Learn to Swim

A guide to the Learn to Swim Programme

The Swim England Learn to Swim Programme is a world-leading syllabus, helping children and adults to learn how to swim. It’s a fantastic experience that opens up new possibilities for everyone, as well as supporting their confidence, enjoyment and safety in the water.

Learn to Swim Awards

Swim England Learn to Swim Awards are a great way to keep learners of all ages and abilities motivated throughout their swimming journey. Our Awards scheme includes both stage and complementary Awards, which align with the four Learn to Swim Frameworks.

Stage Awards encourage progress and ensure learners gain the skills needed to be competent and safe in the water. It’s important to remember, water confidence is not the same as ability or competence. We strongly recommend, where possible, parents and carers keep children in swimming lessons until they have completed Learn to Swim Stages 1 to 7, as a minimum.

Complementary Awards provide extra motivation between stages by rewarding individual achievements and encouraging learners to try new skills. Take a look at how our Awards fit together with this useful infographic.

Swimming in Schools

Swimming is part of the national curriculum for PE in primary schools. It’s a minimum requirement for children to leave primary school able to swim confidently and safely for at least 25 metres, unaided.

School swimming programmes should also teach children how to perform safe self-rescue in water. We support schools and lesson providers in delivering high-quality swimming programmes through the School Swimming and Water Safety Charter.

The Charter includes school-specific Swim England Awards, useful resources and information for school teachers, lesson providers and parents and carers about swimming at school. Read more.

Inclusion in Swimming

All Swim England programmes and resources are designed to help learners of any age, ability or background feel included in swimming lessons.

Most importantly, we want you, or the person you care for, to become confident and safe in the water.

Click or tap the links below for more information on inclusive swimming lessons delivered using Swim England programmes, and to find out what else we doing to support inclusion in swimming.

Badges and Certificates

Just for Parents

Tips for Adult Learners