The General Manager Learning Services South, Judy Travers said today that Tasmania is the only jurisdiction in Australia that has a comprehensive mandatory approach to swimming and water safety.
Ms Travers said that this approach ensures the provision of an equitable and quality-assured program for students in years 3 to 5 across the State.
“The Department of Education ensures every child in government schools has an equal opportunity to participate in quality swimming and water safety instruction.
“All primary school students have an opportunity to participate in swimming and water safety lessons annually, part funded by the Department.
“Students currently take part in a program at Government-owned, council and private swimming pools, taught by qualified swim instructors,” she said.
Ms Travers said that the levy for the Swimming and Water Safety program covers transport, pool entrance fees and additional staffing. The cost is around $2.25 per lesson in 2012. Students who are eligible for the Student Assistance Scheme receive a free service.
“Many schools supplement these programs for other year groups, including infant classes and at-risk year 6 students. School resources are used for these programs.
“As well as teaching students to swim, the program also develops an understanding of water safety, survival and swimming practices to ensure that water-based activities are enjoyable, rewarding and safe,” she said.
Ms Travers said that all students in Years 3, 4 and 5 are aiming to achieve the year 6 National Benchmark for swimming and water safety skills.
For further information: http://www.education.tas.gov.au/documentcentre/Documents/Swimming-and-Water-Safety-Program.pdf