National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP)

The National Child Measurement Programme is a national programme that involves the weighing and measuring of children in reception and year 6 in their school. This happens across the country and the data is used to help the NHS and local authorities to understand the health of children and to provide better support and services.

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 and developing.

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

This is something 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
Child BMI Categories

The wellbeing of children and families in Barnsley is vital to us and we want to help make Barnsley the place of possibilities.

We understand that there may be concerns around your child’s growth, weight, eating patterns and body image. The 0-19 Public Health Nursing Service (PHNS) are here to help and want to support you.

Please contact them on (01226) 774411 or email them on

How is this data collected and processed?

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.

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.

Taking part in NCMP

Watch a video of the parents' guide to the National Child Measurement Programme.

This video is to show the children before they're weighed and measured to explain to them what will happen and what the NCMP is for. This video has been shared with schools to show to their classes but if you can also show it to your child if you wish.

Watch the National Child Measurement Programme - a guide for children.

Weight can be a difficult and sensitive topic, Bath University's guide: Talking to your
child about weight provides useful tips and advice for speaking to your child about weight.

The NCMP in Barnsley is carried out in three steps:

Before the measurements:

All primary schools in Barnsley will receive a letter to explain what's required from them as well as parents a letter about the programme. If you wish to withdraw your child from the process, you can do so by contacting the 0-19 PHNS service. Your child doesn't have to be involved, but the data is really useful and important to use to build a national and local picture of how children are growing.

On the day:

The 0-19 PHNS staff will attend your child’s school and will set up in a private room. Children are explained what is going to happen and are asked to take off their shoes. Their height and weight will be measured. Children will not be told their results on the day and individual results will not be shared with their school.

After the measurements:

After your child has been weighed and measured in their school, the BMI of each child will be calculated. You will then receive an SMS message with the option to find out your child’s results.

Next steps:

Finding out your child’s results:

Once you receive a text message, you can choose to access their results by contacting the 0-19 PHNS team on (01226) 774411. Please wait three working days after receiving the measurement result before you contact us.

If your child falls into the unhealthy weight category, you may receive a follow-up contact from a member of the 0-19 PHNS to discuss the results further. This is nothing to worry about, it's simply to offer further support and advice to help your child to grow healthily.

Support for keeping healthy

Online resources:

If you’d like more information on keeping healthy as a family, please visit the Family Hub virtual offer.

Weight can be a difficult and sensitive topic, Bath University's guide: Talking to your
child about weight provides useful tips and advice for speaking to your child about weight. 

The Better Health - healthier families website hosts useful money saving tips, recipe ideas and guidance on physical activity.

The More Money in your Pocket website has lots of useful tips and support for budget friendly recipes and the cost of living crisis.

Local support:

Barnsley Reds in the Community have lots of different sessions for children and young people to participate in to keep active.

Shaw Lane Sports Club have a variety of different sports and club that children can join.

The What’s Your Move website hosts information on local places to be active, activities for children and young people and other active tips and support.

Healthy Holidays is a local holiday clubs for children who receive free schools meals. They also run special celebration events.

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.