What is SchoolScreenerEZ?
Few would argue that children who cannot see or hear properly will be disadvantaged in the classroom. Research suggests that approximately 15% of school children have a vision problem and a further 20% some hearing loss. Even in schools where screening is provided, this is usually limited to a single screening on school entry, so children developing vision of hearing problems subsequently, may well go undetected.
The longer problems go undetected, the more a child’s social and educational development is likely to be impacted. This in turn places greater demands on school remedial support resources.
SchoolScreenerEZ, developed at City University London, is radical and proven software designed to allow non-specialists (including school support staff or even parents) to carry out fast, efficient, sensitive and specific vision and hearing screening.
Isn’t School Screening done by the Local Authority?
However, this programme has been drastically cut over the years and nowadays local authorities are only obliged to provide one vision screening on school entry (aged 4-5 years). In some areas this screening is done well but in other areas it is done poorly or not at all. As a result, some children do not receive any form of vision test at school while others receive a very cursory check. Even where vision screening is conducted well, many vision problems develop after the age of five and therefore go undetected.
As the national screening programme has been cut, many schools have started to offer their own vision screening programme. A vision check only takes a few minutes and it is clearly in the best interest of the child and the school to detect vision problems before they start to affect a child’s social and educational development.
In response to this challenge a team of vision scientists led by Professor David Thomson of the Department of Optometry and Visual Science at City University developed a computer program for managing vision screening in schools. In addition to allowing teachers, teaching assistants and other personnel within schools to perform the vision tests without professional supervision, it also automatically generated personalized reports for each child and maintained a database of results. Launched in 1998, the software was an instant success and was soon adopted by hundreds of schools.
Who can use it?
Who can be tested?
What do I do if I find that a child has poor vision?
In some areas, special clinics run by orthoptists are available to test children.
The reports produced by SchoolScreenerEZ can be easily adapted to fit with local policy and facilities.