§ Mr. Canavan
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will investigate the occurrence of accidents to school pupils taking part in swimming exercises immediately after the school lunch interval and consider issuing a circular giving appropriate advice to education authorities.
§ Mr. McElhone:
I am aware of the tragic accident which resulted in the death of a pupil in Central region while taking part in a supervised swimming lesson on the morning of 22nd August last year; I understand that this was the subject of a fatal accident inquiry, and also of a separate inquiry by Central regional council which established that no breach of procedures had taken place. From the information available to me it seems that of the relatively few accidents which have occurred to school pupils taking part in swimming classes, the great majority have been of minor nature, and many of them take place out of the water. There is no evidence that accidents are more likely to happen after the school interval than at other times. In these circumstances, I see no occasion for a circular of guidance to education authorities, which already have well established procedures for supervising the safety of children in swimming lessons.