Swim England

A nation swimming

Swim England Schools Research 2016

To ensure we can support primary schools deliver effective curriculum swimming and water safety sessions, we asked schools to tell us about their swimming provision. 228 schools responded and shared their experiences.

Aim of the research

The aim of the research was to understand any challenges that primary schools face in the delivery of swimming and water safety sessions, and whether this has changed from previous research.

Key findings

  • 88 per cent of schools are aware of all three national curriculum outcomes (swimming 25 metres, using a range of strokes, knowing how to self-rescue).
  • Of the schools who responded, 94 per cent delivered curriculum swimming. Of these: 89 per cent work towards children being able to swim 25 metres; 63 per cent focus on teaching children how to do strokes; 48 per cent focus on water safety
  • 72 per cent of primary schools access public facilities for their swimming, 15 per cent use their own pool and 10 per cent use another school pool.
  • The average number of swimming lessons provided is 16.
  • Schools allow an average of 76 minutes for swimming lessons, with the average length of time a class is in the pool being 33 minutes.
  • The average distance for a school to travel to their local pool is 2.8 miles.