Water Safety (Curriculum) Bill [HL] - Second Reading

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:30 pm on 19 May 2023.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Storey Lord Storey Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Education) 2:30, 19 May 2023

My Lords, I am grateful for your Lordships’ hugely important contributions. I thank the Minister for her, as usual, very detailed reply. It was very strong on swimming but less strong on water safety itself. She said that schools “can” use PSHE, but it is a “can” and it is not happening. The Bill tries to say that every child, irrespective of the school they go to, should have lessons on water safety.

The noble Baroness, Lady Berridge, rightly pointed to the issues facing black and Asian swimmers—the poor levels of the ability to swim. I remember the pyjamas and paddling in the water, but I also remember the hot mug of Bovril after taking part.

The noble Baroness, Lady Morris, raised two important issues. The first was the low figures on ethnicity. She suspected, as do I, that it will be an even lower number for women; I think she is going to look to see whether that is the case. Secondly, it had never occurred to me that we should bring the issue of safeguarding, which is so important to all of us, to swimming and water safety as well.