Pupils: Ethnic Groups

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 25 January 2024.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Neil O'Brien Neil O'Brien Conservative, Harborough

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average height was for state school pupils in (a) reception and (b) year six in each academic year since 2005-06 in England; what the average height was for state school pupils in each ethnic group in those academic years in that period; and how many state school pupils were in each ethnic group in those academic years in that period.

Photo of Andrea Leadsom Andrea Leadsom The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) collects data on the height and weight status of children aged between four and five years old in reception grade and between 10 and 11 years old in year six. NHS England publishes data on the average height of children in reception and year six by sex and academic year. The data on average height is not available in the requested format for each ethnic group, nor is data on the number of state school pupils in reception year and year six by ethnic group and academic year published in the requested format.

The following table shows the data on national average height from the NCMP since the programme began in 2006/07 up to 2021/22, the period for which the most recent data is available:

Academic Year

Boys’ height in reception year (centimetres)

Girls’ height in reception year (centimetres)

Boys’ height in year six (centimetres)

Girls’ height in year six (centimetres)

2006/07

110.8

109.9

145.9

146.7

2007/08

110.5

109.5

145.3

146.1

2008/09

110.3

109.4

145.2

145.9

2009/10

110.2

109.3

144.9

145.6

2010/11

110.1

109.2

144.8

145.5

2011/12

110.0

109.1

144.7

145.4

2012/13

110.0

109.0

144.7

145.4

2013/14

110.0

109.0

144.7

145.4

2014/15

109.8

108.9

144.6

145.4

2015/16

109.9

109.0

144.9

145.6

2016/17

109.9

108.9

144.8

145.4

2017/18

110.1

109.1

144.8

145.5

2018/19

110.0

109.0

144.9

145.6

2019/20

109.4

108.4

144.6

145.2

2020/21

112.3

111.4

147.6

149.3

2021/22

110.9

109.9

146.1

147.6

Source: NCMP

Notes:

  1. Analysis of the NCMP data in the first three years show lower participation rates in the programme and suggested selective optout of children with a higher body mass index for age. It is possible that average height figures for year six for 2006/07 to 2008/09 could have been affected by this lower participation in the measurement programme.
  2. Some of the variation in height across all NCMP years may be due to variation over time in average age of children when measured. In 2019/20, children were only measured up to March 2020 so the average age of children and therefore mean height was lower than other collection years. In 2020/21 the NCMP data collection did not start until April 2021 so the average age and therefore average height was higher than other collection years.
  3. The 2020/21 NCMP only collected around 20% of the usual sample. The sample was found not to be fully representative and therefore weighting was used in most NCMP publications to make the data comparable to other NCMP collection years. However, NHS England did not apply the weighting to the 2020/21 figures in the table above. When combined with the higher average age of the sample in 2020/21 it implies that data for 2020/21 cannot be reliably compared to the rest of the time series.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.