New Born in Bradford Study – “Glasses in Classes”

16:00–17:15 on 8 October 2018

On Monday 8th October, we will host an information evening for schools to learn more about the Glasses in Classes trial. Here, Dr Alison Bruce, Head Orthoptist and NIHR Post-doctoral Research Fellow at Bradford Institute for Health Research, explains why this project is so important, and why Bradford Primary schools should get involved.

Born in Bradford has been working with Bradford schools over the past 4 years to find out the impact of poor vision in young children on their early developing literacy skills. Our results show that vision in children who wear their glasses improves at twice the rate of those who do not. We also found that for every line on the vision chart a child’s vision is reduced by their literacy score drops by 1.5%. In Bradford we know that 4% of children have at least a 4 line reduction in their vision, therefore if children wear their glasses daily, this not only improves vision, but has the potential to improve their literacy.

Every year the orthoptists from Bradford Hospitals Trust deliver a systematic vision screening programme for all local children aged 4-5 years. Coverage is high, with 97% of pupils screened in school throughout reception year. Yet around 30% of children who fail vision screening do not attend a further detailed eye examination, and of those who do, 50% then fail to wear their corrective glasses. Therefore there are a significant number of children in school not accessing the appropriate treatment with a knock on effect on their educational attainment.

Reduced vision in young children is enormously difficult for parents or teachers to detect.

Even where obvious, there is currently no mechanism to ensure vision screening results are actioned. This can leave the condition untreated throughout a child’s early school years, with known potential to impact on their future educational attainment.

Reception year is a decisive moment to tackle vision issues. A child’s eyesight is sufficiently developed to be meaningfully checked, and corrective glasses worn consistently can then bolster the formative learning period of KS1.

How can schools help?

We propose to undertake a new study ‘Glasses in Classes’ to find out if schools can support children wear their glasses. The study will be aimed at 4-5 year children who will all receive a vision screening assessment in reception class and will entail:

  • Asking parents to consent to sharing the results of the vision screening and eye test.
  • Schools and Health (children’s eye service) communicating so that an additional pair of glasses can be ordered and kept in school.
  • We would like to trial this study in 100 schools across Bradford, 50 schools will be randomised to receive the intervention and 50 will act as comparators. At the end of the study we will provide a pair of “school glasses” for children in all the participating schools.

Come along to our information event on 8th October to find out more about how you can get involved: Details here.

In addition, you can leave your details to stay informed about the trial here.

For any questions about the event, please contact Mark Miller, Head of Bradford Research School: mmiller@dixonska.com

For any queries about the trial, please contact Dr Alison Bruce: Alison.Bruce@bthft.nhs.uk

Posted on 14 September 2018
Posted in: Events