Advertisement

Contending cowardice on swimming at schools

By 11 December 2012 37

The ABC is having a go at the various arms of ACT Education which have been, through competing arse-coverings, bringing an end to swimming at schools:

The ACT Government is reviewing a controversial safety policy that has led some schools to cancel swimming carnivals.

Under the policy, students are not allowed to take part in school swimming activities until they pass a swimming competency test.

The new provisions are in response to a near-drowning at a carnival earlier this year.

Education Minister Joy Burch says education officials will consult with the community about the best way to ensure student safety.

“This policy is about trying to find the right balance between how do we ensure to the best we can that children are safe at a water activity but at the same time making sure that kids are encouraged to participate,” she said.

Kids go to school to learn things, if we’re leaving swimming to the parents why have schools at all?

Please login to post your comments
37 Responses to Contending cowardice on swimming at schools
#1
nov86512:44 pm, 11 Dec 12

Well done Joy; putting yet another barrier in the way of kids participating in healthy exercise. Try engaging your brain for once in your miserable ministerial life! Kids at school swimming carnivals are subject to a higher level of supervision that usually found in a backyard pool. What’s next you peanut, banning swimming pools all together?

#2
Duffbowl12:52 pm, 11 Dec 12

“Kids go to school to learn things, if we’re leaving swimming to the parents why have schools at all?”

I’m hoping there is a sarcasm tag missing…

#3
Grail1:09 pm, 11 Dec 12

So how long until johnboy’s five year plan comes into effect, where all responsibility for raising and educating children falls to the state and adult citizens are only required for livestock breeding purposes?

#4
Conan of Cooma1:16 pm, 11 Dec 12

“Kids go to school to learn things…”

Reminds me of that God awful song on that old Telstra ad:

“You mean stuff to me…”

I don’t trust the education system with Jack Shit. If your kids didn’t learn something, and you blame the education system, then you deserve to be shot for child abuse.

#5
Gerry-Built1:21 pm, 11 Dec 12

This year, in the school I teach at, parents had to sign a note saying their child was able to competently swim 25m… next year, i suppose we’ll have notes going home to say their child can competently walk 50m and walk up 1 flight of stairs, yes?

#6
Chop711:27 pm, 11 Dec 12

yup, more cotton wool for the little tackers

#7
poetix1:30 pm, 11 Dec 12

At my daughter’s previous (government) school they weren’t allowed to do high jump or discus or javelin in case of injury.

Meanwhile, there’s an obesity problem, which is hardly safe, in a longer term sense, is it? This particular policy could lead to swimming becoming a middle class skill, and therefore, to more deaths by drowning of those who miss out. That redefines safe, too.

Remember that not all parents know how to swim, and that private lessons are quite expensive. All children should have access to basic swimming lessons through school, as well as annual carnivals.

It’s every Straylian’s right to be terrified by the tough kids at the pool.

#8
p11:42 pm, 11 Dec 12

Under the policy, students are not allowed to take part in school swimming activities until they pass a swimming competency test.

Let me guess – swimming competency tests are only held at school swimming activities? Amirite?

While I understand the desire for risk minimisation, and the desire for arse covering (at least from an individual teacher point of view), I would like to see a comparison between school swimming carnivals now, and how they existed 20 years ago. I’m sure over they time rules and requirements have been progressively tightened to make them safer and safer. Is removing the actual “swimming” part the only possible safety action left to be taken?

Perhaps swimming carnivals in the future should involve the children sitting in a climate controlled, padded room watching Finding Nemo?

#9
thebrownstreak692:13 pm, 11 Dec 12

Gerry-Built said :

This year, in the school I teach at, parents had to sign a note saying their child was able to competently swim 25m… next year, i suppose we’ll have notes going home to say their child can competently walk 50m and walk up 1 flight of stairs, yes?

Really?

Can walking 50m or walking up 1 flight of stairs result in death?

I’m all for pushing our kids a bit, and getting rid of cotton wool. How about we just go with what has worked in the past – teach our kids to make sensible decisions and get teachers to supervise the children under their care?

#10
harley2:14 pm, 11 Dec 12

I had a look for a media release or something, but can’t find anything.

but – swimming carnivals != swimming lessons.

carnivals are for sport, the learning is done in a swimming lesson. My boy is doing lessons every day at the moment, and selection was based on ability, with the lower abilities given preference.

The school did their carnival some months ago, and students had to demonstrate competence for that.

I’m not seeing the problem here. No one is stopping lessons.

#11
Chop712:35 pm, 11 Dec 12

It takes a lot of cotton wool to run a nanny state.

#12
Tetranitrate2:54 pm, 11 Dec 12

How was it that a kid couldn’t swim in the first place?
I remember the school busing kids to swimming lessons once a week for a term or something, every year from Kindergarten through to about year 3 or 4.

#13
steele_blade3:33 pm, 11 Dec 12

harley said :

swimming carnivals != swimming lessons.

Or for those who only read vb – swimming carnivals swimming lessons.

#14
Deref4:05 pm, 11 Dec 12

This is a direct result of our copying the US and catching their litigious disease. No wonder governments become risk-averse when there are hordes of ambulance-chasing lawyers ready to jump on the slightest misfortune and take them – and the victim – to the cleaners.

The government had the right idea to put an end to this nonsense, and it’s no surprise at all that the legal profession (and I use the term loosely) spent vast amounts of money campaigning against it.

Don’t blame the government for their risk-aversion – blame them for allowing lawyers to advertise and to work “no win, no fee”.

#15
Gungahlin Al5:06 pm, 11 Dec 12

I don’t see why some people are going all “stacks on” on Joy Burch for this? Some schools are over-reacting and stopping swimming carnivals. Seems she’s trying to get some common sense in there. Seems it’s those schools you should be copping the criticism.

When I were lad, swimming and athletics carnivals were the glue of school years. We trained for months (especially us swimmers) and bonded as schools as teams for the big days. Along the way, most of us learnt how to swim to save ourselves.

Meanwhile (and apols to RA oldtimers who’ve read my rants on this before), adults and children from inland towns continue to holiday at the beach and drown themselves. I’ve seen grown men lifesavers reduced to tears describing dragging lifeless bodies from the surf of people who couldn’t swim out of a basic rip. It makes you really appreciate how important in this water-centric society of ours good basic swimming skills are.

I used to chair the Sunshine Coast Water Safety Advisory Committee, and the enduring concern of all the emergency services reps on my committee was the lack of swimming skills of holidaymakers from inland areas. That’s us here. Our schools – and swimming carnivals – play vital roles in doing something about it.

PS: Surely two months after the election, Chief Minister’s Department (NB: CMD not CMO) has had ample time to get their shit together and start publishing media releases for ministers other than the CM??

#16
King_of_the_Muppets5:32 pm, 11 Dec 12

Deref said :

This is a direct result of our copying the US and catching their litigious disease. No wonder governments become risk-averse when there are hordes of ambulance-chasing lawyers ready to jump on the slightest misfortune and take them – and the victim – to the cleaners.

The government had the right idea to put an end to this nonsense, and it’s no surprise at all that the legal profession (and I use the term loosely) spent vast amounts of money campaigning against it.

Don’t blame the government for their risk-aversion – blame them for allowing lawyers to advertise and to work “no win, no fee”.

+1

#17
knuckles5:37 pm, 11 Dec 12

nov865 said :

Kids at school swimming carnivals are subject to a higher level of supervision that usually found in a backyard pool.

I’m not sure the little kiddy they pulled from the bottom of the pool all blue and not breathing at his school carnival would agree with you on that one.

#18
dtc5:42 pm, 11 Dec 12

Tetranitrate said :

How was it that a kid couldn’t swim in the first place?
I remember the school busing kids to swimming lessons once a week for a term or something, every year from Kindergarten through to about year 3 or 4.

I dont know, maybe funding cuts? Lack of teachers to supervise. Pool closures meaning pools arent available.

Kids not being able to swim is a different issue to swimming carnivals. And there are plenty of kids who cannot swim well enough to swim 50m, so what happens to them during carnivals? Either they sit out and do nothing or they are also allowed to be in the water but under supervision.

Actually, until this test came in, it was up to the parents to define their child’s swimming ability. While I agree with the sentiments that caution needs to be taken (and find it laughable that people think the fear of lawyers is greater than the fear of a child dying), I would have thought that the opinion of the parents could have been relied upon. Parents will usually be more conservative out of caution – mostly. I guess there are the idiot parents or those who agree to their kid getting in the deep pool because that is what all their friends are doing.

#19
Woody Mann-Caruso6:41 pm, 11 Dec 12

You people amaze me.

Little Tarquin can’t swim. School says ‘Maybe we shouldn’t let him in the big pool, then. I mean, would you?’ Idiot parents – that’s you, in case I’m typing too quickly – somehow make this the school’s fault.

And not only that, but schools are now to blame because Tarquin’s a little chubberguts. He’s not fat because his idiot parents let him sit on his arse in front of an LCD screen all day eating crap – it’s because he wasn’t allowed to dog-paddle 25m in front of a crowd once a year.

Wake up to yourselves, numpties. If the kid can’t swim, that’s your fault, and your problem.

#20
Ko.6:52 pm, 11 Dec 12

Pretty much.

Teaching your kids ways to not die is primarily a parental responsibility.

#21
Duffbowl6:58 pm, 11 Dec 12

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

You people amaze me.

Thank you, and I haven’t even disrobed yet…

#22
farnarkler7:01 pm, 11 Dec 12

In my day in the mid 80′s the swimming carnival was used to pick the team that would then compete in the ASC and the Belconnen Zone. Ultimately the ACT swimming team would be chosen from the best of those and the Southern Zone. If a child at a school, that has banned their carnival, is the best in Australia for their stroke and distance, how do they get to compete if they can’t get to the ACT finals?? This is sheer madness. Anyway, if a child can’t swim they shouldn’t be in the serious events.

#23
Thumper7:17 pm, 11 Dec 12

Got to admit, I’m at a loss as well as to why parents are not teaching their kids to swim.

I would have thought it was one of the first things you do as a parent when you introduce your children to water, which is pretty much every summer.

In my opinion it is most certianly not the responsibility of the education department.

And just on that score, kids learn to swim very quickly, unlike adults.

#24
johnboy7:19 pm, 11 Dec 12

Should children die because they’re unlucky enough to have crap parents?

#25
Thumper7:56 pm, 11 Dec 12

johnboy said :

Should children die because they’re unlucky enough to have crap parents?

Of course not, and you do have a point, however, at what stage do we take away parenting completely?

#26
kakosi7:59 pm, 11 Dec 12

johnboy said :

Should children die because they’re unlucky enough to have crap parents?

Can the school system afford to pay for swimming lessons for all children? It’s an important question given that schools are currently claiming they don’t have adequate funding.

Parents who can’t afford swimming lessons are not necessarily crap parents.

With swimming carnivals schools usually separate the non-swimmers from the swimmers and they don’t allow non-swimmers out of the shallow end of the pool where they have extra staff to supervise set activities (at least this was my experience as a former school teacher). Not all schools are equal of course.

It doesn’t take long to drown.

#27
grunge_hippy8:22 pm, 11 Dec 12

this policy has been around for at least 2 years. Don’t get all snarky at Joy, she’s inherited this from Barr and the other guy.

#28
Woody Mann-Caruso9:42 pm, 11 Dec 12

Should children die because they’re unlucky enough to have crap parents?

No. And that’s why they’re not allowed in the pool.

#29
sepi10:08 pm, 11 Dec 12

We just got a 6 page exam – I mean permission slip – for school swimming carnival – they start it off by saying it is a new govt requirement that we have to fill in all this stuff. It is red tape gone crazy. Soon they will have to employ a full time admin person to manage the filing generated by these permission slip booklets.

#30
keepitup10:37 pm, 11 Dec 12

I can see the day coming when there won’t be any public swimming pools.

Follow
Follow The RiotACT
Advertisement
GET PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP

Are you in favour of Light Rail for Canberra?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

IMAGES OF CANBERRA

Advertisement
Sponsors
RiotACT Proudly Supports
Advertisement
Copyright © 2014 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.