Schools are feeling the strain as leisure centres are changing operational hours and cancelling classes to save energy. This creates a problem as the national curriculum makes it mandatory that schools teach students swimming in either key stages 1 or 2.
The changes come after Greenwich Leisure Limited announced it will be making adjustments to the schedules at the Sleaford Leisure Centre, Better Gym Sleaford and One NK in Lincoln, after a tripling energy bill.
As the facilities will change their hours by a decrease of six hours a week with opening hours and closing hours being altered.
Chris Ord, Partnership Manager at GLL said, ‘‘we needed to take further steps in order to remain viable this winter.’’
“We have therefore taken the difficult decision to make some small adjustments to our winter timetable.’’
This will likely have an impact on the members and an even bigger impact on the school children with schools already finding it difficult to accommodate the students with a suitable venue.
The towns of Deeping and Market Deeping in Lincolnshire are struggling with finding places to send due to their local centre being closed as Virginia Moran leader of the Save the Deeping Leisure Centre campaign said ‘‘parents can’t afford to travel 15 miles to the nearest swimming facility.’’
‘‘Schools are having real trouble booking in lessons as well because the pools are already full of the kids that are in their town, so there are all these kids who aren’t being taught how to swim, even with it being on the national curriculum.’’
However, some leisure centres are taking other actions to reduce their energy bills as North Kesteven and South Kesteven district councils have confirmed that they will be reducing the pool temperature by 1 degree, whilst maintaining within the industry standard. This will affect centres in North Hykeham, Grantham, Stamford and Bourne.
District Councillor Ashley Baxter said, ‘‘It is critical for schools to provide space for exam halls, gym activities and swimming sessions as part of the curriculum, so it is necessary for every school to have a facility to be able to achieve this.’’