School nursing

School nurses are nurses or midwives who have had additional training and qualifications to become specialist community public health nurses (SCPHN-SN). School nurses lead the Healthy Child Programme (5 to 19 years old) and are fundamental in making sure every child has the best start in life.

Band 5 community staff nurses within the school nursing service support school nurses in delivery of the Healthy Child Programme. There are development opportunities for those who wish to progress to undertake the SCPHN-SN programme and those who wish to develop further as a community staff nurse in school nursing.

You will work year-round to support children and young people both in schools and other settings, such as their home or local health centre, often using digital technology to support their needs. You will lead a team including community staff nurses and school nursing assistants, to ensure services are delivered efficiently and safely.

School nurses use their clinical judgement and public health expertise to identify health needs early, determining risk and protective factors and providing early intervention to prevent issues from escalating. You’ll work in partnership with schools, children’s social care professionals, GPs, health visitors, allied health professionals and voluntary services, to meet the needs of children and young people.

The school nurse’s day-to-day role varies from area to area, but will typically include:

  • working with other professionals to keep children safe, to support local safeguarding arrangements and ensure that the voice of the child is considered
  • supporting holistic assessment of children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing needs and providing mental health promotion, prevention and early intervention approaches
  • carrying out health assessments to identify risk-taking behaviours and supporting children to keep themselves safe
  • offering individual support to children, young people and families to manage lifestyle concerns and change behaviours, for example related to healthy weight
  • early identification of vulnerability which may impact on the child or young person’s education or school attendance. This may include being a young carer, being a child in care, experiencing domestic or emotional abuse or parental substance misuse
  • supporting children and young people who have complex and long-term health needs
  • helping children and young people to develop a knowledge of self-care, autonomy and decision making, including how to access health services