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


Immunising children is a safe and important way to protect them from diseases.

When children aren't vaccinated, they're at a higher risk of catching and becoming very ill from the disease.

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 Health Nursing Team Go to (opens new window) can also advise on the latest national immunisation schedule.

The School Health Nursing Team check what immunisations a child has had:

  • when a child joins your 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 Health Nursing Service

You can use our document immunisation letter template (14 KB)  to contact parents.

Each year the School Aged Immunisation Service Go to (opens new window) in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire offers immunisations to children in primary and secondary schools.

Home-schooled children and children who do not attend school can also benefit from the School Aged Immunisation Service.

School vaccination programmes

There are 4 main vaccination programmes.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

The first HPV vaccination Go to (opens new window) is routinely offered to girls and boys aged 12 to 13 years old when they're in school Year 8.

The second dose is offered 6 to 24 months after the first dose. It's important to have both doses of the vaccine to be properly protected.

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

Meningococcal ACWY (MenACWY)

The MenACWY vaccine Go to (opens new window) 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.

The Teenage Booster (Td/IPV)

The teenage booster vaccine Go to (opens new window)is a single injection which boosts protection against tetanus, diphtheria and polio. It's routinely offered to all year 9 students alongside the MenACWY vaccine.

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 Aged Immunisation Team will also deliver the nasal flu vaccine each year to all primary school aged children and all students in year 7.


The current school schedule for Bristol is:

  Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

HPV dose 1


All students


HPV dose 2


All students



All students




All students

Influenza All students    

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

If a pupil or staff has an infectious or communicable disease

Let the local Health Protection team know if a member of staff, pupil or parent has a communicable or infectious disease, such as 

  • meningitis
  • measles
  • whooping cough
  • tuberculosis

They can investigate and support you.

Call 0300 303 8162. This is a 24 hour service.

Also take some time to read the government guidance on Health protection in schools and other childcare facilities Go to (opens new window) and ensure that school staff are aware of the importance of relaying 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.


This checklist will help you support the School Aged 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
  • keep a record of the immunisation consent forms you get back and chase any outstanding forms
  • 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
  • tell students that if they miss a vaccination they can either get it at a different session with the school nurses, or with their GP practice
  • 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 01275 373 104 


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.

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: