School Nurse Week 10-14 July 2017

Your School Nurse logoWe are planning a School Nurse Week from 10-14 July 2017. This will be an outward focused week, and it relies on you all to play your part. This is not an opportunity to congratulate ourselves rather it is a week of reaching out to the rest of the country to tell them what we do to make a difference. We need to answer the question ‘why should we commission your service?’

•    The regional leads on the CPHVA exec will coordinate one topic per day in each region. We have devised a list of five topics: obesity & oral health, sexual health, mental & emotional health, safeguarding, immunisation. The over-arching theme is ‘Healthy Schools’. We will advertise school nurse interventions on these across all local and national channels.

•    Locally we ask you to arrange to see your councillors, STP (sustainable transformation plan) leads, save our NHS group, school governors, teachers, CCG lead, doctors, practice nurses, health champions, parents’ groups, charities, radio, social services, A&E service, Healthwatch, health and well-being board, local paper, youth workers etc; to inform them about how school nurses work to promote good health, over and above the input from parents and schools. We will provide briefings and presentations for you to use.

•    We ask you to commit to influencing five important groups or persons that week.

•    We will have a social media strategy for the week for you to join in.  Make sure you are following our Twitter and Facebook pages.

•    Please start collecting ‘memes’ from your clients: ‘school nurses make a difference because…….’ which we can use during the week. Please email your 'memes' to Unite lead professional officer public health, Ros Godson

•    We would like to make some YouTube videos for school nurses on the topics that will feature on our Unite in Health YouTube channel, so if you feel you are an expert, please get in touch, and we can film you.

•    Could you organise a local event or roadshow?  Please liaise with your regional leads on the CPHVA exec

•    Please let your local partners know about the week; they can join in!

•    Please make a poster and come to CPHVA conference in Cardiff, 17-18 October.

Please contact us with your comments and queries: Ros Godson and Claire Elwell (CPHVA exec member)


Every school nurse, members and their colleagues, need to focus your energies outside of your workplace and talk and demonstrate to other people and organisations what is vital about the service we offer.

It is not apparent to many of the decision makers that school nurses are trained in particular skills which make them ideal to bridge the gap between education, health and home to deliver improved health outcomes. We need to make other groups and organisations realise that school nurses are integral to the multi-disciplinary team and that you should be employed in numbers that allow for the work to take place.

You will want to talk to: teachers, parents, school governors, GPs, social workers, voluntary and not for profit groups, local charities, the STP, Health Board and CCG, A&E staff, local authority lead councillors for health, all local Healthwatch and other scrutiny groups, MPs, church groups, social groups, local radio, local newspapers, etc; in particular those who make local decisions about health services and those who hold the purse strings.

It has long been recognised that there is a direct correlation between pupil health and well-being and attainment, but if you enter any school in the land, although you will be able to locate the head of maths, science, English and art, you will be very unlikely to find the lead for public health, as it is assumed that this is a parental role. The figures on poor mental and emotional health, child protection, decayed teeth, obesity, smoking, drunkenness, drug taking and sexual transmitted diseases belie this.

Click here to download the Aim of the School Nurse Week and further information briefing

Each day of the week will have a different theme so that you can target who to talk to and explain your role in this particular topic.

Monday: what is SN role in safeguarding?
Keeping safe:
The school nurses’ role in safeguarding includes multi-agency partnership work to prevent child sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation, sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy. 
Click here to download the School Nurse Week Monday 10 July 2017 briefing

Tuesday: what is SN role in childhood obesity and oral health?
Healthy lifestyles:
There is a strong role for school nurses working with partners to reduce childhood obesity given your unique position which enables you to identify weight issues in children early on.  School nurses can also help reduce the terrible and entirely preventable illness of oral caries. Children grow their secondary dentition throughout primary school and need guidance to look after their permanent teeth.
Click here to download the School Nurse Week Tuesday 11 July 2017 briefing
Why children's oral health should be everyone's business by Claire L Stevens, Consultant in Paediatric Dentistry, University Dental Hospital of Manchester

Wednesday: what is SN role in supporting children into school?

Maximising learning and achievement: It is clear that those who do not attend school are unlikely to do well, and so helping the school investigate the reasons behind sickness absence is a job which will enhance both the school’s prestige and the child’s outcomes. Young carers have especial needs and school nurses are integral to the Troubled families agenda.
Click here to download the School Nurse Week Wednesday 12 July 2017 briefing

Supporting complex and extra health and wellbeing needs: Supporting complex and additional health and well-being needs: there is statutory guidance for supporting pupils at school with medical conditions and school nurses are ideally placed to help schools understand their responsibilities. From writing whole school policies to liaising with hospital departments and GPs, to helping children understand their peers, school nurses play an important role in smoothing the path for vulnerable and disabled children in school.

Thursday: What is SN role in mental and emotional health?
Resilience and wellbeing:
There remains a great focus on mental and emotional health and many promised solutions, but it is school nurses at the frontline who deal with issues in their schools and you are equipped to work at community, family and individual levels. Your skills cover identifying issues early, determining potential risks and providing early intervention to prevent issues escalating. Student feedback indicates how much they value the trusted adult role, face to face interaction and other support provided through school nursing teams.
Click here to download the School Nurse Week 13 July 2017 briefing

Friday: What is SN role in relationships and sexual health?
School nurses are well equipped to support teaching staff to deliver relationship and sex education, and need to be involved in curriculum planning to be most effective. As part of the local health services you are also the link for referrals to primary and secondary services.

Click here to read 'A week to make a difference'  Unite/CPHVA Community Practitioner June 2017 - School nurse week from 10 to 14 July is fast approaching. Are you ready to spread the word about the vital work you do?

Click here to download the #SNweek A5 flier