Page 4004 - Week 10 - Thursday, 20 September 2018

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(2) What is the cost to each school.

(3) Who conducts the programme.

(4) Can schools choose not to have this water safety programme; if so, (a) what schools have decided not to offer the course and (b) what is the reason for not offering this course.

(5) Are learn to swim lessons offered as part of a school co-curricular programme; if so, (a) which schools and (b) how are they funded.

(6) What consultations have been undertaken with schools, parents and water safety organisations on the value of making learn to swim lessons compulsory for all ACT primary schools.

Ms Berry: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) All ACT Government public primary schools are required to provide the opportunity for students to participate in the Water Safety and Awareness Program. The school is required to deliver the theory component to the entire year 2 cohort. Participation in the water based component is at the discretion of parents and carers.

(2) The cost per student is $110 in 2018. The ACT Government pays $60 per student, the remaining contribution of $50.00 per student is managed at the school level. Schools may seek a parent contribution to cover this amount, or access other funding sources to maximise student participation. Schools ensure that cost does not prevent students from participating in the program.

(3) The Royal Life Saving Society of Australia ACT Branch.

(4) No.

(5) The Water Safety and Awareness Program is an ACT Government initiated and funded water safety program and does not replace existing learn-to-swim programs. All primary schools are encouraged to continue to offer learn-to-swim programs, however it is a school based decision to offer any additional activities, including learn to swim classes. Additional activities are funded by parent contributions or from within school budgets.

(6) Learn to swim classes are not part of the Australian Curriculum and therefore not compulsory for schools to deliver. The Water Safety and Awareness Program aligns with the Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education and is an appropriate activity to meet the learning achievement standards. The Education Directorate has not undertaken consultations on making learn to swim classes compulsory for ACT primary schools.

(Question No 1636)

Ms Lee asked the Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development, upon notice, on 17 August 2018:

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