26 September 2023

Pool swimmers keep cool in the school

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A Department of Education audit of State Schools has found that 98.7 per cent users are offering water safety and swimming lessons aligned to the National Swimming and Water Safety Framework.

Of the 1,072 schools surveyed, only 14 State primary schools and special schools were not providing a program.

One of the reasons raised by schools not offering a program was access to qualified instructors.

As a result, the Department will provide funding to support up to 50 teachers to undertake accredited water safety and swimming instructor training each year.

In a statement, the Department said another reason was the extremely remote location of some schools.

“Intensive support will be provided to those schools to ensure a swimming program can be delivered in future,” the Department said.

“The audit highlighted successful partnerships that other rural schools could model, such as the one between Drillham and Dulcacca State Schools.”

It said the Department also spoke to schools about contributions from parents and carers.

“Around half of families were making some sort of contribution, usually between $20 and $40 a year, going towards things like transport costs and pool admission fees,” the Department said.

“All schools without a swimming pool already automatically receive a share of the $3.5 million Learn to Swim funding.

“Separately, a Water Safety and Swimming Education Grant is available to schools unable to cover costs from their existing budget.”

Minister for Education, Grace Grace said that while the audit showed almost all State schools were already delivering high-quality water safety and swimming education programs, there was still a small number of schools not delivering a program.

“I am committed to ensuring that all students have access to these potentially life-saving lessons, regardless of their circumstances,” Ms Grace said.

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