Glasses for Classes programme to be trialed in Yorkshire

Glasses for Classes programme to be trialled in Yorkshire

An initiative around eyesight which provides glasses to children who may not otherwise have access to them is to be trialled in Yorkshire and the surrounding areas.

The pupils at 100 schools are expected to take part in the trial. Staff will be trained to encourage pupils to wear their glasses, while funding will be provided for a second pair of glasses for the children to keep at school. Additionally, each school will appoint a member of staff to manage the relationship between school, families, opticians and health services.

Developed by the University of Leeds and the Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the programme will see test results shared with schools as well as parents.

While all reception age children undertake eyesight tests, a third of those who fail do not go on to get glasses and this information not shared with schools. As a result, many may be held back from their learning by a misdiagnosed problem.

“Making sure all young children with possible eyesight problems are identified and supported with glasses or other treatments is a clear win-win, helping improve health as well as educational opportunities,” said Sir Kevan Collins, chief executive of the Education Endowment Foundation.

“Our new trial will find out how best schools can provide practical support to parents so that no child faces this unnecessary barrier to learning.”

Professor Mark Mon-Williams, lead academic from the University of Leeds, said: “Poor eyesight in young children can be enormously difficult for parents or teachers to detect, and even where it’s obvious, there is currently no mechanism to ensure vision screening results are ever acted upon.

“We believe this project shows great promise and could help the large number of children with visual problems across the country to have a more positive educational experience, and ensure they have the good start in life that every child deserves.”

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