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The truths they don't want you to read....

Friday, September 03, 2010

Swim Scotland

Our eldest is getting some swimming lessons to improve his style from "not quite drowning" to something - anything - more appropriate.

Yesterday we had the announcement of more Government money for swimming lessons:

The Scottish Government has announced £800,000 will be invested in free swimming lessons for primary pupils.

The money is aimed at ensuring all children have the opportunity to learn to swim before leaving primary school.

Sports Minister Shona Robison made the announcement at an event in Stirling and the funding will top up free lessons already available in Scotland.

So how many pupils in the Western Isles benefit from swimming lessons?

The answer is quite surprising.

Since responsibility for school swimming lessons was moved from the Sports Centre to the Education Department over the summer, not one single school has booked swimming lessons this term. That's right, not one single booking.

Is there a conspiracy by the Comhairle to prevent full use of the Sports Centre by the public?


Anonymous said...

Swimming lessons for children were going on all the summer holidays at 9am every weekday. The public access which usually runs from 8am to 9 am was curtailed so that the boom could be put up ready for a 9am start for the lessons. Parents were bringing kids in every day. The scheme was advertised by posters on the wall at the ISL facility and the uptake looked good from what I saw. I think the poster said the kids would be assessed for starting ability and put in the appropriate group. Maybe the schools think their job is to teach the kids their lessons and leave the more leisure type activities like swimming for the parents to sort out with the ISL.

Anonymous said...

12:29pm I totally disagree with you. 9am lessons during summer holidays only suit those parents who don't work. Summer holidays for working mums are hardly different except that one is left juggling virtually non-existent childcare. The schools job is to teach the children in everything including health and fitness and particularly swimming as we live on a small island surrounded by water and given that many of our children will grow up to be in a trade where swimming ability is essential.

Anonymous said...

Oh and swimming isn't a leisure activity, it is a sport that can keep our children fit and healthy which going by the size of some of the children in our primary schools isn't a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

12:29pm I heard that they were short of children to fill the swimming lesson quota during the summer holidays.
Also, the "free" swimming lessons are only open to those who are members which means a £20 per month subscription for at least 12 months.
Believe it or not, some people cannot afford £20 per month so get off your Comhairle high horse and recognise that some families rely upon the "education" system to provide an all round education and life knowledge to their children.

Anonymous said...

My littlest attended the free lessons earlier this year and very good they were. But it was a bit of a nightmare getting her there on time.

As 5.29 points out, they are fairly useless if parents are trying to earn a living - they are timed at just after school ends (no good for fulltime working parents) or at 9am in summer hols (ditto).

If swimming takes place during school hours, the kids can be safely conveyed to lessons and back again as part of the curriculum. And those of us who are trying to earn a living can get on and do that.

Of course, if the pool was open on a Sunday we could take our kids to learn with us then.......

Anonymous said...

Well put!