The Aston Eye Study: information for school teachers

The role of schools in the Aston Eye Study

The Aston Eye Study is essentially a survey of eye health in Year 2 and Year 8 school children in the Birmingham area, concentrating particularly on how many children in the schools need glasses. The Study has been running for several years now and data from the schools we have already visited has shown that I in 20 Year 2 children and 1 in 10 Year 8 children do not have glasses when they need them - which will of course have an affect on how well they do in school. We have screened 600 children to date but need to at least treble this number to get a complete picture. Schools that have previously participated are listed at the bottom of this page.

What are the benefits of participating in this study for your school children?

The primary benefit for your school would be similar to that of a basic vision screening service - it will identify visual defects present in your school children, a proportion of whom may never have had their eyes tested before.  All the schools we have seen up to now have enjoyed taking part and found the experience informative. The Study team is happy to do an introductory presentation to the children on vision and eyes.

Where will the study take place?

Three or four members of the Study team would come to your school to take measurements at your convenience. The team will provide all the necessary equipment, paperwork and staffing for the Study to minimise any disruption to your normal timetable. What we do request is availability of a room (or part of a room) for the duration of the Study. This will typically be for one or two days depending on the response from children and their parent/guardians. All members of the team are registered optometrists who are part of Aston University’s Ophthalmic Research Group, and all are CRB checked. The Study has been fully approved by the Aston University Ethics Committee.

What will the study entail?

Subject to full informed parent/guardian consent, a series of tests will be undertaken to assess the child’s sight, all of which are standard tests used by optometrists in general practice. Measurements will include testing how well the child can see, whether they need spectacles, the size and shape of the eye (without any contact with the eye) as well as the child’s height and weight. Standard eye drops are used to relax the child’s eyes so that the measurements taken are accurate. If we do discover that a child has a particular problem concerning his or her eyesight then we will write to their parent/guardian advising them to take the child to an optometrist of their choice for a full eye examination. Children will be issued with an ‘Aston Eye Study’ certificate of participation, a Study pen and disposable sunglasses.

Next stage

If your school is based in Birmingham and you would like to take part in the study, get in touch with Dr Nicola Logan or Professor Bernard Gilmartin:

0121 204 4128          email: n.s.logan@aston.ac.uk or b.gilmartin@aston.ac.uk.

Schools that have taken part in the Study:

Year 2

Christ Church Primary School
Moor Green Primary School
Ward End Primary School
Prince Albert Primary
Hodge Hill Primary School
St Theresa’s School
Grove School Handsworth
Wattville Primary School

Year 8

Bishop Vesey Grammar school
King Edward VI Handsworth
St Albans CE School
Washwood Heath Technology College
Heartlands High School
Great Barr School

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