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Swim cancelled
Falls Road Primary School students Siena, Piper and Bodhi were told they could not finish their swim program at St Brigid’s College Sr Mary Rose indoor pool.

Schools left high and dry

KALAMUNDA hills parents have been left angry and confused after their children’s swim classes were unexpectedly dumped last week.

Five primary schools across Kalamunda, Pickering Brook, Lesmurdie and Walliston have been forced to find alternative arrangements after St Brigid’s College in Lesmurdie axed the Department of Education delivered swim program.

College principal Carmen Cox told Echo News priority was being given to inhouse students.

“As a school with a strong community focus, St Brigid’s College has always looked to help our local community,” she said.   

“Many groups avail themselves of college facilities throughout the year.

“However, during school hours, priority must be given to the needs of our students.

“We regret that other schools may be inconvenienced by this decision, but the welfare and safety of our students is paramount.”

The Department of Education confirmed that while St Brigid’s was wholly responsible for accommodating the swim program, the Department managed its delivery and any course changes or cancellations.

“If for any reason swimming lessons are disrupted at a particular venue, the swimming and water safety team works with schools to quickly find a suitable alternative so all students scheduled to attend lessons can do so,” the spokesperson said.

The Department declined to comment further on how many of the schools, confirmed as Kalamunda, Lesmurdie, Pickering Brook and Walliston Primary Schools, would incur additional financial costs to accommodate the sudden changes.

One parent spoke out after Falls Road students were forced to travel to Belmont for their remaining two swim classes after the St Brigid’s cancellation.

“They’ve completely disrupted the learning of the children and have placed an unfair burden on Falls Road in having to find an alternative pathway through the program,” a parent who wished not to be named said.

“They didn’t attempt to make any real compromise or solution, it was a complete dummy spit, and they forget they are part of the community, some children from Falls Road will go to St Brigid’s College.”

A lack of pool alternatives in the hills means schools may need to travel out of area next year.

“The schools will now either have to go down the hill for lessons or parents will independently have to put their children through lessons and most parents don’t have the time or money to do that.

“The program was pulled out from under the kids and it’s unfair for adults to accept poor conditions on their behalf.”

Echo News understands that while Falls Road Primary School was only temporarily affected by the cancellation, at least one other was unable to commence their lessons as scheduled this week.

By Morgan de Smidt 

About The Editorial Team

Echo News gives readers an alternative to other media outlets in WA and enjoys a very high rate of readership in its distribution area. Our Echo News team are a small group of devoted individuals who work hard to give the local community an easy to read, yet intelligent mix of local community stories.

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