November 23, 2016

PUTTING PEOPLE FIRST WITH FREE GLASSES IN SCHOOLS

Ballarat students will receive free eye testing and glasses at school in a Victorian-first.  The Andrews Labor Government today launched the Glasses for Kids program.

More than 30,000 Prep to Year 3 students at 250 schools most in need will have their eyes tested and receive free glasses under the program.

Children with undiagnosed vision problems often find it hard to concentrate at school, leading to poor results and bad behaviour – yet many struggling families avoid eye testing because of the cost.

Glasses for Kids has been trialled in 24 schools across Gippsland and Melbourne, and will now be rolled out in a further 226 schools around the state including 9 schools in the Ballarat region.

Eligible schools include Ballarat Specialist School, Cape Clear Primary School, Delacombe Primary School, Forest Street Primary School, Magpie Primary School, Phoenix P-12 Community College, Sebastopol Primary School, Yuille Park P-8 Community College and Wendouree Primary School.

The Labor Government has also partnered with Melbourne University to deliver Glasses for Kids, with supervised final-year optometry students to carry out vision testing at 160 schools.

Providing Glasses for Kids is about putting Victorian students and their families first to make sure every child has access to a great school and the opportunity to succeed in life. That’s why we are also:

  • Giving 25,000 children a free breakfast at School Breakfast Clubs in 500 primary schools most in need, so kids can concentrate, learn and reach their full potential
  • Giving more than 70,000 Victorian students regular access to the healthcare they need at school, with 100 schools across the state taking part in Australia’s first Doctors in Secondary Schools Program
  • Helping 180,000 Victorian students take part in school camps and excursions, with $63.8 million already provided under the Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund
  • Giving 50,000 Victorian families more than 210,000 school uniform items under the Affordable School Uniforms Program over the past two years

Schools receiving Glasses for Kids can be found at: www.education.vic.gov.au/about/educationstate/Pages/glassesforkids.aspx

Quotes attributable to Member for Wendouree Sharon Knight

“We are putting people first with free eye testing and glasses for kids in Ballarat schools most in need so that every child has the opportunity to thrive in the classroom.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard

“There needs to be a level playing field in the classroom to make sure no student is left behind. This fantastic program will make sure children with visual problems can get free glasses to overcome them.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

“The results from the trial were astounding – at one school we tested 330 kids and 125 of them needed glasses – once received, their teachers reported an immediate improvement in behaviour and academic performance.”

“Whether it’s making sure kids have a full stomach, access to a GP or the chance to go on excursions – we’re making sure every student has the chance to make the most of school.”