Curriculum Swimming and Water Safety

Swim England believes all children should have the opportunity to learn how to swim and be taught how to stay safe in and around water.

In England this is made easier through curriculum swimming. Swimming and water safety has been a statutory element of the national curriculum for physical education since 1994.

However, research since 2012 has consistently shown that only half of primary school children meet the required standards.

Keeping our children safe in the water

We are committed to supporting primary schools to teach their children how to swim. Since 2014 over 600 primary schools have signed up to our School Swimming Charter and received dedicated resources and support for their swimming programmes.

Since 2015 we have been provided free, practical outdoor swimming and water safety sessions for schools as part of our Swim Safe programme with the RNLI. And last year, 5,000 children joined us to celebrate 125 years of school swimming with the Big School Swim.

Making an impact in all schools

This year we have been working with government to improve the state of swimming in schools.

In July 2017 the Swim Group, which is chaired by our CEO Jane Nickerson, released a report with 16 recommendations on how we can improve swimming in all schools and ensure all primary school children are given the opportunity to learn how to swim and be safe in and around water.

The report was written by a range of experts from across the education, sport and leisure sectors, and has been well received by the Department for Education (DfE) and the Department for Digtial, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Read more here about the Curriculum Swimming and Water Safety Review Group and the recommendations it has submitted to government.

We are hopeful that with the support of all sectors, we will be able to make a real impact on curriculum swimming and water safety in schools.

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