Kids miss out on swimming lessons
A lack of swimming teachers this year means some school students are missing out on their annual swimming lessons.
School students go through twoto-four weeks of swimming lessons each year but this year the Department of Education could not provide enough swimming instructors and lessons have been cut.
Louise Miller’s daughter, Isla, is in pre-primary at Hannan’s Primary School and only received half of her swimming lessons this year.
“This is the age group of kids that drown if they don’t have vital swimming lessons,” she said.
“If they don’t know how to swim or even just have that safety awareness and they go near a pool, they think they can do things they can’t and have no idea how to save themselves.”
Ms Miller said the school was not informed about the lack of instructors until the week before lessons started.
“It’s really unfortunate, my kids will get private lessons as well but there’s a lot of kids who won’t.”
Mother of two Lainey Gordon said it was heart-breaking having to tell her 11-year-old son, Charley, he could not go swimming this year, while his young sister Amelia-Jane could. “He already knows how to swim but my issue is it’s something he enjoys and now he has to miss out by no fault of his own,” she said.
“This might be the only opportunity for kids to go through swimming lessons because some parents can’t afford private lessons.”
Hannan’s Primary School’s Year 5 and 6 students completely missed out on lessons this year.
Although it is not the schools fault, Hannan’s Primary School Physical Education teacher Paul Summerfield said it was sad students missed out.
“It’s a bit of a sorry tale this year, lots of kids have missed out and other schools would be similar,” he said.
The instructors are provided through the Department of Education and, according to some parents, it is not the first year students have missed out because of a lack of instructors.
Acting executive director Statewide Services for the Department, Martin Clery, said despite efforts to recruit staff, it had been a challenge employing enough trained instructors in Kalgoorlie.
“Programs have still run, but in some cases there has had to be a limit on how many students could participate,” he said.
Mr Summerfield said it was important students in the Goldfields learnt how to swim.
“Even though we’re far from the ocean and any body of water there’s a lot of backyard pools and lots of families go camping near bodies of water,” he said.
Paiton Songer, Riley Winchester, Abigail Olsen and Blake Rozynski, all 8.