NWSF News & Updates June ’13

HRH The Duke of Cambrige, calls for school swimming to be accessible for all children
His Royal Highness, The Duke of Cambridge and patron of the English Schools Swimming Association, has recorded a short video calling for school swimming to be accessible for all children at all primary schools.
The video has been released following the largest ever investigation into school swimming by the ASA that revealed more than half of children aged 7-11 years cannot swim 25 metres unaided. This equates to 1.1 million children that are unable to be safe in and around water

“The ASA has a belief – a vision, which I share – that every child has the right to learn to swim” – His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge.
In the video he goes onto say: “Swimming is unique – it is the only sport that can save lives – which is why I’m so keen for school swimming to be accessible for all children at all primary schools. The ability to swim changes lives – it brings huge joy and it can keep us fit and healthy. But above all, it can keep us safe, which is why I’m pleased to lend my support to this campaign.”

The ASA, for their report entitled “Learning the Lesson – the future of school swimming”, surveyed 3,501 schools on how many of their children have attained Key Stage 2 swimming requirements. It found that half of children aged seven to eleven cannot swim the length of a typical swimming pool (25 metres) unaided, despite swimming being a compulsory element of the national curriculum.

David Sparkes, Chief Executive of the ASA said “The ASA’s vision is that that every child should have the right and opportunity to learn to swim to help achieve a fitter, healthier and perhaps above all a safer generation of young people. I am delighted that His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge supports this vision and has provided support to our campaign.
“I am in no doubt that this support will help drive awareness around the importance of swimming, a life saving skill, being accessible to every child in primary school.”
Download a copy of the ASA Learning the Lesson: The Future of School Swimming 2013 Census: 2013 School Swimming Census
This report is about a belief – a vision – that every child has the right and opportunity to learn to swim to help achieve a fitter, healthier and perhaps above all a safer generation of young people. It is about mapping – on an unprecedented scale – the reality of school swimming in 2013 and using that insight to learn lessons and help to safeguard its future.
Read the full article: http://www.swimming.org/asa/news/school-swimming/hrh-the-duke-of-cambridge-records-video-message-outlining-importance-of-tea/17289/
Watch the full video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gs7kBpGm8GM&feature=youtu.be

Fishing vessel firm showed “blatant disregard for safety”
A fishing vessel company and its two directors have been ordered to pay nearly £150,000 in fines and costs after pleading guilty to several breaches of maritime safety regulations. TN Trawlers Ltd and directors, Thomas Iain Nicholson and Christopher John Nicholson, were prosecuted after a number of defects were found on vessels owned by the firm.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) inspected the Olivia Jean in the port of Shoreham in November 2009 and detained the vessel due to a number of defects, including an out of date Intermediate Survey and Radio Survey. In addition, no crew qualifications or safety training details were available. After being released, the vessel travelled to the Netherlands for a refit and survey but in January 2010, it was again inspected by the MCA and further defects were identified, including unauthorised additions and modifications to the vessel. According to the MCA, there were also concerns about the condition of other parts of the vessel where maintenance was described as “very poor”.

An investigation by the MCA Enforcement Unit was launched, which highlighted other problems, including the vessel carrying more deck cargo than permitted in its stability information. In November 2009 the Philomena and Georgelou N were observed by the Channel Navigation Information Service failing to cross the south west lane of the Dover Straits Traffic Separation Scheme at right angles, contrary to regulations designed to avoid collisions. The Philomena was later inspected by the MCA and 27 defects were discovered leading to the vessel being detained.

The Georgelou N was inspected after becoming grounded in the River Mersey following mechanical failure in April 2011. The MCA identified problems with crew certification and numbers onboard being more than permitted by the amount of safety equipment. A further inspection in July 2011 highlighted problems with crew certification, safety training and the Intermediate Survey for the vessels safety certificate was overdue. The vessel Tobrach N was also detained after the MCA found that it had been to sea despite its safety certificate having expired two months previously. The company and directors were ordered to pay a total of £147,465 in fines and costs. His Honour Judge Ralls QC said: “The numbers of injuries and deaths at sea are concerning”.

The likelihood of death is greater than in the agricultural or construction industry. Fishing vessels operate in a harsh and uncompromising environment. Great care needs to be taken in that vessels are in a safe condition at all times.
“It is the owner’s responsibility to those that they employ.” Captain Jeremy Smart, Head of Enforcement for the MCA, said: “TN Trawlers and its directors failed to heed previous warnings and advice from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA). The standard of care was far below what is expected, and the failings could have led to loss of life or serious injury. “This blatant disregard for safety standards is one of the worst that the MCA has come across in past years and we are pleased that this view has been supported by the sentence of the court. “The fishing industry is well known for its high levels of risk and dangers. Accordingly proper attention to health and safety matters is of the very highest importance in the industry and a few poorly managed vessels can give the industry a bad name. “We will not tolerate this behaviour where financial gain seems to be more important than the value of human life.”
Taken from: The RoSPA Occupational Safety & Health journal.

Fishing safety resource
A new website offering information to fishermen on the location of subsea cables and renewable energy structures has been launched.

The Kingfisher Information Service – Offshore Renewable and Cable Awareness project (KIS-ORCA) is a joint initiative between Subsea Cables UK and Renewable UK and is being managed by the Kingfisher Information Service of the Sea Fish Industry Authority (Seafish), which is a non-departmental public body whose mission is to support the seafood industry to work for a sustainable, profitable future. The KIS-ORCA website aims to offer free, accurate, up-to-date information to fishermen on the location of cables and renewable structures such as wind farms. As well as being available online, the positional information will also be supplied to fishermen on CD in a format compatible with their on-board fishing plotter systems by the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation and the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations.

In addition to an interactive map, the website includes information on subsea cables, renewable energy, links to operators and safety advice on reducing the risks of fishing near cables and renewable energy structures, with emergency contact numbers. A range of awareness charts are also available to download. Matt Frow, manager of Kingfisher, said: “We recognise the concerns of the fishing industry around expanding offshore operations. We believe http://www.kis-orca.eu and the associated charts and plotter data, will provide fishermen with essential information to remain safe whilst undertaking their fishing activities. We will continue to work closely with all offshore industries to develop and improve the information that we provide to the fishing industry.”
Access the website at: http://www.kis-orca.eu.

Cross-party group calls for action to tackle school swimming
A cross-party group of MPs and peers is calling for the Government to tackle the concerning numbers of children unable to swim. The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Sport, chaired by Gerry Sutcliffe MP (and supported by umbrella body the Sport and Recreation Alliance), met in Parliament today to highlight the issue.
Group members including Baroness Grey-Thompson, Ian Austin MP, Andrew Bingham MP and Charlotte Leslie MP were present to show their support. It was an opportunity for David Sparkes, chief executive of the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA), to present the findings of its biggest ever investigation into school swimming. Figures show that more than half (51%) of children aged 7 to 11 years cannot swim 25 metres unaided, despite the fact that swimming is a national curriculum requirement. Almost 45% of schools stated that the biggest barrier to delivering better quality school swimming was budget constraints. Where schools are achieving high attainment rates amongst their pupils it is attributed to better pupil to teacher ratios, longer lesson times and a higher number of lessons offered.
David Sparkes, chief executive of the ASA said: “Many young children engage in organised sport for the first time at school – and this is also when many will make their first visit to a swimming pool. Without school swimming we know that many children would not have the opportunity to learn this life-saving skill, or take part in one of the easiest and enjoyable forms of physical activity for young people. I welcomed the opportunity to our present our findings to the All Parliamentary Group for Sport today, as well as discuss how some of the insight can help safeguard its future. The ASA is keen to work with Government to ensure this vital national curriculum subject is delivered to a high standard”.

Andy Reed, chair of the Sport and Recreation Alliance, said: “Being able to swim is a basic skill like running, catching and jumping – one of the core building blocks for a lifetime of activity. “If half of our seven- to 11-year-olds can’t swim, they are going to be cut off from a whole range of other activities from sailing, canoeing and rowing to water skiing, scuba diving and surfing. We need to start changing our approach to swimming and we welcome the political will we’ve seen today to try and put this into action.”

In response to the findings, APPG for Sport member Charlotte Leslie MP has tabled an early day motion, rallying MPs and Peers to sign up and get behind the cause. The motion is calling for closer OFSTED monitoring to ensure that primary schools provide more evidence and show greater commitment to their swimming programmes. The opportunity for the recently announced £150 million of ring-fenced spending for primary school sport to be used to improve these attainment levels will also be emphasised.

Charlotte Leslie MP said: “As a youngster I spent hours ploughing up and down the pool in my bid to become an Olympic swimmer. Although I never made it to the Olympics, swimming has played a key role in making me who I am.
“For many young people schools will offer the first opportunity to learn to swim, and it’s vital that Head Teachers get the support and information they need to deliver this important life skill.”
Read the: Early Day Motion #160

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Surf’s up! Jersey school children take to the waves with RNLI lifeguards

School children on Jersey headed to the beach with RNLI lifeguards this summer to learn vital lessons about how to keep themselves safe in the surf. A total of 170 children from four schools took part in the charity’s unique Hit the Surf scheme which was delivered on Jersey for the first time this year. The programme sees RNLI lifeguards give surf safety sessions to youngsters aged between 7 and 11 – combining theory and practical lessons, which aim to make the children more capable and confident in the water.

Dave Gorman, the RNLI Lifeguard Manager who runs the programme, says:

“We were delighted to introduce the Hit the Surf programme to schools on Jersey. Hit the Surf is a fun and active programme for the children to get involved in but it also carries some very important messages about how to stay safe in the surf and what to do should they find themselves in difficulty”.

New research reveals one in three children leave primary school unable to swim

Learning to swim at an early age can ultimately go on to save a child’s life and with drowning being the third most common cause of accidental death in children, it’s concerning to learn that one in three children are now leaving school unable to swim.

The startling new research carried out by Kellogg’s and the ASA has revealed that around 200,000 children will leave primary school this summer unable to swim, amounting to an astonishing 2million non-swimmers over the next ten years.

Of those children unable to swim, nearly 40% have never been offered school swimming lessons despite it being a statutory element of the National Curriculum.

In response to the findings the ASA and Kellogg’s are today (Thursday 17 May) meeting with the government to urge parliamentarians, policy makers, local authorities and relevant organisations to prioritise the only sport that saves lives so every child has the opportunity to learn to swim irrespective of socio-economic and ethnic background.

The research also highlighted the role of parents in helping their children learn to swim and discovered that without school swimming many children would miss out completely on the chance to learn as one in six parents admits they never take their child swimming.

Other NWSF members were also involved with the event at the launch of the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) school swimming strategy, a private event held at Westminster Hall. Representatives from RoSPA, Surf Life Saving GB and The Royal Life Saving Society UK were all at the event. Read more on the swimming.org website…

The ASA School Swimming Manifesto

The ASA six-point manifesto aims to improve central and local government support for swimming and make school swimming lessons a priority.
The manifesto, titled ‘Save School Swimming, Save Lives’, is in response to the recent research carried out by Kellogg’s and the ASA revealing that one in three children are leaving primary school unable to swim.

The six points included in the manifesto are:

  1. Every child learning to swim in primary school
  2. Improve training for primary school teachers
  3. Robust monitoring of school swimming at Ofsted
  4. Swimming as a school budget priority
  5. Support at secondary schools
  6. Help keep school pools open

Find out more details on the ASA School Swimming Manifesto.

SLSGB supports ASA swim strategy to improve children’s swimming

SLSGB Chief Executive Esther Pearson today (17 May) represented SLSGB at the launch of the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) school swimming strategy, a private event held at Westminster Hall.

It was announced today that a third of all children leaving primary school are unable to swim 25m unaided, putting children’s lives at risk. Water Accident and Incident Database (WAID) data suggests that drowning is the third most common form of accidental death in children in the UK, and 57 of the 400 drownings each year being children. Many argue that if they were able to swim that statistic would be lot lower.

The ASA today launched a new swim strategy, focused on encouraging schools and local authorities to deliver swimming. Esther Pearson said:

“SLSGB is right behind the campaign promoting swimming and tackling this shocking issue, but we believe that there is a lack of facilities and it’s often expensive to swim and have lessons in leisure centres. Getting water confidence is about getting to know your environment as well as being able to swim, which is why our Nippers programmes are so important for children.” Read more on the SLSGB website…

Volunteers wanted for Beach Clean event

The National Schools Partnership is looking for volunteers with an interest in their local marine life to help on a Beach Clean awareness project.
The Partnership is working with the Marine Conservation Society on the Big Beach Clean-up event in May, where volunteers will be cleaning 50 beaches across the UK. This includes an M&S/MCS sponsored campaign called School of Fish (www.school-of-fish.co.uk) which educates primary school children about the marine environment. Read more on the BSAC website…

RNLI lifeguards deliver vital beach safety education to Cornish school children

A team of RNLI lifeguards will deliver a three week pre-season beach safety education programme in 238 schools across Cornwall starting on Monday (16 April). The charity’s lifeguards will provide essential beach safety information to school children aged from 7 to 11 years old before the start of the lifeguard season on 5 May. Read more on the RNLI website…