Swim England

A nation swimming

Jane Nickerson welcomes ‘constructive’ discussions on importance of school sport

Swim England chief executive, Jane Nickerson, spoke of ‘constructive’ discussions following a roundtable meeting to discuss the issue of school sport, school swimming and water safety.

In attendance were the Minister for Sport, Nigel Huddleston MP, the Minister for School Standards, Nick Gibb MP, and a range of sporting organisations.

Issues discussed at the meeting included progress towards the aims of the Government’s ‘School Sport and Activity Action Plan’, the importance of the PE and School Sport Premium funding, efforts to widen access to school facilities and the challenges and barriers schools face.

The meeting follows the startling figures published by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Swimming last month.

The statistics suggested more than one million children could leave primary school in the next five years unable to swim the minimum standards required under the national curriculum.

Absolutely vital

After the meeting, Jane said: “It was positive to have this opportunity to constructively discuss the importance of school sport.

“Particularly coming off the back of the worrying report which showed the impact Covid-19 has had on school swimming lessons.

“Sport is so important for young people, encouraging them to be active for life and teaching them many valuable life skills that will help with their all-round development.

“Additionally, for many children school may be the only place they have the opportunity to learn to swim and be safe in the water, so it’s absolutely vital we get school swimming and water safety right.”

Swim England is part of the Opening School Facilities National Steering Group and remains committed to working with the Government and other stakeholders to improve access to swimming opportunities for more children.