Letters Extra: Don't have a go at schools about swimming

15th August 2003 at 01:00
I found your article of 1 August slightly misleading. You talk about 50 fatalities from drowning a year; it would be interesting to know if those children had been taught swimming at school. I had been under the impression that most child drowning cases were able swimmers.

It would be interesting to note how many schools of children above the age of 7 did teach swimming, rather than show that one in 13 does not, when it is not statutory at Key Stage One. The article felt rather like 'school bashing', something we get enough of from the non-educational press!

My school believes that swimming is very important; we take Year 3 swimming for 30 sessions, during which nearly every child achieves the requirements. Our disabled pupils swim every week throughout their time in school. And we take an active part in inter-school swimming events.

I am sure that since the National Curriculum was introduced,nbsp;schools spend far less time teaching swimming. This is in response to government guidelines, and pressure from Ofsted, it's not due to what schools feel is important.

Eleanor Brooks
Headteacher, Speenhamland Primary School
Newbury

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