ASA Response To Ofsted Report On Physical Education In Schools

14th February 2013

ASA Chief Executive David Sparkes has responded to the Ofsted report on physical education in schools released today

“We welcome the new report on physical education in schools," said Sparkes. "Whilst it is encouraging that most pupils in the schools inspected had achieved age-related expectations, including swimming, it does highlight that there is still some cause for concern - with a fifth of schools visited not ensuring that every pupil could swim 25 metres by the end of year 6.

“The ASA’s own research into school swimming in 2012 revealed that 1 in 3 children leave primary school unable to swim, equating to 2 million non-swimmers over the next ten years if direct action is not taken. It also revealed that of the children unable to swim, nearly 40% had not been offered school swimming lessons.”

“Whilst we very much welcome the Ofsted report today we again urge government to show its commitment to this life saving skill by instructing Ofsted to monitor the inclusion and delivery of swimming lessons as part of its on-going primary school inspections.”

“Learning to swim can mean far more than just improving the physical health of an individual, it is also about giving them a life saving skill.  We know that many children only have the opportunity to learn to swim within a school environment so we call for continued support for this curriculum subject from teachers, head teachers and Government.”

Four-time Olympic medallist Becky Adlington added: “Swimming is a life skill and crucial for a fitter, healthier and safer generation of young people. My vision is that every child is able to swim 25 metres by the time they leave primary school and I want to see every school provide the opportunity for children to learn to swim.”

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