National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP)

The NCMP measures the height and weight of children in reception class and year 6. 

The information is used by the NHS and local authorities to plan and provide better services for children.

You can find out more about the National Child Measurement Programme on the NHS website.

Why do you measure my child?

Your child’s height and weight measurements are used to calculate body mass index (BMI). This is an important way of checking how your child is growing.

By comparing your child's weight with their age, height and sex, we can tell whether they're growing as expected.

This is something you may have done when your child was a baby using the growth charts in the Personal Child Health Record (red book).

Once your child's BMI has been calculated, they'll be in one of four categories:

  • underweight
  • healthy weight
  • overweight
  • very overweight

We collect this information because it's in the public interest to understand how many children are overweight, a healthy weight or underweight.

The wellbeing of children and families is very important. If you’re concerned about your child’s growth, weight, body image or eating patterns, you can ask for help from our 0-19 Public Health Nursing Service (PHNS). You can call them on (01226) 774411 or email

How is this data collected and processed?

How your child’s data is collected and processed as part of the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP)

Local authorities have a legal duty to collect the NCMP data. They do this by following guidance from the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities. This is part of the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). Local authorities are responsible for making decisions on how the data is collected. They're also in charge of making sure it's protected. Local NCMP service providers are contracted to carry this out.

This might be through the school nursing team working in schools or a local healthcare provider. The team collecting the data enter it into the NCMP IT system. This is provided by NHS Digital. The data may also be entered into a local child health information system. Your local authority is responsible for sending the data to NHS Digital.

NHS Digital and the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities are jointly responsible for the data held at a national level. Your local authority is responsible for the data held locally.

Please see our NCMP data processing flowchart to find out what happens to your child's data.

Taking part in the NCMP

Each year parents/guardians of children in reception class (ages 4 and 5) and year 6 (ages 10 and 11) will be told about the NCMP. The NCMP in Barnsley is carried out in three steps:

Before measurements

Letters will be sent via SMS, email or post to all parents/guardians of children that attend a Barnsley school, in reception class and year 6. Your child doesn't have to take part, but every child who's measured is helping build the national picture about how children are growing.


0-19 PHNS staff will weigh your child and measure their height at school. The measurements are taken in a sensitive way, in private and away from other children. Individual results are not shared with your child or their school.

After measurement

After your child has been weighed and measured in school you'll receive a message from the 0-19 PHNS, usually as an SMS.

My child has been weighed and measured, what happens now?

You’ll receive a message (usually by SMS) that your child's been weighed and measured as part of the NCMP.

It’s important to have a good understanding of how children are growing, so the best advice and support can be provided for them and their families. Helping children to be a healthy weight is a national and local priority.

Your child’s weight and height measurements are kept confidential. However, statistical data is used by us and the NHS to help plan advice and services in your area.

You can find out how we use and keep the information the 0-19 PHNS collect by looking at our privacy promise.

For details about how the NHS use the NCMP data, see the NHS how the data is used webpage

How do I find out about my child's results?

You don't receive results if your child's a healthy weight. If you'd like to know your child’s measurement results, or discuss any concerns you have about your child’s growth development, you can contact our 0-19 PNHS on (01226) 774411. Please wait three working days after receiving the measurement result before you contact us. This allows for your child’s measurement to be uploaded to their record.  

If your child falls into an unhealthy weight category, you may receive a follow-up contact from someone in the PHNS to discuss the results further.

Where can I find information about staying healthy?

If you'd like more information on keeping healthy and about services available to you, please visit our health and wellbeing webpage.

You can also find more information about food and healthy weight.

You can download a copy of the Eatwell Guide that provides advice about healthy balanced diets.

You’ll also find useful information on the Better Health - healthier families website. Here you can read tips on family meals, healthy snacks, ideas on how to reduce drinks and ways to increase physical activity.

Contact us 

You can contact us on (01226) 774411. Lines are open Monday to Thursday from 8.45am to 4.45pm and Friday 8.45am to 4.15pm. You can also email us at

We also have some great information on our 0-19 Public Health Nursing Service Facebook page.