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Special Educational Needs (SEN) Schools Orthoptic Eye Care Service

Our Service

Warrington Orthoptic department leads a Special School Eye Care Service across Warrington and Halton for children aged 4yrs - 19yrs within the SEN school. 

This service comprises of an Orthoptic Assessment and if necessary an Optometrist assessment and / or an appointment in school with a Consultant Ophthalmologist.

Studies have shown that there is higher incidence of vision related problems in children with special needs. These may go undetected. An Orthoptist is specially trained to identify any vision / eye problems.

Orthoptic Assessment: This comprises of a vision examination of the child’s eyes using pictures, letters, and observations. They will show the child objects and vision cards and specially designed tests in order to establish how the child uses their eyes and their vision. An Orthoptist can measure a squint and look at how the eyes move. They specially trained to detect where the vision is best used. The outcome of their assessment will determine whether further tests need to be carried out. Parents do not need to attend this appointment but this can be arranged if preferred.

Optometrist Assessment: This examination requires the child to have eye drops instilled. This dilates their pupils, and temporarily stops them from focussing. The Optometrist will then make their assessment using a special light and lenses. This will establish whether the child needs glasses. They can also check the health of the eyes. Parents will be invited to attend if they wish.

Consultant Ophthalmologist Assessment: This examination may require the child to have eye drop. The Ophthalmologist will check the health of the child’s eyes using a special light. He will also offer advice on any further treatment that the child may require. Parents will be invited to attend if they wish.

Signed consent forms and questionnaires are required from all parents / carers of children who wish to access the Eye Care Service. These are sent out through school post in child’s school bag and must be completed in order for the assessment to take place.

Parent / Carers will be kept informed by a letter or telephone call of outcome of the child’s assessment.

School Eye care Service is offered in the following Special Schools


Foxwood Special School

Green Lane Special School


Cavendish High Academy


Brookfields Special School

Ashley Special School

Chesnut Lodge Special School

Judy De’Bell - Advanced Orthoptist Lead for Warrington SEN Services

Frances Midgley - Advanced Orthoptist Lead for Halton SEN Services

Rob Gargon - Specialist Orthoptist

Tracey Parry – Specialist Orthoptist

Frankie Reed – Specialist Orthoptist

We work closely with the Visual Impairment Teachers for Warrington and Halton Boroughs.