Swimming Instruction

Oral Answers to Questions — Education – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 20th July 1950.

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Photo of Mr Hector Hughes Mr Hector Hughes , Aberdeen North 12:00 am, 20th July 1950

asked the Minister of Education if, in view of the inadequacy of the statistics hitherto kept as to what facilities exist for the teaching of swimming to pupils of State schools, he will collect and publish periodically figures showing the proportions of these pupils who can and cannot swim, respectively, and at what ages.

Photo of Mr George Tomlinson Mr George Tomlinson , Farnworth

No, Sir. My Department do not keep statistics about the teaching of swimming or of any other subject of the curriculum, and I do not consider the value of the results would be in proportion to the manpower which would be involved or to the extra burden which would be thrown on the teachers.

Photo of Mr Hector Hughes Mr Hector Hughes , Aberdeen North

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the importance of the teaching of swimming has been much neglected in the training of youth in the past and that the publication of such statistics would have a very beneficial result? Would he therefore reconsider his decision not to collect and publish these valuable statistics?

Photo of Mr George Tomlinson Mr George Tomlinson , Farnworth

I do not think the issuing of statistics would have the slightest effect upon that. The circular which I issued in January, 1946, gives, I think, all the encouragement that I can to the teaching of swimming in the schools.

Photo of Mr Hector Hughes Mr Hector Hughes , Aberdeen North

Is a copy of that circular available in the Library? If not, will the Minister put a copy there?

Photo of Mr Anthony Nutting Mr Anthony Nutting , Melton

Before the Minister goes any further in this matter, will he take the precaution of consulting the Minister of National Insurance?