What we do

School nurses work in partnership with other agencies to offer support to school-aged children, young people and their families on many issues. Find us on Facebook.

There is a team of school health nurses who provide a service all year round. If you want to contact a school health nurse in school holidays, please email SHN.oxfordshire@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk . Or if you are a parent/carer of child aged between 5-11 years who attends a state school or is home educated please text our  messaging service  ChatHealth using our Parentline 07312 263227.

There’s further information on our printable College Nurse Leaflet

Young people aged 11-19 who are home educated can contact school nurses through our Chat Health 11-19 messaging service. Young people at state schools can also use this service during the school holidays. The number is 07312 263084.

For all young people’s health information, including sexual health and emergency contraception, please see the OXME health pages.

COVID-19 Information for parents and carers

  • National Autistic Society. Guidance and helpline for parents, young people and staff.
  • Mencap. Easy-read guide to coronavirus.
  • Place2Be. Guide to helping parents answer questions from their children and to support family wellbeing.
  • Young Minds. Talking to your child about coronavirus and 10 tips from their Parents Helpline to support family wellbeing.
  • Carers UK. Coronavirus guidance for carers.
  • Covibook. An interactive resource designed to support and reassure children aged 7 and under, to help children explain and draw the emotion that they might be experiencing during the pandemic.
  • Public Health England. Advice of the coronavirus for places of education.
  • Emerging Minds. Supporting children and young people with worries about coronavirus.

School Health Nurse can support and help with

Children with specific health conditions

_DSC1937 - smallerLong term conditions refer to illnesses that may need monitoring for many years. Children with these conditions may need additional support so they do not miss out on their education

Children and young people who have a long-term condition such as asthma, eczema, severe allergies or epilepsy may have specific health needs which school needs to know about in order to safely manage the condition. A School Health Nurse can support you with this, and may write a care plan for school use.

School nurses also deliver staff training on specific health conditions and provide support and advice around medicine management in schools.

Bed wetting

For Oxford Health use only.The School Health Nurse team offers clinics across Oxfordshire to support children from the age of five who suffer from bedwetting (also known as ‘enuresis’). The clinics are run by nurses with an expertise in supporting young people and their families to address the causes of enuresis.

In order to be referred to the clinic, contact your local school health nurse team.  You will be asked to complete an assessment before your referral can be accepted

Useful link:

Education and Resources for Improving Childhood Continence (ERIC)

Emotional health and wellbeing

Emotional difficulties can be expressed in a number of different ways such as changes in a child’s behaviour, sleep, mood, or continence.  On average, emotional difficulties affect three children in every class.

Commissioned shoot for Oxford HealthChildren’s emotional wellbeing is vital for learning in the classroom in order to achieve their potential. If they feel happy and confident, they are able to take in new information, and be responsible for their learning.

A child’s wellbeing and happiness is affected by how they feel able to respond to challenges in their life, and the circumstances in which they live and sometimes this leaves them feeling sad, worried or confused.

The school nurse team is able to provide support for young people and can advise you what local services are available or refer young people to a specialist agency.

If you have serious or urgent concerns about your child please see your GP.

Useful advice can also be found at CAMHS Good Advice webpage.

Growing up and puberty

Commissioned shoot for Oxford HealthThe school health nurse team supports schools in the delivery of puberty education. The lessons complement the school curriculum and teaching at home around the changes pupils will experience during adolescence.

The resources used are specifically designed for this age group and aim to reduce embarrassment, use age-appropriate information and respect family values.

The sessions will discuss how we grow and change throughout our lives and the specific changes that occur during puberty, both physical and emotional.  They also include discussion around self-esteem and decision-making to enable pupils to feel confident, stand up for their beliefs and resist peer pressure in the future.

The children have the opportunity to ask questions and review the lesson in single sex groups.

All pupils are encouraged to talk with their parents about the aspects of puberty that are discussed.

If you would like to discuss these lessons further or have concerns regarding your child please contact your local School Health Nurse Team

Health promotion

Commissioned shoot for Oxford HealthWe deliver classroom-based health promotion activities in primary and secondary schools. We can provide education on a range of issues including:

  • oral health
  • hygiene
  • hand washing
  • mental health
  • sexual health
  • smoking
  • drugs and alcohol

We work in partnership with schools to deliver the Personal Social Health Education (PSHE) programme.

Healthy eating

For Oxford Health use only.School health nurses promote healthy eating in a variety of ways. You can learn more about the work they undertake as part of the National Childhood Measurement Programme (NCMP) by going to the section above called ‘Child Measurement’.

Further resources:

Change4Life (website)

Why Your Child’s Weight Matters (leaflet)

Managing medications in school

Commissioned shoot for Oxford HealthIf your child requires medication in school due to their medical condition a protocol may need to be completed. This includes medication to treat:

  • Anaphylaxis
  • Epilepsy

If you are unsure of your child’s specific needs or would like to discuss them please contact your local School Health Nurse Team

Risk-taking behaviour

School nurses offer support and advice to older students on a range of issues to promote a healthy lifestyle and reduce risk-taking behaviour.

Every secondary school has a named school health nurse who is present every day to offer a confidential ‘drop in’ clinic or a health promotion stand at lunchtime to promote topical health-related issues.

The School Health Nurse team can provide sexual health advice to young people so they can make informed safe decisions about their health, with up-to-date information on an individual basis

The School Nursing service is confidential.  You can discuss personal information in confidence.  We will not discuss information with anyone else without a young person’s permission.  We would only pass on any information in order to protect someone from serious harm. Whenever possible we would discuss this with a young person first. School nurses encourage young people to talk to their parents.

Targeted support for vulnerable children and families

The School Health Nurse Team supports children and their families at meetings arranged by social services, identifying specific health difficulties and planning how to support the family or young person to address these health needs.

Worried that your child is unwell?

For Oxford Health use only.If you are not sure if your child is well enough to be in school Public Health England (formally known as Health Protection Agency) gives specific information about the length of time children need to be off school to prevent the spread of common infectious illnesses.

The school health nurse team can give you help and support with a wide range of health issues. If we are not able to help you, we will advise you where you can get the help you or your child needs.

For further information on how to manage common childhood illnesses, see the Healthier Together website.


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Page last reviewed: 21 March, 2022