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Safety first?

I am writing in response to your article "Act clamps down on activity centres", (TES, March 29).

Does David Jamieson realise that not everyone who has a qualification is suitably adept to deal with situations that may occur?

Indeed, I have been in a position where a newly-qualified British Canoeing Union instructor was unable to perform a rescue simply because he was inexperienced.

The rules for supervising a learner driver state that you must be over 21 and have held a full licence for at least three years. A similar scheme could be adapted for outdoor qualifications, rather than suggesting that anyone who has the relevant piece of paper can do the job safely.

Perhaps a new generation of instructions with R-plates on their canoes, climbing helmets and windsurfers will materialise!

Another important point is that only suitable staff members should accompany groups on these trips.

All too often it seems that straws are drawn in the staffroom, rather than sending someone who can actually inspire confidence in their pupils and has the capability to help should a situation become out of control.

ANTHONY R MANN 44 Chives Way Woodhall Park Swindon Wiltshire

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