We always like to hear from you. To make it easier to get in touch we’ve brought some of our popular letters to the editor feature online. Every month we’ll feature one of the letters that appears in Swimming Times magazine online to allow you to have your say and leave comments on issues that relate to you.
If you would like to submit a letter to appear online and in the magazine please email firstname.lastname@example.org or send your letter by post to Swimming Times, SportPark, 3 Oakwood Drive, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE11 3QF.
Budget and time needed
As a primary school swimming teacher, I read your recent article ‘School Swimming Charter launch’ with great interest. The main emphasis seemed to be providing teachers with improved knowledge so they can “deliver high quality school swimming programmes”.
In my opinion, the obvious problem is not to do with access to knowledge, it’s access to an actual pool. My school is lucky enough to have its own pool. However, all maintenance costs need to be covered by the school itself so, although it brings in a rental revenue, it is a massive financial responsibility for a small primary school.
Due to the size of the pool, I only teach from nursery to year 2. Older children travel by coach to a local authority-run pool. The cost of the coach is more than the actual swimming lessons. My understanding is that parents can only be asked for a voluntary contribution towards the cost of transport and lessons. If these are forthcoming, that’s fine but many families are not in a position to do this. Therefore, the cost is born by the schools that are already working with incredibly strained budgets.
The other issue is time. The primary curriculum is so packed full that an extra hour out of the day to get the children to the pool and back, not including the actual lesson time, is, in many cases, not feasible. Until schools are provided with an actual budget for swimming and time is officially allocated, it will be impossible for many schools to make swimming more of a priority.