Guernsey school pool closures announced by education

Robert Sillars Deputy Robert Sillars said some pools were being maintained but not used

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Most of the swimming pools at Guernsey's States-run schools will be closed for the majority of the year.

On Thursday the Education Department revealed to the BBC it was considering the move as part of a government cost saving exercise.

It has now revealed the closure will go ahead aimed at saving £100,000 a year.

Education Minister Robert Sillars said some of the older open air pools were already not being used but were being heated and treated with chlorine.

'Not being used'

He said: "Some of the pools are coming to the end of their natural life, some are open air and some just have a cover over them so they can't be used in autumn and winter, and often the spring, anyway.

"At the moment they are being supported all that time so they are being chlorinated and being heated, but the reality is they are not being used."

Deputy Sillars said the opening times for the pools would be decided by individual head teachers.

All primary school pools will be open for 12 weeks of the 38 week school year, except at Hautes Capelles and Forest, where they will open for six months and all year respectively.

The pool at the special needs Link Centre, which will be renamed Les Voies School from September, will also open for 12 weeks and the pool at the Grammar School will open for one term.

Important skill

The pool for the Baubigny Schools will stay open all year round as will the two hydrotherapy pools at Le Rondin and Le Murier.

Gary Hind, the head teacher of Vale Primary School, said children would have similar access to swimming as now, and 12 weeks was adequate time as swimming was just one part of the PE curriculum.

Alan Brown, director of education, said learning to swim was an important skill, especially living on an island, but the cost of maintaining and operating the pools was almost £500,000 each year.

The Education Department has been tasked with savings £7.2m by 2014 as part of the financial transformation programme.

Under the programme the States has committed to identifying £31m of annual savings from its overall budget by the end of 2014.

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