Northampton school's pupils will only get swimming lessons if they are of 'lesser ability'

Wootton Primary School is introducing swimming lessons in year two... for those with lesser ability.
Wootton Primary School is introducing swimming lessons in year two... for those with lesser ability.
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A Northampton school's decision to only offer swimming lessons to pupils based on their ability in the water has been criticised by some parents.

Earlier this week All Saints CEVA's policy of only allowing children of benefits-claiming families on an upcoming trip to Twycross Zoo ruffled the feathers of parents there, who felt it excluded a large number of children.

And today it has emerged another set of school outings has drawn a reaction from a group of parents.

Wootton Primary School, in Farmclose Road, is due to run swimming lessons for children in year two.

But they will only be open to youngsters 'with less swimming experience'.

Eligibility for the lessons will be based on how the year two pupils, aged between six and seven, perform in an assessment at the Northampton High School for Girls pool on June 2.

A letter sent out to parents on Wednesday (May 23) read: "On Tuesday, June 6, all year two children will be assessed in their swimming ability.

"Following this you will be informed if your child has been selected for further swimming lessons on the remaining dates above.

"Due to only being timetabled for a short period at the pool, we have decided to focus on those children with less experience.

"Those not selected will have an opportunity next year."

A number of parents have contacted the Chron to complain about the decision.

One mum, who did not wish to be named, said: "I just don't think it's fair, it will make children feel so left

"I don't think you can turn round to 20-odd kids and say 'some of you can come swimming but others cannot'?

"The school's motto is 'be the best you can be'.

"Well it seems strange that the best swimmers are being told they can't be the best they can be."

The Farmclose Road school, which has a 'good' Ofsted rating, says swimming lessons will start in full for all the pupils in year three.

Headteacher Jamie Nairn, said: "We felt that we could provide additional opportunity for our Year two children who may not be able to swim, to give them a head start before they take their official lessons in Year three.

"As a school, we provide support for all children in all areas of the curriculum, so if children are less confident in reading, writing or maths, we would provide additional support.

"This offer was no different. We made it clear in the letter that if any children did not get an opportunity this year, whilst in Year two, then they would be given the opportunity next academic year, when they were in Year three."

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