A range of free elearning resource guides has been launched to offer guidance and information on the mental and physical needs of school-age children.

The Healthy School Child Programme (HSCP), which is aimed at GPs, school and community nurses and paediatricians, has been developed by the MindEd Consortium, which consists of eight professional and campaign bodies, including the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, the Royal College of Nursing and the British Psychological Society.

Dr Paul Carter, consultant community paediatrician and editorial lead, explained: “It is based primarily on the government’s healthy schoolchild five to 18 documents, but focused on the issues that affect school-age children, how they are presented and how they can be helped.”

The three key themes are: promoting health and surveillance of all aspects of public health; the mental health issues affecting children and how to ensure they are properly addressed; and how to pick up and manage those presenting any form of biological, social, neurodevelopmental or environmental difficulty.

Dr Carter concluded: “If successful, we hope to see within a year of its launch being embedded in the training of key professionals. If lucky, a few years down the line, services for children and attitudes will have changed for the better, so they get a better deal.”

Watch a short interview with MindEd Healthy Child Programme lead Dr Carter, speaking about the intended impact and benefits of the project: