PARENTS have praised a school after it hired a swimming pool for students after leisure facilities at Whitchurch closed.

Teachers at Tushingham-with-Grindley Primary School hired the pool and coaches for two weeks during the summer term to give pupils lessons.

It comes after Whitchurch Swimming Centre was closed by Shropshire Council in March 2020 after defects in the pool – including a major leak – were discovered.

Jodie Meredith, whose son Dayton, attends the primary school, said parents were really proud that the school went ahead with the pool hire.

She said: "Parents at the school have been absolutely 'over the moon.'

"Everyone is really happy, really pleased and really proud that the school even came up with the idea to get it going."

Jodie said there are waiting lists for swimming lessons at the nearest pools in Wem, Market Drayton and Nantwich.

She added: "My son, he used to attend the Whitchurch pool, he was absolutely terrified of water and the team there were absolutely amazing.

"The only option we were given was to travel to Market Drayton.

"So if we travelled to Market Drayton, not only does it cost fuel, it is also a four-month waiting list.

"You have got a six-month waiting list in Wem and a six-month waiting list in Nantwich.

"And then imagine being a parent that can't drive?"

Cathy Davies, headteacher at Tushingham, said she had seen the pool in use at other schools said it benefited pupils given that the pool in Whitchurch is currently closed.

She added: "We had the pool for two weeks, hired from a company that provided the pool and swimming teachers.

"It is a fantastic way to ensure that all the children in the school have access to swimming lessons especially with Whitchurch pool not being available.

"Usually, one class of children would have lessons at the nearest swimming pool and this would incur travelling costs and take up valuable curriculum time in travelling.

"Instead of a few hours of teaching time for one class, over the two weeks we had 55 hours of teaching time.

"Every child in school had a series of lessons which had impact for the youngest children in terms of water confidence and taking the first steps in learning to swim, and for the older children improved the distance they could swim and developed their ability in using different strokes.

"It has been a fantastic, innovative way to promote love of an active, healthy lifestyle and ensure children learn the vital life skill of learning to swim."

Shropshire Council has confirmed that a new state-of-the-art £12.1 million swimming pool and leisure facilities will be built in Whitchurch.

It will include a new pool, rooms, gym and café.

An eight-week consultation into the plans concluded on Sunday (July 31).