Healthy living

School health services

The school health service

The school health service promotes healthy development and wellbeing, helping students reach their full potential.

School health nurses provide the service in partnership with schools.

The school health service is free and confidential.

Students learn better when they are healthy, safe and happy.


What services are available?
  • Information and support to students (and their families) to help them make informed decisions about their health, wellbeing and development.
  • School immunisation programs.
  • Providing a first point of contact for health care for students.
  • Referral to other health professionals if required.
  • Working with teachers to support health education sessions.
  • Student health and wellbeing programs.
  • Health assessments for vision, hearing and development, if required.
  • Helping school staff and parents develop health care plans for students with special needs (such as chronic disease, physical disability or other complex health conditions).
  • Parenting advice.

Emergency situations requiring an ambulance

If required, the school will call an ambulance in an emergency. The school health service does not provide emergency care.

How to contact the school health service

If you have any concerns about your child’s health or development, please contact the school health nurse through your child’s teacher or the school office.

In secondary schools, students can make their own appointment or just drop in when the health centre is open.

Services specific to primary schools and adolescent students

Primary schools

When your child starts school, the school will ask you to complete and return a health assessment form.

With your consent, the school health nurse will check your child’s vision, hearing, growth and general development.

You will receive a summary of the results, and the nurse will talk with you if there are any possible problems.

The nurse can conduct an assessment at any time throughout primary school if you or your child’s teachers have any concerns.

Adolescent students

School health services are an easy way for secondary students to access health care and health information for issues such as:
  • healthy eating and nutrition
  • healthy weight and body image 
  • coping with illness
  • feeling anxious, stressed or unhappy 
  • mental health and wellbeing 
  • loss and grief
  • relationships 
  • sexual health
  • smoking, alcohol and drug use 
  • other adolescent health concerns. 

School health nurses can help young people to access medical and other health services if needed.

Young people are always encouraged and supported to talk to their parents or guardian about significant health issues.

WA School-aged Health Services Review

We carried out the review of school-aged health services by looking at the available research, best practice models, data about current school health services in WA, and how other states and countries deliver school health services.

The review had input from the Department of Education and feedback was provided by a range of stakeholders, including community health staff, school principals, community agencies and parents and carers of children and young people aged 3 to 18.

See what parents and carers had to say about school-aged health services in WA:

Key findings and recommendations

The review has made recommendations to improve school-aged health services in WA, including how and when we offer services, the role of nurses working with school-age children and young people, and how we support our staff.

Read the Key Findings and Recommendations (PDF 906KB).

Work is now underway to plan for the phased implementation of the recommendations starting in the 2020 school year.

If you have any questions about the review please email:

For Perth metropolitan residents: CACH.ConsumerEngagement@health.wa.gov.au

For WA country residents: AreaOfficePopulationHealth.WACHS@health.wa.gov.au

Getting the right help

It is important to get the right information, from the right person, at the right time. Being informed helps students and/or parents make better choices.

As well as providing students and families with information and support, the school health team can also help provide links with other relevant services. These might include:

  • local doctor
  • community health centre
  • dietitian
  • psychologist or youth counsellor
  • alcohol and drug counsellor
  • sexual health service
  • dentist or school dental service
  • school chaplain
  • culturally specific services.

Concerned about your child’s health and/or development?

Your school health service may be able to help.


Last reviewed: 16-05-2019
Acknowledgements

Child and Adolescent Health Service – Community Health (CAHS CH)


This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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