Starting and moving schools

Health Visiting and School Nursing Starting and moving school

Information you and your children may want to know before they start or move schools including; preparation and advice; health screening programmes; and local and national guidance.

An ‘Ages and Stages Questionnaire’ is a useful tool to monitor child development both socially (ASQ:SE) and physically (ASQ-3). They are parent completed forms and allow both parent/health professional to identify age appropriate development or areas of concern.

Once your child starts school they will receive one of each 60 month ASQ forms in your child’s book bag for completion. The completed and returned ASQ’s are reviewed by your 0-19 health professional and if any concerns are identified your public health nurse will make contact to discuss/offer support and advice.

Along with the ASQ’s your child will also receive an ‘immunisation status/consent’ for screening (height-weight-hearing) form. Once the consent form is returned to your 0-19 public health nurse your child will have their height-weight and hearing screening completed in school. If there are any concerns with their developmental review, or their height and weight, you will be notified.

If you wish to discuss this please contact your 0-19 public health nurse.

All children 0-19 in Torbay are part of the 0-19 Community Public Health nurse service offer. Parents or young people are welcome to contact us through our contact page to request advice or support as appropriate from their 0-19 nurse.

If you are moving into the area it would be advisable to take a look around local schools, meet with the head of school and your child’s potential class teacher. If your child is anxious establish if the school has a ‘buddy system’ or what support they offer to your child to make the transition into a new school.

You will receive a ‘school entrance screening questionnaire’ from your 0-19 public health nurse service. Once completed and returned your public health nurse will identify any additional needs and offer support/advice as required. If your child has a health need that requires support in school a health care plan can be completed.

Please make contact with your public health nurse to discuss further if required.

For some children and their parents starting school can be very appealing and exciting, however for some it can be both challenging and daunting. With a little preparation it may be easier to cope, perhaps chatting to your child about school before they start, or reading books to them about starting school will help. The following is a list of some key skills to help your child develop, before they start school:

  • Going to the toilet
  • Washing their hands
  • Dressing/undressing
  • Using a tissue
  • Tidying up
  • Feeding themselves
  • Knowing how to share

Your 0-19 public health nurse team is available to help with techniques to encourage and develop these skills and behaviours – furthermore to help reduce the anxiety of starting school.

Your public health nursing team understands that the transition from primary to secondary school can be both exciting and daunting at the same time, for both the child and their parent/carer’s. Because of this your public health nursing team will be visiting all year six children in their primary school and asking them to complete a short questionnaire. This is in order for us to offer help with any health and wellbeing concerns that your child may have whilst transitioning to secondary school.

Once in secondary school a public health nurse can be available to speak to in confidence if your child has any issues worrying them. We would always encourage young people to talk to their parent/carer, but offer them the same confidentiality as you would expect from any health service.

Your public health nurse service is available until your child leaves school, and we are able to help with any medical conditions that may have an impact on your child’s school life.

Public health nurses are a great health resource and can signpost you and your child to appropriate services if we are unable to help directly.


We would welcome your feedback on the 0-19 Health Visiting and School Nursing pages. If you would like to do so, please complete our feedback survey.

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