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Compulsory Swimming

(38 Posts)
yellowmatress Thu 15-Oct-09 14:29:33

My daughter is in Y3 and has just finished 6 swimming lessons with the school. We were told the children had to attend as PE was part of the compulsory curriculum.

However, the school would not fund the lessons and we had to pay for the lessons, pool hire and coach travel to the local pool.

We have now had a letter saying they will be sswimming again and that we have to pay again. However, when pushed they will not exclude any child from joining in due to financial problems.

What I want to know is that if I refuse to pay as money is very tight at the moment (like lots of people) can I demand that they pprovide an alternative pe lesson?

Just to add, she already attends swimming lessons at the council pool which we pay for and is a good swimmer.

Any advice would be gratefully receieved.

Thanks,

sarah293 Thu 15-Oct-09 14:37:03

Message withdrawn

Hulababy Thu 15-Oct-09 14:46:47

I believe that swimming is a compulsary part of the KS2 curriculum.

I guess if you refuse to pay they will do one of two things:

(a) allow your DD to swim using school funds - I imagine they have some form of hardship fund in place, most do

(b) your DD will sit at the side and watch, perhaps reading a book or doing some other work.

I very much doubt they will put on an alternative PE lesson just for your DD whilst others swim. I imagine staffing issues alone would prevent this.

Is this your DD's only PE lesson each week?

kittybrown Thu 15-Oct-09 14:47:05

I'm pretty sure they can't make you pay. Part of the primary curriculum is that children have to be able to swim 25m by the end of year 6. As it's actually part of the curriculum they can't actually demand you pay. Does it mention on the letters that they will not exclude anyone?

bruffin Thu 15-Oct-09 17:10:52

At our school if the children opt out of swimming, their parents have to pick them up in the afternoon, so I very much doubt she will be allowed to sit on the side.

Trouble is schools are expected to put on swimming lessons but aren't given enough funding for it.

Hulababy Thu 15-Oct-09 18:28:13

Children who can't swim at DD's school, for whatever reason (not financial as not a payable extra for us), do sit at the side of the pool. There are benches and stools available.

LilyBolero Thu 15-Oct-09 18:30:53

Given that most of the cost is the hire of transport to get there, sitting at the side would be crazy.

Schools normally have a line like 'no child will be excluded by an inability to pay, but we should warn you that the trip will only go ahead if enough funds are received.'

For a curriculum subject like swimming, I imagine they would either cover it out of school funds or ask everyone else to stump up a little bit more.

How much do you pay? We only pay something like £7 a term for school swimming.

Furball Thu 15-Oct-09 18:35:32

£7? - we have to pay £35+ shock

If you don't pay, your child can still go just it comes out of the schools funds.

LilyBolero Thu 15-Oct-09 18:36:34

We're lucky in that there are no transport costs, as it is only 1/2 mile to the pool so the children walk.

clam Thu 15-Oct-09 18:38:29

"Demand that they provide an alternative PE lesson?" shock
Are you having a laugh?

ABetaDad Thu 15-Oct-09 18:43:04

I can't believe I am reading this!

What on earth is going on in the state education system? My DSs go to a fee paying school but FGS if it is a state school and swimming is deemed important it should get funded. People on benefits with kids are simply not paid enough to fund stuff like this. What next? Parents beig asked to pay for books, equipment, heating, repairs. Where does it stop?

I have a sneaking feeling though that this request for money is happening a lot more in better of 'mddle class' schools because they are being deliberately starved of funds by LEA or the Department of Education a dthey know parents will cough up but in poorer areas the parents will not.

State school is free - end of.

happywomble Thu 15-Oct-09 18:47:00

At my DCs state school we pay £30 a term for swimming. They swim for six terms in total.

carocaro Thu 15-Oct-09 19:01:44

we just pay for the coach, £20 per child, x 2 classes of 28, the pool is half a mile away but for H&S they have to get a coach, that's £4 per child per trip - INSANE!

doubleexpresso Thu 15-Oct-09 19:35:22

If she can already swim 25m you may be able to ask that she stays in school, with another class and does alternative schoolwork. This is because as kittybrown says the end of key stage requirement is to swim 25m. If she's already achieved this and you're happier for her not to swim with school (thereby removing need to pay) then consider this route.

cornsilk Thu 15-Oct-09 19:38:00

Ditto abetadad. Does anyone know whether schools receive to pay for swimming lessons?

foxinsocks Thu 15-Oct-09 19:40:37

we don't pay anything for swimming at school

they swim at the local council pool

clam Fri 16-Oct-09 09:06:41

I guess that's only if they're able to walk there, though, foxinsocks?

Ours walk 5 mins up the road to the senior school's pool so no coach required. But each child pays a few quid for a half-term's course per academic year to cover the instructors' wages. We teachers used to do it years ago (for free) as long as we'd been on the appropriate life-saving and teaching courses, but it's been made so complex now, that hardly any teachers have the certificates.

lljkk Fri 16-Oct-09 13:47:44

We don't pay anything, either, I never realised how lucky we were. The pool is walking distance from school and co-owned by the Council.

foxinsocks Fri 16-Oct-09 13:48:53

yes, they walk there.

I thought the local councils had to provide their facilites for this? Or maybe it is area dependant (don't know).

cat64 Fri 16-Oct-09 14:10:18

Message withdrawn

isgrassgreener Fri 16-Oct-09 19:19:04

We have swimming in yr 5, 2 classes on 2 different days, so 2 coaches needed to take them to the local council pool. We do not have to pay anything. It must come out of the school budget.

missmapp Fri 16-Oct-09 19:27:36

in the school i teac h at children who dont pay still swim, but this year because lots of children dont (cant) pay, the defecit in the buget has meant all lessons have gone up in price. There should be funding for swimming, but it falls to schools which means it falls to parents

yellowmatress Wed 28-Oct-09 18:39:51

Thank you for your replies. :-)

As an aside, when I said about alternative pe lessons it is because I know there are quite a number of parents who feel the same as me.

As a group, they would be being denied one of their opportunities for physical activity in the week - when they only have two scheduled pe lessons anyway.

Anyway, not going to pay for now.

Builde Thu 29-Oct-09 17:14:02

I haven't heard of parents having to pay...seems a bit strange.

My dds school has its own pool (albeit a bit hideous!) so obviously swimming is free and starts in year 1.

trickerg Thu 29-Oct-09 17:27:50

We take all Y4 children swimming the first week, assess them, and then only take the non-swimmers for the rest of the year. The other Y4 teacher does alternative PE. (Swimmers join the others for the fun session on the last week of each term.)

The coach is paid by school funds, but we are seriously looking at charging as it is getting so expensive. (It would be much cheaper than paying for private swimming lessons.)

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