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Eyesight: Testing

Volume 461: debated on Wednesday 6 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether children in full-time education being educated at home have the same rights to (a) free NHS sight tests and (b) vouchers to cover other costs of ophthalmology as children in full-time education being educated in institutions; what guidance she has issued to (i) opticians and (ii) local authorities to reflect these entitlements; and what evidence must be accepted as proof of a child being in full-time education at home. (140435)

[holding answer 4 June 2007]: All children under the age of 16 are entitled to national health service sight tests and vouchers for optical appliances, as are children aged 16, 17 and 18 who are being educated full-time in a recognised educational establishment. The Department has not previously issued specific guidance on this subject. Where children aged 16 to 18 are being educated at home, the local primary care trust would need to seek advice from the local education authority to assess whether these arrangements are comparable to full-time education in such an establishment.