It's hard to believe it is a year since we published 'Getting it Right for Children, Young People and Families: Maximising the Contribution of the School Nursing Team: Vision and Call to Action'
Our commitment to work with children and young people to shape plans outlined in the Vision and Call to Action stands firm - we are delighted the Young People’s Champions pilot is in full flow and being led by our partners British Youth Council and North West Regional Youth Work Unit. The champions will be trained to challenge and negotiate about service delivery in their local areas and to be ambassadors for health services in schools - our first champions will be trained and raring to go by June - may be future school nurses in the making?
We have been working with young carer’s, many unaware of how the school nursing service could support their health and wellbeing. We are excited that young carers will be involved in training school nurses as champions for young carers. The School and Public Health Nurses Association (SAPHNA) are leading work with young carers to ensure they understand the support school nurses can provide. Over 70 school nurses are lined up to be trained by young carers. If you are interested in being involved, do get in touch.
Today we publish the jointly developed briefing for Local Authorities Lead Members for Children’s services to benchmark their local school health services against, and emphasising the school nursing service contribution to health and wellbeing. Lead Members for children’s services champion the needs of their local school-aged population, influencing local service delivery.
We need to work closely our local authority colleagues to support them in their understanding of the vital role that school nurses have in leading and promoting partnership working to deliver school health services in their locality, how this improves health and well-being, and contributes to better educational outcomes.
School nurses are acknowledged as leaders in public health delivery for school-aged children; their position within schools and local communities provides the opportunity to interact with children, families, education and wider community services. However, school nursing services cannot deliver the whole health and wellbeing agenda in isolation; they need to work closely with key partners, including local authorities and schools, as they become more autonomous , increasingly involved as ‘co-commissioners’.
Leadership is an essential role, good leaders need to be developed and supported. At the weekend, we announced the Department of Health’s continued commitment to the School Nurse Development Programme and to enhancing school health services. We will be concentrating on four key strands: leadership; continuing professional development; a national school nurse award; and strengthening the evidence base. We are currently working through the plans and will be working with stakeholders and partners to deliver these over the next year.
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