Children's Vision Screening

The LOC made contact with the head orthoptists at Stoke Mandeville and Milton Keynes in September 2013, to clarify the local protocol for vision screening of primary school children. Their responses are reproduced below.


Milton Keynes

 “All screening of children in mainstream state schools in this area is undertaken by School Nurses in the Reception year. The service is Orthoptic lead, in line with the 2014 national requirement. We therefore set the guidelines, teach the SNs, assess SN competency and audit their referrals. We have a visual acuity pass rate of 0.1, using a Sonksen linear logmar test. Children are re-tested in school according to a strict protocol and those failing are referred into a joint Orthoptic/ Optometry new case clinic. All children attending this clinic receive a cyclo refraction. Children attending special schools in our area undergo screening by an experienced Orthoptist instead of seeing the SN.”

Alison Heywood, Head Orthoptist, Milton Keynes Hospital



Mid and South Bucks (updated in July 2017)

“All children in state schools in the mid and south Bucks areas are tested by a School Nurse or assistant in Year 1 or sometimes in Reception using the computerised Thomson LogMAR Vision Screening Tool. Referral is then made either to a High Street Optometrist or Orthoptist as per guidelines agreed between the School Nursing team and the Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust Orthoptic Department. Our guidelines state that equal unilateral vision of 0.2 is satisfactory as per the British and Irish Orthoptic Society Vision Screening guidelines. Where there is a difference of one line only or equally reduced vision up to 0.375 then the parent will be advised to take the child to a High Street Optometrist. If there is two lines difference in vision or equally reduced vision of 0.4 or worse then referral to the Orthoptic Department is recommended. Whilst the School Nurses do not test specifically for strabismus, referral to the Orthoptic Department is recommended should there be any concern in that regard. When a child is referred to the Orthoptic Department from the School Nursing service, the first hospital appointment will include an orthoptic assessment and a refraction by a Hospital Optometrist.”

Rachel Gallaher, Head Orthoptist, Stoke Mandeville Hospital