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Schools: Nurses

Volume 465: debated on Wednesday 24 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many vacancies for school nurses there are in each local education authority; and how many of those vacancies are for full-time positions. (160095)

The information requested is not collected centrally.

The Government are committed to resourcing Primary Care Trusts to provide at least one full-time, year round, qualified school nurse working with each cluster or group of primary schools and the related secondary school, taking account of health needs and school populations. It is for the Primary Care Trust to determine the numbers of school nurses required in each area and to recruit people to those posts. In 2006 there were nearly 3,000 School Nursing Service Nurses employed by PCTs to work in schools in England. Of these nurses, 1,129 had a school nurse qualification. This is an increase of 186 (19.7 per cent.) on 2005. (Latest available figures—full figures available from the NHS Information centre).

In addition to the PCT nurses, schools and local authorities sometimes employ their own medical staff directly. In January 2007 the School Census showed there were around 1,600 “matrons/nurses/medical staff” in local authority maintained schools. However, it is not possible to separate out the number of nurses from this combined total. Local authorities and schools that wish to make such appointments determine for themselves what kind of health practitioners they need and in what numbers and these figures are not collected centrally.