Pupils left out of the swim

28th September 2001 at 01:00
The Scottish National Party has warned that pupils' lives could be at risk because 14 authorities no longer give primary children swimming lessons during school hours.

Statistics from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents show a 50 per cent rise in deaths by drowning among young people, party activists said last week at their annual conference in Dundee.

Only the more advantaged children could afford to pay for swimming lessons outside school, said Kay Ullrich, the Nationalist MSP, who initiated the campaign for curriculum swimming.

She said a study in Aberdeen had shown low levels of competence in the water among disadvantaged children. One in four could not swim 25 metres after they left primary school, compared to one in 100 from more prosperous homes.

Ms Ullrich, a former swimming instructor in Ayrshire, last session asked the question in Parliament that forced the Scottish Executive to launch an audit of school swimming, which is now underway. She wants parity with England, where every pupil is expected to swim 25 metres by the age of 11.

Audrey Doig, a sports and leisure worker in Renfrewshire, said one in three children could not swim at the age of 10 before they joined the council's swimming programme. One in 10 had never been in a pool before.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now