Helping local people live healthier lives.

What is NCMP?

What is the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP)?

The National Child Measurement Programme, Checks your children’s height and weight in Primary School at reception (aged 4 to 5) and in year 6 (aged 10 to 11)  which will provide a Body mass index reading. This information is used to check your child is within a healthy weight range according to the children’s growth chart. This is to ensure that your child is fit and healthy and is also used by the NHS to plan and provide better health services which may be needed for children.


What is Body Mass Index?

Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on your weight in relation to your height and applies to most adult men and women aged 20 and over. For children aged 2 and over, BMI percentile is the best assessment of body fat as it takes their gender and age into account too.

If you are interested in finding out your child’s BMI why not use the NHS BMI calculator  

BMI boys and girls chart

What are the measurements used for?

The BMI (body mass index) measure, used by healthcare professionals, is a good way of finding out whether a child is a healthy weight.

By comparing your child’s weight with their age, height and gender, we can tell whether they are 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 will be in one of four categories:

  • underweight
  • healthy weight
  • overweight
  • very overweight

About one in five children in reception are overweight or very overweight, rising to one in three in year six. Because the number of overweight children has gradually increased, we have slowly become used to it. It can be difficult to tell if your child is overweight as they may look similar to other children of their age. By recording their measurements, we can get an accurate picture.

Research shows that if your child is overweight now, they are more likely to be overweight as an adult, which can lead to health problems in later life. This measurement is an important way of checking how your child is growing.

I have received an NCMP letter

You may have received a letter advising that your child has been measured and weighed by the school nursing team as part of the National Child Measurement Programme.

Your child may have been identified to be above the healthy weight range for his/her age. Excess weight in childhood can lead to potential health risks later in life such as type 2 diabetes, breathing problems, impaired fertility, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, joint pain and some cancers.

BMI charts are accurate for the majority of the population; however, they occasionally indicate an inaccurate BMI range for children who are exceptionally tall, short or muscular build. If you feel this is the case, we would encourage you to discuss this with your child’s School Nurse for clarification. 

We are here to help!

If your child is on or above the healthy weight range, we can offer FREE support for them and the whole family. Our programmes do not address weight loss in the same way that our adult programmes do. We understand this can be a sensitive matter. Our programme delivers a highly successful family & young people’s healthy lifestyle service which is delivered in a fun and interactive way, combining physical activity and games with educational activities where the emphasis is on the importance of a healthy lifestyle for the whole family rather than focusing on shifting the pounds.

Our FREE families and young peoples programmes cover the following topics:

*What is a healthy balanced diet?*
* Portion sizes *
* Healthy Snacks *
* 5 – a- day tasting *
* Importance of physical activity and decreasing sedentary time *
* Healthy lunch box ideas (this is a cookery class) *
* Understanding food labels *
* What’s in your drink? (focusing on sugar content) *
* Healthy breakfast & importance of sleep *
* Tips & advice on eating out* 


Book your place on one of our FREE groups today by calling our friendly team on 01473 718193