North Yorkshire coast pupils set to benefit from Glasses in Classes scheme to boost literacy rates

Pupils on the North Yorkshire Coast will benefit from an expanded programme that provides two free pairs of glasses to improve reading and writing by tackling poor eyesight.

By Duncan Atkins
Thursday, 23rd September 2021, 7:00 am

And the headteacher at Whitby's West Cliff School said she hopes in time this will help to improve literacy rates along the coast.

Data shows that 30 per cent of pupils who need glasses have not been to an optician, alongside disadvantaged children being less likely to get, or wear, the glasses they need.

This can hold children back.

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West Cliff school pupils pictured outside their reading area with Head Christina Zanelli.

The Glasses in Classes scheme aims to level up outcomes and will be adapted for five disadvantaged areas in England - including the North Yorkshire coast - under the Opportunity Area programme.

Children identified as needing glasses will receive one pair for home and one for school, helping them concentrate in the classroom and improve their literacy skills.

Children and their families will receive support from a vision co-ordinator, usually a teaching assistant, to attend follow-up eye examinations, get their prescription glasses and wear them regularly. Training will be available for support staff.

Christina Zanelli, headteacher at West Cliff Primary School, said: "I am delighted that this project is coming to the North Yorkshire Coast.

“While most children will get support with their vision, this isn’t the case with all children.

“This initiative will help make sure that our children will get glasses if they need them.

“I hope that in time this will contribute to improving literacy rates along the Coast.”

The scheme marks National Eye Health Week, which is running until September 26.

Local partners on the North Yorkshire Coast will work together to adapt the ‘Glasses in Classes’ approach to meet local need and delivery models will differ in the five areas as part of the Opportunity Area’s place-based approach to levelling up.

It will be expanded to primary schools everywhere and on the North Yorkshire Coast it will also benefit secondary pupils.