Swim Census 2018: workforce and learn to swim statistics

What We Do

In 2018 Swim England concluded a project that looked at the learn to swim market and the swimming workforce. The aim was to gain a better understanding of two key aquatic markets and their relationship to the national governing body.

Data collection for the project was conducted between October 2017 and January 2018, via telephone calls and emails. As of Autumn 2017, there were 2,094 learn to swim providers in England.

Contact was made with every site, swim school and club within England. There was an overall completion rate of 64 per cent across all sites, private swim schools and aquatic clubs in England.

Understanding the aquatic workforce:

  • There are an average of 12 aquatic roles within sites, of which 10.6 are employed and 1.5 self-employed.
  • 59,631 teaching hours per week are given to children’s swimming lessons in England*. 66 per cent of these hours are for Level 2 swimming teachers.
  • 2,878 teaching hours per week for adult swimming lessons in England*
  • 30 per cent of learn to swim providers, including sides, private swim schools and aquatic clubs, are restricted to growing their programme due to teacher shortages.

* As of December 2017

Understanding the learn to swim market:

  • Junior Learn to Swim is the most commonly used framework of all framework providers: 93 per cent of learn to swim providers offer a junior programme.
  • 1.18 million children are learning to swim on the Swim England Learn to Swim Programme across all sites, private swim schools and aquatic clubs.
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