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DFE funds provision of glasses across 100 Bradford schools

The Glasses in Classes pilot saw gaps in reading levels narrow after children who failed their sight test received spectacles directly from schools

young girl blowing dandelions
Pixabay/Brian Holmes

The Department for Education is considering expanding its Glasses in Classes pilot to reach a further 1000 pupils after early results illustrated an improvement in literacy levels.

The project involved a data sharing arrangement where teachers were informed which students at 100 Bradford schools had failed their eye test. These students were then provided with one pair of spectacles for use at home and one pair for school.

An update on Glasses for Classes prepared by universities minister, Michelle Donelan, highlighted that usually the results of vision screening is shared directly with families but not with schools.

“Our data found that 2500 children in Bradford do not get the glasses they need, and that schools are unaware of their uncorrected eyesight issues,” she said.

At the start of the programme, children were nine percentage points behind the national average in reading. This gap narrowed to four percentage points in 2018 and two percentage points in 2019.

“In the coming months we hope to expand the programme to five more areas, reaching 1000 more pupils. If successful it will then be rolled out more widely,” Donelan said.