Health protection in schools, school vaccination programmes, information and resources.

These resources may help if you're completing one of our healthy schools awards.

Overview of health protection

Health protection in schools aims to prevent the spread of infectious diseases by:

  • promoting and facilitating vaccinations
  • managing infectious diseases, including notifications 
  • keeping children away from school when needed
  • promoting personal hygiene, particularly handwashing 
  • maintaining a clean environment


Immunisation is a safe and effective way to protect children and adults from infections.

Without immunisation, people are at a higher risk of catching infections, becoming ill and spreading the infection to others. Some infections can cause significant harm.

The NHS routinely offer a schedule of immunisations free of charge. You can find up-to-date immunisation advice on the NHS Choices website Go to (opens new window).

The School Immunisations Team can also advise on the latest national immunisation schedule and will check which immunisations a child has had:

  • when a child joins your school
  • at the time of any vaccination

You should encourage parents to:

  • have their child vaccinated
  • organise any missed vaccination or further catch-up doses through the School Immunisation Team or via their GP practice

You can use our document immunisation letter template (15 KB)  to contact parents.

Each year the School Immunisation Team in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire offer immunisations to children in primary and secondary schools.

Home-schooled children and children who do not attend school should also be immunised and can also access this through the School Immunisation Team.

School vaccination programmes

There are 4 main vaccination programmes.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

The HPV vaccination is offered to girls and boys aged 12 to 13 years old when they're in school Year 8.

From September 2023 only a single dose of the vaccination will be required (previously two doses were offered, the first in year 8, and the second in year 9). Those pupils that have already received a vaccine by September 2023 will not need a second.

The HPV vaccine helps protect against cancers caused by HPV, including cervical cancer, some mouth and throat cancers and some cancers of the anal and genital areas. It also helps protect against genital warts.

The PSHE association has released the ‘EDUCATE’ lesson, a KS3 lesson pack which has been designed to be delivered before the school-based HPV vaccination session begins.

The Teenage Booster (Td/IPV)

The Teenage Booster vaccine is a single injection which boosts protection against tetanus, diphtheria and polio, and is also known as the 3-in-1 teenage booster.

It is routinely offered to all year 9 students alongside the MenACWY vaccine.

Meningococcal ACWY (MenACWY)

The MenACWY vaccine is part of the routine schedule and is offered to all year 9 students alongside the teenage booster vaccine.

Meningococcal disease is caused by invasive bacterial infection.

Nasal Flu Vaccine (Influenza)

As the main flu viruses can change each year, a new nasal spray flu vaccine Go to (opens new window) is given each year.

The School Immunisation Team will also offer the nasal flu vaccine each year to all school children from Reception to year 11.

Pupils in special schools will be offered the nasal flu vaccine every year until aged 18.

The injectable flu vaccination is available for those who do not want the nasal flu immunisation.

MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella): catch-up programme

The School Immunisation Team are also able to offer MMR vaccines to young people in year 8 and year 9 who have not completed the two dose course earlier in childhood.

Contact the School Immunisation Team to see if your child has not been fully vaccinated.


The current school schedule for Bristol is:

 School year Immunisations offered to all students

Reception to year 11 (inclusive)

Influenza (nasal flu vaccine)

Year 8

 HPV dose 1 

Year 9


Year 9

 Td/IPV (Teenage booster)

The School Immunisation Team will update you on any changes to the vaccination sessions.

If a pupil or staff has an infectious or communicable disease

The government guidance on health protection in schools and other childcare facilities provides information and guidance on how to prevent and respond to infectious diseases in educational settings.

It is important that school staff are aware of the need to relay information quickly to school and setting leaders if cases are reported to them.

You should include the link to this guidance on your public website so that parents and pupils can also see what steps you will take in this scenario.

The guidance above provides detail on when to contact the UKHSA local Health Protection team. They can support you.
UKHSA provide all day, every day response to acute incidents.

Call them on 0300 303 8162.

Is my child too ill for school provides helpful advice for parents.


This checklist will help you support the School Immunisation Team with the vaccination process.

Make sure you:

  • have a named contact within the school to coordinate with the School Nurse Team
  • give the School Nurse Team year lists, for all students getting vaccinated
  • send out the immunisation consent forms, accompanying letter and leaflets
  • schedule a convenient day and time for the School Nurse Team to come into the school
  • set up a suitable room for the immunisation sessions
  • tell the school nurses if a student has missed vaccinations and support the student where possible, for example if they need interpreters
  • send information to parents about catch-up immunisations sessions as requested by the School Immunisation Team
  • actively promote and raise awareness of the programmes
  • contact the school health nurse to arrange a clinic appointment if a pupil misses a vaccine, email or call 0300 124 5515


Handwashing is one of the most important ways to control the spread of infections, especially:

  • infections that cause diarrhoea and vomiting
  • respiratory disease

Handwashing should take at least 20 seconds, using soap and warm water. Hands should be dried thoroughly.

Find more information in the NHS handwashing guidance Go to (opens new window).

You can display the handwashing guide next to school hand washing facilities.

Always wash hands:

  • after using the toilet
  • before eating or handling food
  • after handling animals

Cover all cuts and scratches with waterproof dressings.

Hand gel helps prevent the spread of some, but not all, infections (for example norovirus: a virus causing diarrhoea and vomiting) and should is best used when soap and water is not available or as an addition.

Coughing and sneezing

Coughing and sneezing spread infections. Encourage children and adults to:

  • cover their mouth and nose with a tissue
  • wash hands after using or throwing away tissues
  • not spit

Further information and resources

School staff and governors: 


Parents and carers: