Parents blast decision to cancel swimming lessons at Edinburgh high schools

Furious parents have hit out at the decision to cull weekend swimming lessons at Currie and Balerno High Schools after Easter.

Tuesday, 20th March 2018, 7:38 am
Updated Tuesday, 20th March 2018, 7:48 am
Swimming classes have been cancelled after Easter at some Edinburgh high shools. Stock image

City swimming classes are run by the council under Active Schools but responsibility is being passed to Edinburgh Leisure in a phased transfer.

Eight schools are still to move to Edinburgh Leisure by June 2018 including Currie, Balerno Trinity, Castlebrae, Boroughmuir, Liberton, St Thomas, Leith Academy and WHEC – which is due for transfer by the end of the year.

But in the meantime the council have cut kids’ weekend classes.

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Patricia Lumsden said: “It seems all local kids swimming lessons at Balerno and Currie High schools are now being cancelled after Easter.

“If I want my child – who currently has lessons on Saturday morning – to get weekend lessons I need to add him to a waiting list for August.”

Hopes that Edinburgh Leisure will resume weekend, evening and holiday lessons after they take over cannot yet be confirmed.

A council spokesperson said: “We apologise that there has been disruption to some swimming lessons, but midweek ones are still taking place.

“We hope that, working with Edinburgh Leisure, local weekend swim programmes will resume to their full capacity at the start of the next school session in August.

“There is provision for weekend lessons available at other venues in the meantime.”

Concerns the overspill will further exacerbate other busy pools after lengthy queues for re-booking classes at WHEC on Saturday saw some parents wait over two hours to secure a place.

An Edinburgh Leisure statement reads: “Sports facilities in community time across Currie and Balerno High Schools is being fully transferred to Edinburgh Leisure (EL) for operation.

“Community time is defined as after 6pm weekdays, Saturdays and Sundays and all holiday periods.

“No date of transfer has been confirmed yet between the council and EL, but with the council’s decision to stop weekend lessons at Easter, EL have asked that their contact details are shared with Currie and Balerno swim customers as EL do intend to offer swimming lessons once they start operations.

“Prices are set by the council, which EL will implement at point of transfer.

“All surplus income generated by community use across all high schools goes back to the children & families department of the council.”

Parents were advised to email Edinburgh Leisure to be added to a waiting list.