Glasses in Classes: improving eyesight and literacy in schools

31 January 2022
Acuity digital

A scheme for schools to have extra pairs of spectacles to improve vision and academic achievement is now being extended to benefit thousands of children, reports Kathy Oxtoby.

Could the dispensing of an extra pair of spectacles to children in classrooms promote adherence to spectacle use and better educational attainment? That is the premise of Glasses in Classes, a research study investigating the impact of a school-based intervention to support the wearing of spectacles in young children, and measure the subsequent improvement of the child’s vision and academic achievement. 

The Glasses in Classes project was developed in 2019 by the Centre for Applied Education Research (CAER), a partnership created by the Bradford Opportunity Area to tear down health barriers to learning. One hundred schools participated in the trial, making it one of the largest school-based trials of a health intervention in the UK (CAER, 2022). Half the schools were randomly assigned the Glasses in Classes intervention, and half acted as controls.

The trial has been led by Dr Alison Bruce, Action Project Leader and Director of Vision Research at CAER, and Research Fellow and Head Orthoptist at Born in Bradford, and it is her earlier research that forms the basis of this project.

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