Swim England

A nation swimming

Guidance on inclusion for swimming teachers

As a swimming teacher delivering the Learn to Swim Programme, you have a very important role. To teach children and adults of all backgrounds and abilities how to be confident, competent and safe in the water.

We encourage you to observe every single one of your learners, and adapt teaching practices to make sure your programme is fully inclusive.

Below are some tools and resources to help you do this.

Swim England Awards for SEND learners

The below Awards are specifically designed to recognise and motivate learners who are making smaller steps or require additional support throughout the Learn to Swim Programme. All Awards can be purchased from the Swim England shop:

Resources for school swimming

School Swimming and Water Safety Charter – We help schools deliver the national curriculum for swimming and water safety through our School Swimming and Water Safety Charter.

This school-specific programme and Awards scheme is designed to help all pupils be included in swimming lessons, whatever their background or ability.

Aquasplash – a water based festival designed to get pupils of all abilities in the water and enjoying learning new skills. Aquasplash has been developed in association with the School Games.

Download free resources to help you run an Aqauasplash festival from our school swimming website.

TOP Sportsability – an online resource hub developed by Youth Sport Trust that can be used by schools to help engage young people with a SEND in school sport. The hub contains free teaching guides and activity packs.

Gov.uk – offers a wide range of guides, conduct and policy documents for SEND and high needs, including the SEND code of practice: 0-25 years for organisations that work specifically with children and young people.

Gov.uk logo

Inclusion 2020 – an exciting new project led by Youth Sport Trust which aims to increase opportunities and participation for young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) within school sport.

Youth Sport Trust website
Specialist teacher training and CPD

Institute of Swimming and other accredited training providers deliver CPD courses on inclusion in our Learn to Swim Programme.

Browse the full range of courses on the Swim England Qualifications website.

Swim England Qualifications website
Webcasts and workshops

We regularly deliver free webinars, podcasts and regional roadshows for swimming teachers, operators and swim schools who are delivering the Learn to Swim Programme.

Key focus areas of our webinars include the benefits of swimming for those with long term health conditions like stroke or arthritis, and how to include learners with SEND in mainstream swimming lessons.

View our webinar and podcast recordings page to browse and listen to all topics that might interest you.

Browse and book a place at one our upcoming free webinars or roadshows. All of our roadshows include workshops with subject specialists from the Institute of Swimming.

Swim England Toolkit

Our Number One resource for teachers, swim schools and pool operators delivering the Learn to Swim Programme, the Swim England Toolkit includes helpful information on inclusion in the Learn to Swim Programme and adaptations for learners with additional needs.

Swim England Toolkit
Para-swimming Toolkit

The Para-swimming ID Toolkit is a downloadable resource from British Swimming that will help you as a swimming teacher or coach to identify para-swimmers at all levels and give them the chance to progress within the para-swimming pathway. It is also a useful tool for schools and parents to use.

The toolkit provides advice on how to group learners according to their ability along with helpful teaching points and adaptations. It also provides signposting to exit routes.

Help guides

Inclusion in the Learn to Swim Programme
A free downloadable guide for swimming coordinators, teachers and assistants delivering mainstream Learn to Swim lessons which include learners with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

Swim England Inclusion in the Learn to Swim Programme Guide
Consultation forms

Before starting swimming lessons it’s important to get as much information as possible about each of your learners so they can reach their full potential in their swimming lessons with you and you can adapt your programme accordingly. Below are some learner consultation form templates which you will find helpful when gathering important information and getting to know each of your learners. Both of these templates are suitable to use ahead of delivering swimming lessons to learners who you think may need additional support.

Teaching Swimming Hub

Visit our Teaching Swimming Hub for even more helpful tools and resources to help you deliver an engaging and inclusive swimming programme.

Business support for your club, centre or swim school

Visit our business support for inclusion section to find tools and resources to help you and your business, or the business you work for, be fully inclusive.