The Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) has released the results of its 2014 School Swimming Census today, revealing that 45 per cent of primary school children are unable to swim 25 metres, despite it being a national curriculum requirement.
In the third annual School Swimming Census on the state of school swimming, the statistics show that while this is a six per cent improvement on figures released in 2013, more needs to be done to ensure all children leave primary school with the ability to swim and the knowledge of how to keep themselves safe in and around water.
The School Swimming Census results also reveal that despite school swimming being part of the national curriculum, nearly 1,300 (6.6 per cent) primary schools do not teach it in Key Stage 2.
Further key findings in the Census demonstrate that the average number of school swimming lessons made available in a school year has increased from 16 to 18 since 2013, but the amount of time spent in the water by pupils was just under 10 hours.
This is less than half the 25 hours of study time that the ASA recommends is required to ensure a child has sufficient opportunity to learn to swim.