Our school nursing service is part of the Hertfordshire Family Centre service. The service brings children’s centres, health visiting and school nursing together to provide a more joined up service for children, young people and their families from pregnancy through to when a child reaches 19. There is a range of different support groups, activities and services on offer for children and their families to help them be healthy, grow and develop. Families can access available services from any Hertfordshire Family Centre, allowing them to fit sessions and services around busy family lives. For more information, visit the Family Centre Service website.
If you have concerns about your child’s emotional or physical health and wellbeing, we can help.
Call our duty line number 0300 123 7572 for more information.
The school nursing service works together with children and young people their parents/carers and school staff, to provide a comprehensive efficient and accessible service which:
- Helps children keep healthy during their school days and for the rest of their lives
- Prevents ill health in children and the local community
- Supports children with medical needs and those needing medication
- Ensures that educational potential is not hampered by unmet health needs
- Monitors and supports families in relation to Hertfordshire safeguarding policies
When your child starts school at the age of five, care is transferred from the health visiting service to the school nursing service. The service has four distinct areas that it offers to children attending a Hertfordshire mainstream school. Please be aware that this service is not commissioned for children attending private schools.
School aged immunisations are offered to all Hertfordshire children including those who are home educated.
Information for young carers
The School Nursing Service has also worked with young carers to help provide some information and support for children and young people who are caring for a family member or loved one at home. Go to our Young carers page for resources.
Quick links for help and information
- Chathealth text messaging service - for those aged 11-19.
- School nursing instagram - for advice and support.
- School nursing service animation - Watch our new animation to guide you through our school nursing service, what we offer, how to contact us and refer into our service.
- Keeping safe - information on how to keep your child safe from risky activities such as grooming and involvement with gangs.
Emotional wellbeing and mental health workshops
The children’s wellbeing practitioners are pleased to offer the following workshops to parents and/or young people focused on emotional wellbeing and mental health. Click on the relevant leaflet to see more details about each workshop:
- Adolescent sleep difficulties workshop
- Supporting your child with sleep difficulties
- Supporting adolescent emotional wellbeing for adolescents and parents
- Supporting your child's emotional wellbeing
All workshops will be delivered virtually via Microsoft Teams. Please see the Eventbrite link on the leaflets for further details.
The Hertfordshire School Nurse Service comprises of
- School nurses: are specialist community public health nurses who are highly qualified nurses with an additional degree in public health, which specifically relates to the health needs of the school aged population.
- Community nurses: are registered nurses with a variety of experiences from different complimentary areas to school nursing.
- School nurse assistants: have experience and specific training to work with children and young people.
- Children’s wellbeing practitioners (CWPs): are our newest additions to the school nursing service. They are trained to deliver manual guided self-help for anxiety, behavioural difficulties and low mood. Children’s wellbeing practitioners work with the parents of children in primary school and directly with young people in secondary school.
The school nursing teams works closely with education, social care and other health professionals, to help children and young people to remain healthy and to ensure that any health needs are met.
- How the service is provided
- Who is eligible for the service
- What will happen at your appointment
- Useful information
- Making a referral
- Patient experience
How the service is provided
The School Nursing Teams works closely with education, social care and other health professionals to help children and young people to remain healthy and to ensure that any health needs are met.
Four core areas
The service has four distinct areas that it offers to children attending a Hertfordshire mainstream school. Please be aware that this service is not commissioned for children attending private schools.
1. Community (your neighbourhood)
In the community there are a range of health services for children young people and their families. School nurses lead in ensuring that you know about these services and that they are made accessible to everybody. We work with local communities to ensure they are equipped to deliver local services.
2. Universal service (offered to every family)
School nurses lead and deliver the healthy child programme from 5 to 19-years to ensure a healthy progression for each and every child and young person. This includes promoting positive physical and mental health, supporting parents, and assessing the health and development of children and young people.
3. Universal plus (further support for families)
School nurses are able to support parents, children, young people and families when they need extra help. Some examples include support with specific parenting issues and depression, asthma, emotional difficulties and bullying.
4. Universal partnership plus (families who need additional support)
School nurses are able to provide ongoing support, with extra support from a range of local services working together with the family to deal with more complex issues over a period of time. Some examples include special educational needs, drug and alcohol misuse, child and adolescent mental health services, looked after children and young carers. Health visitors and school nurses work together to protect and ensure children are safe Sometimes it may be in the child’s best interests for some aspects of their health to be assessed or to be monitored regularly. If so parents are kept informed at all times of our involvement and of any action considered necessary.
Who is eligible for the service
The school nursing service work with all school aged children and young people that attend Hertfordshire mainstream schools.
Aged 4 - 5yrs: School entry (Reception)
In reception all children will be seen for screening of height, weight, vision and hearing as part of a targeted school health surveillance programme. Any issues identified will, with your permission, be monitored or referred to a specialist service. An online health questionnaire, (The Lancaster Model) is also offered to parents/carers of reception children to complete, during the reception year. From this, health advice, support and school nurse intervention can be provided if health needs are identified.
Height and weight results are, with parental consent, included in the National Childhood Measurement Programme.
As part of the National Childhood Measurement Programme, children’s height and weight is measured and recorded. Year 6 children are also invited to complete the online Lancaster Model questionnaire in the school setting. Parental consent is sought for this. Support and health advice can then be provided for any issues or unmet health needs that arise from the questionnaire results for individual children and health trends and issues can be identified that may emerge for schools. School nurses will work in partnership with schools to address any issues that may arise for their school.
Aged 11yrs: Secondary School Entry (year 7)
From this age students are encouraged to take more responsibility for decisions regarding their own health since most of them have sufficient knowledge and understanding to do so (Children’s Act 1989). Therefore during secondary education, the school health programme will be arranged directly with the schools wherever there is a need.
What will happen at your appointment
The school nurse will be happy to meet with the child/young person at home, school or possible venue of choice and advise you on many health matters including the following:
- Dental health growth and development
- Healthy weight and physical activity
- Emotional health and wellbeing
- Sexual health advice and guidance
- Smoking cessation
- Drug and alcohol misuse
- Bed Wetting/Soiling
- Bereavement Support
- Bullying/Emotional Support
- Health Eating/Exercise
- Emotional, Mental Health & Wellbeing and Behavioural Support
The nurse can also make appropriate referrals to other services if required.
Please note: Children’s Wellbeing Practitioners will meet with the parent(s) or carer(s) of children in primary school.
Parents, teachers, GPs and other healthcare staff can now refer a child to the school nursing service via an online form. Make a referral now via the Family Centre Service.
Health for Teens and Health for Kids websites
Two local websites managed by the school nursing service, aims to provide children and young people with health and wellbeing advice and guidance.
Designed with creative materials and interactive tools, the websites also provide relevant signposting to other services in the county and contact details for the school nursing teams in each school.
Chat Health is the school nurse text messaging service for all secondary school aged pupils. It is a confidential service and available Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. Young people can message for advice on all kinds of health issues such as sexual health, emotional health and wellbeing, bullying, healthy eating and any general health concerns.
The text number is: 07480 635050
Read more about the service on the Health for Teens website.
Other useful websites and services
- SEND information and resources for parents/carers of children and young people aged 5-25
- SEND information and resources for education staff of children and young people aged 5-25
Contacting your School Nurse
Wherever you live in Hertfordshire, you can contact your school nurse via the Hertfordshire Family Centre Service on 0300 123 7572.
Have you heard of the Local Offer?
If you are a young person with, or have a child with special educational needs and disabilities, (SEND) the Local Offer is Hertfordshire’s central source of information for SEND services and support. Visit www.hertsdirect.org/localoffer for an easily accessible one stop shop.
Making a referral
How to make a referral
Whether you are a parent, teacher, GP, a health professional or from an agency, you can refer a child to the School Nursing Service using an online form. Make a referral online via the Family Centre Service.
Young people can also self-refer into the service.
Meeting the criteria for a referral
GPs should contact the school nursing service at the local base to discuss any concerns.
The service threshold for referral to more specialised services or withdrawal of the service will be on one (or more) of the following:
- Where there is significant evidence of risk to the safety of the professional (assessment related to the risk of this to any children must be made in line with safeguarding children policy) and appropriate action taken
- Where the client refuses intervention (assessment related to the risk of this to any children must be made in line with safeguarding children policy) and appropriate action taken
- When the family move out of the Hertfordshire area, unless the children remain in a Hertfordshire School
- In the case of significant mental health needs of a child or parent the school nurse would be expected to facilitate referral to a specialised service and to continue contact with the family working in collaboration with the other specialised professional i.e. child and adolescent mental health.