in which to engage schools with health promotion programmes. This case study forms part of our resource on the National Child Measurement Programme.
Like all areas, the results are fed back to schools via email and hard copies sent through the post. But two years ago the council decided to do more to link it in with the healthy weight programmes they were beginning to run.
Physical Activity and Obesity Public Health Programme Officer Tim Howells now delivers presentations at quarterly council meetings with heads and PE leads. As well as talking about the results, Mr Howells also covers the programmes run by the public health team. These include the national Daily Mile, a tier one health promotion scheme called Active Movement and Let’s Get Going, the 12-week local tier two weight management scheme.
Active Movement is offered to all schools and is based on nudge-theory. Schools enrolled on it are given help and advice about how to change the culture in schools. It encourages teachers to get pupils to stand up when answering questions and move round the classroom. It was only launched just over a year ago and is already in five schools with another 15 due to join soon, meaning it will reach of 10,000 pupils.
Clare Beynon, Headteacher of Castleview Primary School, which has been involved, said: “Active Movement has shifted the mind set of our staff and parents. It is amazing how making such small and simple changes alters habits and makes children and adults more active and ultimately healthier individuals.”
Meanwhile, the Daily Mile, which was launched at the start of 2017, is in 12 of the 29 primary schools, with 6,500 children taking part. Let’s Get Going is targeted at three schools a year with the results of the NCMP used to decide where to offer it.
Mr Howells said he has found it very effective to link improvements in health with academic results to get the attention of schools. “There is strong evidence that the healthier and fitter children are the better they learn. They are more alert in class.
“Schools are busy and you have to make sure you get their attention. By stressing this side of it as well we have been able to ensure we engage with as many schools as possible. There are some that have not yet engaged. We would hope to get them involved in the future so will keep working at it.”
Physical Activity and Obesity Public Health Programme Officer
Slough Borough Council