The BBC is reporting that headteachers have warned about plans to scrap traditional school nurses, which could put the health of children at risk.
Cumbria County Council wants to replace its 11 registered nurses with a team of six health co-ordinators who will be centrally based in Carlisle.
The authority claims the £927,000 a year service is now unaffordable. But teachers and the organisation representing school nurses, described the move as “a disaster” and said the county is losing a skilled workforce.
The changes mean schools will have to “buy in” any services currently undertaken by school nurses from their own budgets from 1 April. They are paid for at present from public health budgets.
The council claims the move will better integrate services and help in its struggle to save £52m between 2017 and 2020. School nurses provide health screening and advice on teenage pregnancy, emotional health, obesity and drug and alcohol abuse.
Graham Frost, of the Cumbria branch of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: “I don’t like to imagine children going without the health care support that they need, or having their education impaired by loss of services.
“But it is quite clear that with fewer teachers and fewer school nurses, we are sailing into very difficult times.”
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or via Twitter. ~ Meena
Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin (around 7am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link
We now have a Facebook page - pls click to like!