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Swimming Instruction, Warwickshire

Volume 499: debated on Thursday 24 April 1952

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asked the Minister of Education whether she is aware that the Warwickshire Education Committee has decided to cut out completely swimming instruction in schools in response to her Circular 242; and if, as swimming instruction is essential for both health and safety reasons, she will inform the Committee that this part of the essential fabric of the education service must be retained.

I am aware of the action proposed by Warwickshire. While I agree that instruction in swimming is very desirable, I should not regard myself as justified in interfering with the authorities' discretion in this matter.

I do not know if this supplementary question is addressed to one swimmer from another, but might I ask the right hon. Lady if she realises that swimming is the one sport which does develop every part of the body, and for safety reasons would she not agree that every child should be taught to swim, unless he or she is medically unfit?

I should like to remind the hon. Lady that in a great many areas there are opportunities for children to learn to swim outside school hours and outside school arrangements, and I think that we should encourage that as much as possible.