The National Child Measurement Programme, 2019–20 provides data on the heights and weights of children in Reception and Year 6 in England during the 2019–20 school year and provides data on the number of children who are underweight, healthy weight, overweight, obese or severely obese. Breakdowns include gender, deprivation and ethnicity for both age groups.
At a national level, analysis indicates that these figures are directly comparable to previous years, for all breakdowns. However, at a local authority level, this is not possible for all cases.
This is because the collection period for schools to measure their children runs from September to August each year. By 20 March 2020, schools had closed to many children in the UK, in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Some local authorities were either in the process of weighing their children for the NCMP or had not yet started.
This had a significant impact on the volume of data collected across the country. At a national level, the data quality analyses indicate that the figures presented in this release are comparable to earlier years, and the population measured is reflective of previous years, though at a lower volume.
For the local authority figures, these have been split into three levels:
- Fit for publication but interpret with caution
- Unreliable, suppressed
For this reason, figures cannot be compared between local authorities, and only the reliable-level figures can be compared with previous years data for that local authority.
For more information on these caveats and how the data may or may not be used, please see data quality tables A–J in the report.