GLASGOW schoolgirls are less likely to exercise after age 11 according to a local councillor who has raised concerns about the number of young people leaving school unable to swim.

Drumchapel and Anniesland councillor Patricia Ferguson is urging council officials to find out how many young people leave school able to partake in the “important life skill”.

She also claimed the amount of activity girls take part in remains the same as boys until the age of 11 before it “drops off a cliff”.

The issue was raised at the most recent operations and scrutiny committee meeting where officers agreed that learning how to swim was valuable and this may be something that could be discussed at a future education committee. 

Bailie Ferguson said: “Would there be an advantage to us or merit in having some kind of measure of the number of young people who leave our schools able to swim?

“It strikes me that it is a very important life skill but it is also something that is a good recreational activity. 

“Given that we know, particularly for young women, the activity level remains the same as boys until about the age of 11 and then it drops off a cliff to a point most men don’t get to until they are about 40.

“It seems to me that swimming is an ideal way of encouraging people to be involved and if there was some kind of measure about how many young people leave school without that skill – I think it would be very useful to have.

“I would be interested to know if there are any discussions about that.”

A council officer said the comment about the value of swimming was “quite right” and it might be something that they could bring back as part of education to the committee.

They said: “We can put a request into the improvement service to see if there is a measure that we have that could be considered for future benchmarking conclusions.

“That may not be for some time but it wouldn’t stop us from providing our own update as part of our performance updates.”