The School Health Service
Throughout your child's years at primary and secondary school, a team of specialist Health Service and Education Department staff will be seeing him or her from time to time. This is to make sure that he or she benefits as much as possible from all that school has to offer, and to help prepare him or her for life after leaving school. The School Health Service is part of the Community Child Health Service and has direct links with those who carry out health checks on children before they start school.
Many different services are provided. The staff involved make every effort to work closely with parents and with others who are caring for your child, both at school and in other branches of the Health Service. Some of the services, e.g. testing for vision, hearing or speech, are provided to all children on a routine basis to discover which children may need further tests or treatment. Parents are not notified of these screening tests and any parent who does not want a child to be included should notify the school at the beginning of the session. Naturally, if treatment is thought to be required, the child's parents will be informed and consent requested.
Some of the staff concerned and the parts they play are as follows -
The health visitor or school nurse carries out regular inspections of groups of children, gives advice on health and hygiene, tests eyesight from time to time and works with the school doctor. The attention of the doctor is drawn to any possible problems, and parents and the family doctor are informed if any further action is considered necessary.
A hygiene aide or nursing auxiliary may help the health visitor or school nurse. The health visitor and school nurse also acts as an important link between home and school.
The school doctor visits the school regularly and meets with the school nurse or health visitor and with teachers to find out whether any pupils need medical attention. In addition, the doctor reviews the medical notes of all children in Primary l and 7, at secondary and also the new entrants.
Parents are also asked to complete a health questionnaire about their child at these ages; and asked if they would like their child to have a full medical examination. In addition, the doctor may ask for your consent to examine your child if his or her medical records are incomplete; or if the doctor particularly wishes to check on his or her progress. You will be invited to be present at any medical examination, and kept informed if the school doctor wishes to see your child again, or thinks that your family doctor or a specialist should see him or her.
You can, if you wish, arrange for your own family doctor to undertake the examination instead of the school doctor, but you may be charged a fee for this. In secondary school, the school doctor may consider if any special information should be provided for the Careers Advisory Service.
The school doctor will be pleased to see you and your child at any time if you are concerned about his or her health, or general progress at school.
With your consent, the school doctor also carries out immunisations to protect against various diseases.
Age 12 / 14
testing for resistance to tuberculosis and immunisation (BCG) where required.
Immunisation against meningitis.
Girls only - testing for resistance to German measles and immunisations if necessary.
Age 14 / 15
booster immunisation against tetanus and polio.
If your prefer, you may ask your family doctor to immunise your child.
The audiometry team checks children's hearing on at least 3 occasions before the age of 13 / 14 years. The school doctor will be told if your child seems to have a hearing problem. The doctor will then examine the child and let your doctor know the result.
The speech therapist can provide assessment and, if necessary treatment if you, a teacher or the school doctor feels that your child may have a speech or language problem.
Any enquiries concerning the provision of dental services should be made to the Director of the Community Dental Service, Lothian Trust, 16 Duncan Street, Edinburgh, EH9 1SR (Tel 0131 667 7114)
We hope that the School Health Service can, together with yourselves, contribute to your child's overall well-being and development. Please do not hesitate to arrange through the Headteacher to see the school doctor, school nurse or the health visitor if your want any more information.
Parents should inform the school of any special medical conditions or requirements so that arrangements for the child can be made between school and parent.