A ground-breaking New Vision Screening Programme for primary schools has been launched to help the one million children who have undiagnosed eye conditions in the UK.
The programme is a completely free and quick online assessment system and accompanying toolkit that school personnel, such as teachers, school nurses or administrators, can use to vision screen children.
The Boots Opticians Schools Vision Screening system checks visual acuity to help identify vision defects including amblyopia, refractive error and strabismus.
Once the screening is complete, at the press of a button a letter is produced that advises parents whether their child needs a referral to an opticians or not.
National screening guidelines say that all school age children aged 4 and 5 should be offered a vision test but a report by the Royal College of Optometrists found that fewer than a third of local authorities are providing them so this free screening will aim to improve this.
Ben Fletcher, managing director, Boots Opticians said: “Good vision is the foundation for learning, and we want to help all children in the UK reach their potential by making sure their vision capability has been checked.
“Over 90% of children see a dentist regularly, but only 53% of children have ever had an eye check, something we want to change for the better.
“Undiagnosed eye conditions may lead to academic underachievement and health issues. During the first 12 years, as much as 80 percent of learning is done through vision and the earlier a problem is detected the better the chance of successful treatment. We believe this programme will make a real difference in improving access to eye care services.”
Schools can register for the Schools Vision Screening Programme at www.bootsvisionscreen.co.uk