Swimming and Water Safety in Schools


Inclusion 2020

What is Inclusion 2020?

Inclusion 2020 is an exciting initiative, inspired by the 2020 Paralympic Games and funded by Department for Education (DfE).

Its aim is to increase and improve opportunities for young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to participate in school sport.

The project has been running since January 2019 and will continue until March 2020.

Who is leading Inclusion 2020?

Youth Sport Trust is leading the initiative and we are proud to be part of the steering group, along with Activity Alliance, the British Paralympic Association, and NASEN (National Association of Special Educational Needs).

Also on the steering group are representatives from carefully selected schools across the country, which demonstrate best practice in inclusive PE and sport. These are known as Lead Inclusion Schools, and are acting as champions in their local areas to ensure the project has nationwide impact.

How does it work?

The steering group is supporting 50 Lead Inclusion Schools as they take action to influence change in their local areas.

All are working towards improving the quality and amount of opportunities available for pupils with SEND to participate in physical activity and sport at school. Their work includes:

  • Staging events such as ‘Learning and Discovery’ festivals where pupils of all abilities participate in different sports together, trying out new activities whilst guided by athlete mentors.
  • Providing training, upskilling staff to ensure inclusive PE is at the forefront of all school sport programmes.
  • Sharing best practice with other schools to remove their fears and barriers and influence positive change.

What is Swim England doing to support Inclusion 2020?

We are the project’s central support hub for inclusive school swimming and water safety.

It is our job to provide tools and resources that will help schools, lesson providers and pool operators make sure their swimming programmes are fully inclusive.

Tap or click to below to find out how we can help you, get resources and implement change in your area:

School Swimming Assessment Tool

The School Swimming Assessment Tool has been developed by Swim England’s insight team. It is an easy-to-use action planning document that schools and operators can use to collaborate with one another.

The purpose of the tool is to guide discussion between schools, swimming lesson providers and pool operators helping them identify barriers to participation, come up with solutions and then implement those solutions successfully.

The School Swimming Assessment Tool is free to download and use. We recommend filling it out digitally, but it can also be printed.

Download the School Swimming Assessment Tool below.

Free webinars
Join us for our Inclusion 2020 webinar on 28 November 2019.

In this event, the PE leads of two schools involved in heading up the Inclusion 2020 project for their regions will share their experiences of the project in relation to school swimming.

Discussion will focus on challenges, successes and some of the planned changes to their school swimming programmes, which will improve experiences and increase participation amongst their SEN pupils. Get top tips from the inclusion experts!

Training and CPD

Our school swimming programme experts have been working with Lead Inclusion Schools to produce a new CPD to support teachers delivering school swimming and water safety lessons to SEND pupils. The CPD is being piloted and is expected to be released early in 2020. Watch this space!

Adapted School Swimming Awards scheme

In 2020, we will release an alternative set of School Swimming Awards, which will reward smaller steps and other achievements from school swimming lessons.

These Awards will cater for and motivate those pupils who may be unable to achieve the national curriculum requirements for school swimming and water safety.

Big School Swim

The Big School Swim is an annual campaign that celebrates swimming in schools. Every November, schools across the country get involved in our Big School Swim activity sessions. These are designed to get pupils of all abilities in the water and enjoying their swimming.

Big School Swim activities help pupils learn important new swimming and water safety skills with others, without it feeling like a formal lesson.

Watch an adapted Big School Swim activity session in action at Slated Row School for SEN children in Milton Keynes

How to get involved
Everything you need to be able to host a Big School Swim activity session is available in the free resource pack, which is available to every school that signs up.


Aquasplash supports Inclusion 2020 and the Your School Games initiative. Your School Games encourages children of all abilities to get involved in different sports at school and engaged in healthy competition in team and group environments.

Running a Swim England Aquasplash festival covers the swimming element of Your School Games. It also offers leadership opportunities for older pupils who are working towards their Young Aquatic Leader Award or similar.

How to get involved
An Aquasplash festival fits easily into a school swimming session. All the information and resources you need to be able to run the festival are available to view and download from the Aquasplash page.