Swimming and Water Safety in Schools

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Swim England School Swimming and Water Safety

The importance of learning to swim at school

Drowning is the third most common cause of accidental death in children. Here at Swim England, we believe all children should have the opportunity to learn how to swim and be taught how to stay safe in and around water.

Many children learn to swim outside of school. But for some, primary school will be the only opportunity they have to learn these vital lifesaving skills.

That is why it is so important to ensure all our primary schools are supported to provide the best possible swimming and water safety provision for all their pupils.

Protecting future generations

The government has recognised the importance of teaching our young people swimming and water safety by including it in the national curriculum. The three key outcomes within the physical education curriculum all children are expected to achieve by the end of year six are:

Support for primary schools

There are lots of resources on these pages to help primary schools deliver swimming and water safety lessons. There is also information for pool operators, lesson providers and parents.

Key resources:

Why is this so important?

Swimming isn’t just about being able to have fun in the water with family and friends (although it is and you should!). It’s also about knowing what to do if someone gets into trouble. Or if a strong current takes your friend away from the edge. Or you fall in when running by a river or canal.

Swimming is also incredibly good for your physical and mental health and wellbeing – it’s the only activity you can do at any age and at any ability.

We have an opportunity to ensure every generation is taught basic water safety skills. But we have to work together to make it happen.

For more information about swimming and water safety lessons in schools, please email [email protected].