Glasses in Classes started as a trial in Bradford, with the aim of improving children’s literacy by providing them with an additional pair of glasses to be kept in school after their reception year vision screening.
Research shows that between 10-15% of children who have an eyesight test are diagnosed as needing glasses. Of those around 30% are not taken to opticians to get glasses. Even amongst those who do attend an optician’s appointment, around half of those do not wear their glasses. Children who do not get or use prescription glasses are disproportionately from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The DfE have decided to build on this initial trial and create five new pathfinders across the country to enable further research and understand how Glasses in Classes could be delivered in other areas. These pathfinders are being run through this academic year and are midway through delivering. There are over 200 schools involved in the project and, in partnership with Bradford University, we are carrying out a feasibility study into school led vision checking in North Yorkshire Coast for children in years 2 and 7.
The University of Durham will be leading on evaluating the project and its impact on young people. We have already provided many additional pairs of glasses to children in schools and have carried out training for school staff in all areas.
We will continue to provide updates on how the project is progress and will continue to monitor the impact this intervention can have on children’s lives, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.