Professor Brendan Barrett graduated with a Diploma in Optometry from the Dublin Institute of Technology in 1994 and was awarded a PhD from University College Dublin in 1994. In 2009, he completed a BSc in Psychology with the Open University.
His current job title is Professor of Visual Development in the School of Optometry and Vision Science at the University of Bradford. He has been the Director of Research within the School and has held other prominent positions within the school including acting as the interim Head of School in the latter part of 2021. He is actively engaged in the teaching of undergraduate optometry students with optics, refraction and binocular vision representing his main areas of teaching responsibility.
Brendan is a keen researcher with particular interest in developmental disorders of vision, especially amblyopia. He is interested in the impact of vision disorders upon everyday task performance. Currently he is leading a large-scale roll-out of the Glasses in Classes project in the UK, a project which aims to deliver refractive correction to those children who need to wear glasses and to increase compliance with glasses wear by ensuring that a pair of glasses is retained in school in case the pair normally worn aren’t brought to school by the child or get damaged during school hours. The outcome measures from this project include the impact on educational attainment of glasses wear. Another ongoing project examines the impact on vision of being in motion, such as when walking. He currently supervises three PhD students and has supervised many more to successful completion. His research is published in a variety of peer-review publications, including some of the leading journals of optometry, ophthalmology and vision science.
Aside from teaching and research, he holds and has held a number of external roles in the optometry, including acting as external examiner for optometry programmes in the UK and abroad, and as external examiner for PhD at home and abroad. He has worked with the UK’s General Optical Council since 2010, initially as a member of their Education Committee, and currently as a member of the Education Visitor Panel. He has worked with ECOO since 2016, initially participating in accreditation panel work and more recently along with Dr Julie-Anne Little, he has been acting as co-Chair of the European Qualifications Board (EQB).
Dr Julie-Anne Little, Chair of the European Qualifications Board
Dr Julie-Anne Little graduated with a BSc (Hons) Optometry from Ulster University in 2002, and received her PhD in 2007.
She is currently Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer) in the Centre for Optometry & Vision Science at Ulster University, UK, where she teaches Ophthalmic Dispensing, visual perception and function, and clinical optometry on the undergraduate BSc and MOptom programmes, and is course director for the MSc in Advanced Clinical Optometry.
She also pursues research and has supervised several PhD researchers. Her work has a focus on investigating refractive error, accommodation and visual function in childhood, those with special needs and visual impairment. Her research also highlights the unmet need for eyecare services both in the UK and with a European and global focus, and overall aims to optimise vision, educational attainment and quality of life through effective eye care and interventions.
Over 40 publications in high-impact journals and international presentations disseminate this work. She has a strong external profile in optometry as past President of the European Council of Optometry & Optics, and nationally as a Chairman of the Association of Optometrists. She has significant experience in the development and implementation of Optometry curriculums as Chair of the ECOO European Qualifications Board and Co-Chair of the ECOO Accreditation Agency, in external examiner roles, and as a previous Educational visitor for the General Optical Council, UK.