Case Studies

In June 2015 Specsavers commissioned a research programme involving 10 schools to discover how teachers and students felt about the concept of introducing SchoolScreenerEZ® into school life. This video summarises the research findings.

  • Willows High School, Cardiff
  • Millfield L.E.A.D. Academy, Leicester

Please give a brief introduction to the school

  • A mixed High School in Cardiff  with 700 pupils from Years 7-11.
  • Relatively small Primary School with 430 pupils from Reception to Year 6 on the edge of a city.

Anything special to mention with regards to the types of children in the school or the area where it is based?

  • There is a high percentage of free school meal pupils on the roll.
  • It is funded as a County school on the edge of a city. So limited funds with similar issues to an inner city primary.

What is your role with the Screening for Schools project.

  • Luka is the lead on this. She is the School Librarian and runs the Dyslexia testing for all students, so was given this as part of her remit and she has been doing this for 2 years now.
  • Kevin is the Business Manager, he was introduced to the screening project by a parent who is a manager for Specsavers and offered to help them set it up.

What years groups were used for the screening?

  • In the first year Years 7,8 and 9 were tested. This year it was Year 7 (120  pupils) which took 1 week to do. It takes 3 mins to test each pupil.
  • In 2016 the whole school was tested which took 6-8 weeks.

Which member of staff runs the testing?

  • Luka, the librarian does it on her own.
  • At the beginning of the project it was with the parent and the first aider. Now it is the first aider and we plan to retest the whole school in the  Autumn term 2017.  Kevin feels that it works best when there are two people involved in the testing.

What are the sort of issues with the pupils’ eyesight that has been picked up using the Screening for Schools equipment?

  • It mainly highlights pupils that are short sighted and also colour blindness both in boys and girls (although surprised at the number of girls that are flagged up for colour blindness).
  • We found issues with pupils’ eyesight and sent off letters to parents encouraging them to visit the opticians immediately after the test was taken.  Quite a few pupils returned to school with glasses.

Is this an improvement in what you had in place previously? If so why or how?

    • 17% of pupils tested were referred to an optician. Letters were sent to parents and these pupils will be retested in 2 years time. EAL students can be tested very easily too as there is no need to know the English language well in order to take part in the tests. This is really helpful.
    • It has made a big improvement to the school as previously we had not tested eyesight. It has already made a difference in class as teachers are aware that they need to move around 80 pupils to the front of the class and the sort of issues with eyesight these pupils have.
    • Between 10-15% of the pupils tested were recommended a visit to the opticians and this is something that would not have been picked up previously. Kevin is of the opinion that is an important step forward in helping the children. The importance of running the test is that it provided the school with the prompt for parents to visit the opticians.
    • Children that Kevin was aware were having problems reading and looking at things are now wearing glasses which is helping them in school.

What has impressed you most about the Screening for Schools equipment and how it is used in your school?

  • The most impressive aspect of the equipment is how easy it is to use. It all comes in a box and the instructions are very clear.
  • It is straightforward and easy to use. It is also not scary for children and is friendly and easy for them to understand what to do. The glasses provided lasted well and replacements were easily given via the support web page which comes as part of the project.

What improvements to it would you be looking for to help make it better?

  • The most difficult part is getting the pupil data onto the system. A video explaining how this can be done would be most useful and also an online chat with someone would make a big difference to this area.
  • Maybe linking with the local shops or in Specsavers setting up an Education team who help schools setup and run the tests.

How easy/hard is it to use? Is there a need for training or is it something that can be easily picked up when you get the kit and read the instructions?

  • Rating of ease of use  – 0 not easy – 10 – easiest

    • Box and contents – 10
    • Testing  – 10
    • Setting up the database – 3
    • Using the database  – 7
  • You do get used to it. Putting in the data was not a major issue for us. Obtaining parental permission can be a big issue for projects of this sort. The solution is to ask the parents to opt out of this. So we told parents that we were going to run these tests and if they did not wish their child to do so they could opt out. Few parents took this option. This is useful for schools to know about.

In using the database for recording the results – how have you found it to use? Easy/hard?

  • The database is relatively easy to use.

    Improvements –  A quick way of finding any failed screenings and then printing the letters en masse.

  • It wasn’t too difficult to use after a couple of goes.

How helpful is it that the software produced pre generated letters for the parents?

  • This is very helpful, but Luka was not aware that you can amend the letters, so another video on how this could be done would be most useful.
  • This is ESSENTIAL, if these were not part of the package it would not have been used. Schools like ours have very little time for additional administration and anything that can save time is important. We found these great and needed the minimum amount of work and resources to send out to parents.

Have you had to make recommendations to parents for their children to visit the opticians as a direct result of being screened?

  • Out of 120 pupils tested this year – 20 (17%) were recommended visits to opticians. Last year it was between 20 and 30 in each year group tested (Years 7, 8 and 9).
  • Out of 430 pupils between 45 – 60 were asked to visit an optician. These are significant numbers.

Are you able to relate some interesting experiences (anonymised) which we can use in the case study?

  • A girl in an SEN class was given the test. She couldn’t read any of the letters during the test and was recommended a visit to the opticians. She visits and gets glasses and there has been a big improvement in her behaviour since she has started to wear her glasses to school and can see clearly.
  • No specifics but it was the sight of a row of children sitting together as they waited to be tested and the excitement generated and the little conversations while sitting there  that will live long in the memory of those who witnessed it during those 6-8 weeks in 2016.

Would you recommend to other schools to screen their pupils using the Screening for Schools system?

  • Yes, 100% recommended, it has made a difference to Willows High School.
  • Highly recommended, but understand it needs staffing resources.

Can you think of a phrase or word to best describe its impact on your school?

  • Revolutionary – because we can ‘see’ their problems.
  • It did ‘open our eyes’ that there are young people that need further optical investigation.

Please give a brief introduction to the school

A mixed High School in Cardiff  with 700 pupils from Years 7-11.


Anything special to mention with regards to the types of children in the school or the area where it is based?

There is a high percentage of free school meal pupils on the roll.


What is your role with the Screening for Schools project.

I am the School Librarian and run Dyslexia testing for all students, so was given this as part of my remit. I have been doing this for 2 years now.


What year groups were used for the screening?

In the first year, Years 7, 8 and 9 were tested. This year it was Year 7 (120  pupils) which took 1 week to do. It took approximately 3 minutes to test each pupil.


Which member of staff runs the testing?

I carry out the testing as part of my role.


What are the sort of issues with the pupils’ eyesight that has been picked up using the Screening for Schools equipment?

It mainly highlights pupils that are short sighted and also colour blindness both in boys and girls (I was surprised at the number of girls that were flagged up for colour blindness).


Is this an improvement in what you had in place previously? If so why or how?

17% of pupils tested were referred to an optician. Letters were sent to parents and these pupils will be retested in 2 years time. EAL students can be tested very easily too as there is no need to know the English language well in order to take part in the tests. This is really helpful.

It has made a big improvement to the school as previously we had not tested eyesight. It has already made a difference in class as teachers are aware that they need to move around 80 pupils to the front of the class and the sort of issues with eyesight these pupils have.


What has impressed you most about the Screening for Schools equipment and how it is used in your school?

The most impressive aspect of the equipment is how easy it is to use. It all comes in a box and the instructions are very clear.


What improvements would you be looking for to help make it better?

The most difficult part is getting the pupil data onto the system. A video explaining how this can be done would be most useful and also an online chat with someone would make a big difference to this area.


How easy/hard is it to use? Is there a need for training or is it something that can be easily picked up when you get the kit and read the instructions?

Rating of ease of use  – 0 not easy – 10 – easiest

  • Box and contents – 10
  • Testing  – 10
  • Setting up the database – 3
  • Using the database  – 7

In using the database for recording the results – how have you found it to use? Easy/hard?

The database is relatively easy to use. Improvements –  A quick way of finding any failed screenings and then printing the letters en masse.


How helpful is it that the software produced pre-generated letters for the parents?

This is very helpful, but I was not aware that you can amend the letters, so another video on how this could be done would be most useful.


Have you had to make recommendations to parents for their children to visit the opticians as a direct result of being screened?

Out of 120 pupils tested this year – 20 (17%) were recommended visits to opticians. Last year it was between 20 and 30 in each year group tested (Years 7, 8 and 9).


Are you able to relate some interesting experiences (anonymised) which we can use in the case study?

A girl in an SEN class was given the test. She couldn’t read any of the letters during the test and was recommended a visit to the opticians. She attended an appointment and was issued glasses. This has lead to a big improvement in her behaviour since she has started to wear her glasses to school and can see clearly.


Would you recommend to other schools to screen their pupils using the Screening for Schools system?

Yes, 100% recommended, it has made a difference to Willows High School.


Can you think of a phrase or word to best describe its impact on your school?

Revolutionary – because we can ‘see’ their problems.

Please give a brief introduction to the school

Millfield L.E.A.D. Academy is a relatively small primary school with 430 pupils from Reception to Year 6.


Anything special to mention with regards to the types of children in the school or the area where it is based?

It is funded as a County school, located on the edge of a city, with limited funds and similar issues to an inner-city primary.


What is your role with the Screening for Schools project.

I am the Business Manager and I was introduced to the screening project by a parent who is a manager for Specsavers. They offered to help set up the screening programme within our school.


What year groups were used for the screening?

In 2016 the whole school was tested which took 6-8 weeks.


Which member of staff runs the testing?

At the beginning of the project it was with the parent and the first aider. Now it is the first aider and we plan to retest the whole school in the Autumn term 2017. I feel that it works best when there are two people involved in the testing.


What are the sort of issues with the pupils’ eyesight that has been picked up using the Screening for Schools equipment?

We found issues with pupils’ eyesight and sent off letters to parents encouraging them to visit the opticians immediately after the test was taken. Quite a few pupils returned to school with glasses.


Is this an improvement in what you had in place previously? If so why or how?

Between 10-15% of the pupils tested were recommended a visit to the opticians and this is something that would not have been picked up previously. I am of the opinion that is an important step forward in helping the children. The importance of running the test is that it provided the school with the prompt for parents to visit the opticians.

Children that were having problems reading are now wearing glasses and we have noticed a big improvement in the school.


What has impressed you most about the Screening for Schools equipment and how it is used in your school?

It is straightforward and easy to use. It is also not scary for children and is friendly and easy for them to understand what to do. The glasses provided lasted well and replacements were easily given via the support web page which comes as part of the project.


What improvements would you be looking for to help make it better?

Maybe linking with the local shops or in Specsavers setting up an Education team who help schools setup and run the tests.


How easy/hard is it to use? Is there a need for training or is it something that can be easily picked up when you get the kit and read the instructions?

Putting in the data was not difficult for us. Obtaining parental permission can be a big issue for projects of this sort. The solution is to ask the parents to opt out of this. So we told parents that we were going to run these tests and if they did not wish their child to do so they could opt out. Few parents took this option. This is useful for schools to know about.


In using the database for recording the results – how have you found it to use? Easy/hard?

It wasn’t too difficult to use after a some practice.


How helpful is it that the software produced pre generated letters for the parents?

This is ESSENTIAL, if these were not part of the package it would not have been used. Schools like ours have very little time for additional administration and anything that can save time is important. We found these great and needed the minimum amount of work and resources to send out to parents.


Have you had to make recommendations to parents for their children to visit the opticians as a direct result of being screened?

Out of 430 pupils between 45 – 60 were asked to visit an optician. These are significant numbers.


Are you able to relate some interesting experiences (anonymised) which we can use in the case study?

No specifics but it was the sight of a row of children sitting together as they waited to be tested and the excitement generated and the little conversations while sitting there that will live long in the memory of those who witnessed it during those 6-8 weeks in 2016.


Would you recommend to other schools to screen their pupils using the Screening for Schools system?

Highly recommended, but understand it needs staffing resources.


Can you think of a phrase or word to best describe its impact on your school?

It did ‘open our eyes’ that there are young people that need further optical investigation.

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