Swim England

A nation swimming

Prominence of swimming in updated School Sport and Activity Action Plan welcomed

Swim England has welcomed the ‘important prominence’ swimming and water safety lessons have been given in the Government’s updated School Sport and Activity Action Plan.

The plan contains a number of positive measures as well as a reaffirmation that the Government ‘recognises PE and sport as being integral to what makes an excellent school’.

Jane Nickerson, Swim England chief executive, said the plan was the ‘starting point’ to help improve attainment levels in lower socio-economic and ethnic diverse communities

She said: “We recognise the importance of school swimming and water safety lessons, which for many children may be their only opportunity to learn these vital skills.

“That’s why we’ve worked closely with partners and the Department for Education to provide a range of resources and support to help schools.

“It is therefore very pleasing to see the importance of swimming and water safety as a life skill given such prominence in the updated action plan.

Starting point

“There remains much work to be done to ensure every child is leaving primary school set up to safely enjoy the water given the current attainment levels, particularly for children from lower socio-economic groups and those from ethnically diverse communities.

“This updated plan is very much just the starting point of that journey.

“We have long advocated for better data and accountability on school swimming and water safety attainment levels so the changes to the digital reporting tool are therefore particularly welcome.

“In time, they have the potential to enable much more targeted support to schools to help their pupils to achieve the curriculum requirements and really start to tackle the stubborn inequalities in outcomes we currently see. 

“We are proud to be part of the Youth Sport Trust-led consortium delivering the Inclusion 2024 programme which aims to increase and improve the opportunities for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities to engage and participate in PE, sport and physical activity.”

To read the School Sport and Activity Action Plan, please click here.