Vision & Hearing Testing: Information for Parents and Schools

As you know, when a child embarks upon his or her education it is important to screen for any hearing or visual impairment that may inhibit their educational development. While we are happy to screen any child of school age, the earliest time that this can be done effectively is in the Reception class when a child is in the 4 – 5 year age group.

Did you know…?

Audiology (Hearing) testing

Children who are either born with or develop severe to profound hearing loss do not develop speech, hence are brought to medical attention due to parents’ concerns.

Children who have mild to moderate hearing loss can often cope unless they are put in acoustically challenging situations such as a class room. It is also not uncommon for children to have predominantly high frequency hearing loss and such children may have difficulty distinguishing consonants and may present with mispronunciation.

1 in 1000 children are born with sensorineural (permanent) hearing loss requiring hearing support. 90% of these children are born to normal hearing parents. In some cases hearing loss is not apparent at birth, but appears later on in life and may be progressive. A rudimentary hearing test is performed shortly after birth but hearing is not routinely tested again unless there is parental concern.

Vision Testing

Visual impairment can lead to delayed reading and writing skills, both of which can inhibit learning abilities. Vision screening is directed at identifying amblyopia (‘lazy eye’). This condition may go undetected unless the child has an obvious squint in which case concern is usually raised by the parent. In most cases, amblyopia can be treated if discovered in early childhood.

The National Screening Committee recommends that vision screening is performed on every child aged 4-5 years of age to identify amblyopia. Not all children starting school are offered the screening service, and in the independent sector, screening may not be offered at all.

Our vision screening includes tests for visual acuity, ocular motility (eye muscle imbalance), colour blindness and binocular vision.

A headmistress who used our services recently stated…

“The screening session that we held at school was a huge success. 50% of the Reception class parents chose to use the screening service and many more parents have subsequently asked if it will become an annual session.

“Of the children who were referred, four are now being monitored and one child has had grommets fitted. The parents of this particular little boy were relieved that action was taken so promptly and have both thanked and praised the school and the consultants for drawing to their attention could have been innocently overlooked for a few more years.”

  • Procedure for Parents

    Procedure for Parents in Participating Schools

    • To register for the screening, contact our Reception Team based at The Child and Family Practice, 60 Bloomsbury Street, London, WC1B 3QU. Telephone: 020 7034 2690. Please ensure that payments are received one week in advance of the screening otherwise we will not be able to screen your child. We accept the following methods of payment:
      – Payment by credit card (£1.50 credit card charges apply) over the phone.
      – Payment Via Bacs (Please request details)
      – Telephone: 020 7034 2690.
    • Once you have registered, please complete the Parents’ Questionnaire (child’s medical history)
    • Follow Up (approx one/two weeks afterwards)If your child’s sight and vision is found to be normal, no further action will be taken.If your child requires further investigation, you will be informed of this by consultant’s letter and invited for individual, private assessment. They will also let the school know so that the school can offer immediate support.
    Click Here to Complete a Medical History Form
  • Procedure for Schools

    Procedure for Participating Schools

      1. When you decide that you would like your school to use the service, contact The Child and Family Practice on 020 7034 2690 or by our Email contact form
      2. Using your usual method of home/school correspondence (text, newsletter, email ), please direct parents to
      3. Please send the CFP practice manager, by email, class lists of children in the appropriate age groups
      4. During the next fortnight (or as arranged),parents pay their fee and complete the online questionnaire
      5. Parents log on and are given access to:- Parents’ questionnaire (child’s medical history form) to complete and return via this website.- Access to the practice manager (See Practice Contact Page for practice address and phone number), for payment by credit card or cheque
      6. The consultants will electronically access the completed questionnaires
      7. The practice manager emails a list of the participating children to the school
      8. In good time, you are asked to prepare an appointment schedule, taking into account that you will need two timetables – one for hearing and one for vision (experience has proved that this is more time effective than booking a child for the screenings consecutively). Connan Tam (ophthalmology) likes to take batches of 3 pupils at a time and Raouf Chorbachi (audiology) likes pupils one at a time.

    Screening Day

    On the day, you will need 1 assistant to move the children backwards and forwards from the screening areas.

    For the hearing test, a quiet room is necessary (they even hear the floorboards creak!)

    For the vision test, a second room needs to be put aside. This should be at least 3 metres in length.

    Each child takes 5 minutes for each test – the youngest pupils may take slightly longer.

    1. Follow Up (approx one/two weeks afterwards) Parents of children requiring further investigation are informed of this by consultant’s letter and invited for individual, private assessment. The consultants will also let you know so that you are aware for the purposes of your LDD programme.

    It is our intention that the screening programme becomes an annual event at your school to help identify children before their sight or hearing issues have a detrimental affect on their learning.

    Please tell your colleagues in other schools about this service and pass on our details. We find that word of mouth recommendation is the best way of publicising our service.

    Problems? If there are any queries, please contact Faye Aspill on 0797 632 4696 so that I may assist you.


    The cost for the combined assessments for both Sight and Hearing is £75

    The cost for a single Audiology Screening is £45 The cost for a single Vision Screening is £45

    Please note there are additional charges for payments made via credit card.

    Contact CFP Schools’ Screening
  • The Team

    The Team and their Roles

    Professor Ricky J Richardson FRCP FRCPCH

    Our screening programme is headed by Consultant Paediatrician Professor Ricky Richardson who sees patients at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, The Child and Family Practice, 60 Bloomsbury St, London WC1B 3QU and at Princess Margaret Hospital, Windsor. If any child who undergoes the screening service is identified as needing a Paediatric opinion then the child can be referred to Professor Ricky Richardson and an appointment can be made by contacting Rebecca Smith on 020 874 20186.

    Dr Raouf Chorbachi MSc FRCS(OTO)

    Hearing tests are performed by Consultant Audiological Physician, Dr Raouf Chorbachi MSc FRCS(OTO) from Great Ormond St. Hospital for Children and his assistant audiologist, Sharmila Patel.

    Mr Connan Tam BSc(Hons)Orthoptics, MCOPTOM

    Vision tests are carried out by Consultant Physician Mr Connan Tam BSc(Hons)Orthoptics, MCOPTOM, who is qualified in both Orthoptics and Optometry.

    Mrs Faye Aspill BA (Hons) QTS

    The Programme’s educational consultant and coordinator is Mrs Faye Aspill BA (Hons) QTS, an ex headmistress with twenty years experience in teaching and senior management at Prep schools in both London and Cheshire. Faye trialled the screening service in her last school and found it of enormous benefit as part of the school’s LDD (Learning Difficulties & Disabilities) procedure. Faye also has personal experience of the success of the service as her four year old son was recently screened and identified as needing glasses.

  • Pricing

    • The cost for the combined assessments for both Sight and Hearing is £75
    • The cost for a single Audiology Screening is £45
    • The cost for a single Vision Screening is £45
    Please note there are additional charges for payments made via credit card

    You can also pay via BACS. Please call on us 020 7034 2690 for payment details

Contact Us

The Child & Family Practice

+44 0207 034 2690

60 Bloomsbury Street, London, WC1B 3QU