Trade union Unite is calling for the government to double the number of school nurses in the light of child obesity figures.

It wants 2,000 more nurses to monitor and give advice on the health of school-aged children.

It follows yesterday’s figures from the national child measurement scheme revealing that almost one in three children aged 10-11 are overweight or obese.

Money spent on weighing children was labelled a “waste” by Unite’s professional officer for school-aged children, Ros Godson.

Public health

She said: “Weighing and measuring children as they enter and leave primary school is having no beneficial effect on their size, as statistics show they are just getting fatter.

“The government’s laissez faire attitude is contributing to the build-up of health problems such as diabetes for future generations.

“Children and their parents or carers should be able to rely on the regular support of their school nurse throughout their child’s time in school for health concerns when their child isn’t ill.

“The chasm between government rhetoric and reality on the need to employ more school nurses has reached Grand Canyon proportions.”