When your child starts school they will be seen by the school screening team to check their vision and hearing. Checking their vision and hearing is important. Finding any problems early means your child’s learning and development can be supported.
The screening happens during the school day and only takes a few minutes. You will receive a letter or email from your child’s school before the screening, letting you know when it is due to take place.
If your child is already under hospital care for vision and/or hearing they will not need to be seen by the screening team at school.
Talk to your child about vision and hearing screening. This will make them feel more comfortable when we visit their school. The video shows what happens during the screening.
What Happens During the Hearing & Vision Screening? - For Parents & Carers
What Happens During the Hearing & Vision Screening? - For Children
The vision screening involves each eye being checked separately. The screener will use glasses that cover each eye in turn. If your child already wears glasses they will still be screened using a glasses patch.
Children will be asked to look at pictures or letters held a distance away. They will then match what they see to a card in front of them, or say the letter or shape out loud.
The video below shows a child having their vision screened in school.
The hearing screening is completed using a set of headphones. Your child puts them on and will be asked to listen for a range of different 'beep' sounds. Each time they hear the 'beep', they will be asked to respond by pressing a button.
The video below shows a child having their hearing screening in school.
How will I know the results of my child’s vision and hearing screening?
You will receive a letter home on the day the screening takes place, if your child has either not passed the test or we were unable to screen your child's hearing and/or vision successfully. If you do not receive a letter this means that your child's hearing and vision were fine.
Some children find the screening difficult to complete in school. If we are unable to complete the screening, we will let you know and either try again another day or refer your child to hospital for a full check.
Read more about signs your child may have hearing problems
Read more about signs that your child might be struggling with their eyesight
Going To The Hearing Clinic
If your child does not pass the second hearing screening in school, they will be referred to the hospital for a full hearing check. You will get a letter from the hospital with your appointment details.
When you go to the appointment, the doctor you see is an audiologist. They check your child's ears to make sure they’re doing everything they should. They know all about ears, so you’re in safe hands!
What does an audiologist do?
One of the first things they do is look in your child's ears with a special torch. This will not hurt and will just feel like a small tickle.
The audiologist will then put a small earphone in the ear, to see if your child's eardrums are moving in the right way.
Then your child will have their hearing test. They will go into a quiet space and wear headphones. They will listen for beeps and tell the audiologist when they can hear each beep.
You can download a leaflet below which will help explain to your child what will happen at the hearing clinic.
If you feel you need more information about the screening programme, you can speak to your child's school or contact Just One Number and speak to a member of the team.
If your child is home schooled you can call Just One Number for their screening to be arranged.
To find out more about hearing tests visit www.ndcs.org.uk/hearingtests, contact their freephone helpline on 0808 800 8880 (voice and text) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.
If you are 11-19 you can text Chathealth on 07480 635060 for confidential advice from one of the Healthy Child Programme team.
To speak to other Norfolk parents and carers, you can join our online community forum below.