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Nurses: Schools

Volume 495: debated on Wednesday 1 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his Department’s target for the number of school nurses is; what his most recent assessment is of progress in meeting that target; and if he will make a statement. (282382)

The Public Health White Paper, “Choosing Health: Making healthy choices easier”, published in November 2004, included the commitment to provide new funding so that by 2010 every primary care trust, working with children’s trusts and local authorities, will be resourced to have 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.

There are around 3,000 state secondary schools in England. The 2008 NHS Workforce Census showed there were 3,643 qualified nurses in school nursing areas, an increase of 51 per cent. since 2004. Of these, there were 1,447 school nurses with a post registration school nurse qualification. This is an increase of 591 or 69 per cent. since 2004.