Swim England

A nation swimming

New requirement for schools to publish swimming levels welcomed

Swim England News

Swim England and members of the Curriculum Swimming and Water Safety Review Group have welcomed new rules that require schools to publish swimming attainment levels.

The new condition is part of updated guidance from the Department for Education regarding PE and sport premium funding.

From this year, schools will be required to publish how many Year 6 pupils have met the national curriculum requirements relating to swimming and water safety.

This change is a direct response to recommendations submitted to government by the Review Group in July and is the first time that schools will be required to publish the data.

The move has been welcomed by Steve Parry, Chair of the Curriculum Swimming Review Group. He said: “This is great news and certainly a step in the right direction. Until now, primary schools have been required to teach swimming and water safety to all pupils during Key Stage 1 and 2 but there has been no official reporting mechanism to show the outcomes.

“Learning about water safety and knowing how to keep yourself safe in and around water is a life-skill and as such, should be recognised and measured in the same ways as other key subjects such as maths. Including a condition that ensures swimming and water safety attainment is published will help to show how we can support schools to deliver these vital lessons.”

The updated guidance also confirmed that schools can use the PE and sport premium funding to provide additional swimming provision targeted at pupils who have not been able to meet the national curriculum requirements.

Jon Glenn, Swim England Director of Learn to Swim and member of the Review Group, said: “Primary school is often the only place that a child will have the opportunity to learn about water safety and basic swimming skills. That means we have to ensure that no one falls through the net.

“We are continuing to work with the Department for Education to provide a resource pack that helps schools to use the PE and sport premium in the best way possible. This includes providing additional support for those children who may need it.”

National Curriculum requirements for swimming and water safety:

  • swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres
  • use a range of strokes effectively
  • perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations.

About the PE and sport premium funding:

  •  Schools receive PE and sport premium funding based on the number of pupils in years 1 to 6 (or pupils aged five to 10 if they don’t follow year groups).
  • Schools must use the funding to make additional and sustainable improvements to the quality of the PE and sport they offer. For swimming and water safety this includes:
    • provide additional swimming provision targeted to pupils not able to meet the swimming requirements of the national curriculum

For more information visit the Department for Education website.