The Guardian reports: Children should undergo swimming tests before being allowed to go swimming on school trips, a coroner has recommended, after a schoolboy drowned in a Canadian lake after being pushed into the water by a schoolfriend.
Abdul Jamal Ottun, 17, a house captain at Wallington County grammar school in Surrey, was on a two-week rugby tour after completing his AS levels in July 2015 when he died swimming in Shawnigan Lake, Vancouver island.
His mother, Lolade Ottun, 47, a maths teacher, said he was an “average swimmer” who had never swum in a lake before, and was not allowed to swim in the sea.
Around 25 boys were in and out of the water, and no one saw him struggling.
David Johnson, the director of sport, who was responsible for risk assessment of the lake on the day, said: “Prior to going on the trip parents had to sign a form. They had to circle an indication of their son’s swimming ability.” Johnson said he had been in the water, and the boys had been warned to be sensible. None of them went further than 10 meters from the jetty.
A health and safety expert, Peter Cornall, said there needed to be “fundamental changes” to the national curriculum regarding swimming safety.