School entry vision screening
When your child starts school, they will be seen by the School Health Service to check their vision, in line with government guidelines. Checking their vision aged 4 to 5 years is important.
Vision screening aims to pick up a range of common eyesight problems, including amblyopia (commonly known as ‘lazy eye’). This is where the vision in one or both eyes does not develop properly.
Around 1 in 50 children will develop this condition. Often younger children don’t realise there’s anything wrong with their vision, especially if the vision is reduced in only one eye. Vision reduction beyond 8 years of age is harder to rectify. So, if undetected, the condition can result in lifelong problems.
Finding any vision problems early means your child’s learning and development can be supported better.
We use a system called SchoolScreener® Vision to check your child’s visual acuity. The screening happens at school and only takes a few minutes to complete. It’s important to understand that it’s not a diagnostic service, we don’t prescribe spectacles. If a potential problem is identified, we’ll write to you and refer your child for a full examination from an orthoptist.
The screener will use a laptop to record the results and your child will be asked to identify shapes or letters on the screen and match to a card in front of them. Eyes are checked separately, using special glasses that cover each eye in turn.
You will need to contact us if your child is already under hospital care for vision and/or hearing as they will not need to be seen by the screening team at school.