Boots Opticians' screening programme for primary schools

Boots Opticians to launch a new vision screening programme that will reach one million primary school children with undiagnosed eye conditions

09 Sep 2015 by John White

Boots Opticians has announced the launch of a free vision screening programme for schools, with the goal of reaching one million children with undiagnosed eye conditions in the UK.
Responding to a recent report by the College of Optometrists which found that fewer than a third of local authorities are providing eye tests in schools, the national chain has created a free online assessment system and accompanying toolkit that school 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 vision screen is completed, the system will produce a letter to advise parents and carers if a further referral to an optical practice is recommended. 

The company also makes it clear that “in all cases, parents and carers will be reminded of the importance of regular eye checks for their children.” 
Managing director of Boots Opticians, Ben Fletcher, explained: “Good vision is the foundation for learning, and we want to help all children in the UK to 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.”

He added: “Undiagnosed eye conditions may lead to academic underachievement and health issues. During the first 12 years, as much as 80% 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 are being invited to join the programme. Once registered, they will be sent a toolkit to carry out vision screening, and a lesson plan highlighting the importance of good eye health.


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