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Children`s Public Health Programme

Details of savings opportunities


The public health aspirations for healthy children and adolescent are that they have:

  • good emotional health and foundations for lifelong mental wellbeing
  • sustainable habits building physical activity, healthy eating and good oral health into everyday life
  • freedom from behaviours harmful to health and resilience to adopting these in future life
  • good health outcomes through early identification of need and access to early help
  • freedom from abuse or neglect
  • life skills for health and wellbeing through critical life stages e.g. puberty, developing identity, starting relationships, transitioning to adulthood.

Current investment

Childhood and adolescence is an important life stage for embedding lifelong habits. The school and family are critical settings for embedding lifelong habits for health and this explains the significant investments in public health interventions in these settings.

  • School Health (School Nursing)- aims to ensure that school aged children and young people (5-19 years) are supported to live healthy lives and have the appropriate access to healthcare £1.6m
  • Child and Family Weight Management  12 week multi component (healthy eating, physical activity and behaviour change) programmes aimed at children and families £431k
  • Healthy Schools Team helping to ensure that school aged children and young people (aged 5-19 years) are supported to live healthy lives, integrating health and well-being within the ethos, culture, routine life and core business of the school/setting - £276kActive Cycling in Schools - Works with participating schools to create a ‘whole school’ cycling culture and to generate increases in regular cycling to school £80.2k
  • Active Play 5-13 – provides an estate-based outreach programme of active play sessions to address low participation in active play  £64.5kHealthy Families – works with schools, children`s centres and community centres to embed healthy eating and physical activity ideas into a range of parent initiatives and programmes through practical workshops and community activities - £60k
  • Public Health Dietitian (Child) - helping to ensure that school aged children and young people (aged 5-19 years) are supported to live healthy lives- £60k
  • Healthy Minds in Schools - a pilot programme of mindfulness delivered to teachers/teaching assistants and other relevant staff in order for teachers to be equipped to deliver sessions to students £43k. Educational Psychology £40k – provides additional therapeutic support to school children and parents experiencing mental health or emotional difficulties.

Proposed budget reductions 16/17 and 17/18

  • Child and Family Weight Management (£431k) reduce by £21.5k in 16/17 and further reduction £21.5k (17/18)
  • Active Cycling in Schools - Bike It (£80.2k) reduce by £40.2k in 16/17 and further reduction £40k (17/18)
  • Healthy Families (£60k) reduce by £20k from 16/17
  • Educational Psychology (£40k) reduce by £40k from 16/17


From a base budget of £2,634,764 we are proposing a saving of £121,696 in 2016/17 and a full year saving of £183,230 in 2017/18.


The proposed savings are to services that are currently commissioned by Public Health to increase the opportunities for children and young people and their families to benefit from a healthier diet and/or physical activity, and in the case of the educational psychology service to provide additional counselling for vulnerable children where clinical level problems exist. Proposed savings are lower in this area as the investment in children`s and young people`s health is a high priority which we aim to protect as far as possible.

Consequently several of the most high priority services are being maintained at current levels including the School Health Service, the Healthy Schools Team in the council and the Active Play programme.

Child and Family Weight Management (£431k) reduce £21.5k and further reduction £21.5k (17/18)

The aim of this service is to improve the health and quality of life of overweight and obese children and their families by enabling them to make sustainable improvement to their diet. A number of efficiency savings have been identified in the service, e.g. in the referral process from schools, and the modest reduction proposed is not expected to have an impact on the numbers participating in this programme.

Active Cycling in Schools - Bike It (£80.2k) reduce by £40.2k and further reduction £40k (17/18)

The aim of this programme is to create a cycling culture across the whole school community that brings about increases in regular cycling to school. The programme is an addition to other cycling training provided within schools. The proposed savings will end the funding of this programme from 2016/17.

Tower Hamlets is the only London borough to fund the programme through the Public Health grant (funding usually coming from Transport for London - TfL). Alternative funding sources are being explored. Delivery to the end of the current academic year will be funded.

The implications are reduced capacity for cycling training in the borough although the core training in schools funded by TfL remains.

Healthy Families (£60k) reduce by £20k

The aim of this programme is to empower parents and carers of nursery and primary school aged children and children of all ages with special needs to make it easier for the family to eat healthier food, enjoy a more active lifestyle and maintain emotional and mental wellbeing. The programme integrates health issues into parenting programmes.

Implications of the reduction are minimal as the success of the programme means savings can be achieved through integrating the health component into other parent and family support programmes.

Educational Psychology (£40k) reduce by £40k

This service provides extra support for pupils in schools in excess of the core offer for families and children. The service is therapeutic rather than being preventative and does not fully meet the criteria for public health funding. Delivery will continue until end of academic year, active case load managed down and alternative funding sources are being identified by Educational Psychology Service.

Implications for reduction are minimal as the case load is being absorbed into the core service and the availability of specialist support is not affected.

You can review the children's public health programme equalities screening.

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