HC Deb 10 November 1938 vol 341 cc287-8
42. Mr. Day

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education whether, in view of the educational and health benefit to be derived by the youth of Great Britain by having swimming lessons, and as the poorest children are unable to afford same, he will consider recommending that a grant be made to local authorities which will enable them to include swimming lessons in their ordinary curriculum?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education (Mr. Kenneth Lindsay)

Expenditure by local education authorities upon the teaching of swimming to children attending public elementary schools is recognised for grant from the Board of Education under the Elementary Education Grant Regulations, and I am glad to know that such instruction is being given to an increasing extent as part of the ordinary curriculum of the schools.

Mr. Day

Is it proposed to increase the grant made to these schools?

Mr. Lindsay

No. The provision of swimming instruction for elementary school children is a matter for the local education authorities. In most cases the school children, as in the hon. Member's own constituency, are already attending public swimming baths.

Mr. George Griffiths

What is the hon. Gentleman's attitude towards those places where there is no swimming bath of any kind for the children?

Mr. Lindsay

I am very glad to say that, through the National Fitness Council, large numbers of swimming baths are being provided in those areas.