National Curriculum requirements for swimming

13th November 2013

The Department for Education has shown their commitment to school swimming by including swimming and water safety in the revised national curriculum for PE for schools in England.

Coming into force from September 2014, the revised curriculum started to be taught in some schools from the autumn term of 2013.

The National Curriculum states: "All schools must provide swimming instruction either in Key Stage 1 or Key Stage 2. In particular, pupils should be taught to swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres, use a range of strokes effectively such as front crawl, backstroke and breaststroke and perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations."

The additional Government investment of £150m for PE gives you the opportunity to review your current school swimming programme, to ensure that every single child learns this essential life skill.

A typical primary school should receive about £9,250 annually in the academic years 2013/14 and 2014/15. 

Here‘s some examples of how this money can be spent:

  • The average cost of delivering 40 swimming lessons for an entire class of 30 pupils, including transport cost, teachers and pool time is around £3,000 to £4,000
  • £1,000– increase the frequency of lessons, instead of one term, do two - 10 learn to swim lessons for 30 children including teacher, pool time and transport
  • £850– 10 intensive half-hour lessons to boost the swimming ability of 10 swimmers who are just below the minimum KS2 attainment level of 25 metres, including teacher, pool time and transport
  • £500– improve the quality of lessons by training 10 teachers and/or teaching assistants (National Curriculum Training Programme Modules 1 & 2)
  • £80- set of School Swimming resources: the Teacher’s Complete Framework with must have information on all four Frameworks and a Learn to Swim Games Pack to deliver a fun approach in lessons
  • From £7.50 to £15 per hour for additional teachers. This reduces class sizes, enhancing the lesson quality and rate of progress.

Click here to read more advice on use of government funding is on our handy factsheet.