Screening initiative at Merton borough schools
Morden eyecare experts have gifted radical new online vision screening software to borough schools.
The teams from Specsavers on London Road donated the software to the pupils and staff of Malmesbury Primary School, Hillcross Primary School and Abbotsbury Primary School, some of the first schools to sign up to a new nationwide initiative from the opticians.
Funded by Specsavers and developed for the Specsavers Screening for Schools campaign following a study which revealed millions of UK children have never had an eye test, the SchoolScreener EZ® will allow schools to identify children with vision problems through a three-minute screening test, so that they can be referred for a full eye examination.
The screening can detect the most common eye problems that affect children, such as long and short sight, lazy eye and squints.
A word from the store director
Ray Hutchings, store director at Specsavers in Morden and Wimbledon, said: ‘As eyecare experts, we don’t want vision problems to have an impact on any child’s learning.
‘Not only do we encourage parents to bring their children for eye tests from the age of four, we have now introduced this software to enable schools to help us reach more children who require our support.
‘This has the potential to help transform children’s lives and we hope more schools sign up to receive their screening kits.’
A word from Hillcross Primary
Lisa Francis, head teacher of Hillcross Primary School, added: ‘We have seen first-hand the difference it can make to a child after being fitted with glasses, both in their improved academic performance and their personal well-being.
‘We are really excited about being able to get involved with Specsavers and the vision screening system so that other children who have undiagnosed vision problems can be identified and referred for further testing by a qualified optometrist.’
More about the initiative
Despite national recommendations by the NHS that all four-year-olds should receive a sight check, research by the College of Optometrists found that less than a third of local authorities in England were providing vision screening for children.
Specsavers’ own research by OnePoll last November revealed almost half of parents questioned in London (47 per cent) said their children had never had a sight test at school.
The SchoolScreener EZ® is available free of charge to 27,000 primary and secondary schools throughout the UK. Schools can sign up to receive the software from their local Specsavers at www.screeningforschools.com.