Vision screening in children


This guidance covers children eligible for routine visual screening

  • Plymouth Hospitals
    • Information regarding eligible children is obtained from schools admission data (including home educated/travelling families etc.) at Plymouth City Council and Devon County Council.
    • Information regarding special schools and independent schools is obtained via the individual school
  • Cornwall
    • Information regarding eligible children is obtained from the indivudal schools at the time of booking the screening session and for the home educated children this information is obtained from Cornwall County Council.

Out of scope

Children who are already undergoing treatment.


  • Screening teams contact parents:
    • Plymouth Hospitals
      • Parents will be contacted during the summer or winter holidays before their child starts school. Plymouth Hospitals works on 'opt out' consent (with the exception of independent schools, who 'opt in' due to data protection arrangements)
    • Cornwall
      • Parents will be sent the consent form for completion the term before their child starts school. Cornwall works on 'opt out' consent.
  • Screening teams liaise with schools to arrange visit dates
  • Screening performed in schools
    • Plymouth Hospitals
      • Tests will help to identify defects of vision, binocular functions and ocular motility (the ability for the child to use their eyes as a pair and identify abnormal eye movements).
      • All results are entered onto the Child Health Information System (CHIS)
    • Cornwall
      • Tests in Cornwall will help to identify defects of vision.
  • All results are entered onto the RIO system.
    • Normal results
      • Parents will be informed of the results of tests by post. No further action is taken
    • Abnormal results
      • Parents will be contacted by telephone and/or post to inform them of the outcome of the tests and the onward referral process.
If child is absent from school
  • The screening teams will arrange to see the child in an additional screening clinic.
  • Plymouth
    • Contact will be made by the screening team to the parents of the child.
  • Cornwall
    • Parents should contact the department for an appointment.
  • If you do not receive notification please contact us at:
    • Plymouth Hospitals Orthoptic Department 01752 439319
    • Cornwall Orthoptic Department 01872 253287
If refusal to screen
  • Plymouth Hospitals
    • A record will be kept to identify children who have not been screened as parents do not wish their children to be tested. This information may also be shared with the Safeguarding Children's Team at Plymouth Hospitals.
  • Cornwall
    • No letter is sent home

If parents decline or do not attend for an onward referral then information is provided to the registered GP, School Nurse and possibly local safe guarding team.


Plymouth Safeguarding Children Board, Windsor House, Tavistock Road, Plymouth PL6 5UF

Phone: 01752 307535



Devon Children and Families Partnership

Phone: 0345 155 1071



Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Safeguarding Children Board

LSCB Support Team, Room 410, New County Hall, Treyew Road, Truro, Cornwall TR1 3AY

Phone: 01872 323482

Supporting Information

Patient Information

British and Irish Orthoptic Society

Pathway Group

This guideline has been signed off by the Western Locality on behalf of NEW Devon CCG.

Publication date: August 2017


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