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Webinar aims to remove barriers to swimming for pupils with SEND

Swim England and the Youth Sport Trust are working together to support schools in improving their swimming provisions for students with special educational needs and disability (SEND).

A panel of experts will feature in a webinar on 28 November, sharing knowledge about how to improve access to school swimming and water safety for pupils with SEND.

By 2025, more than 780,000 children with SEND will be in Britain’s education system, but opportunities for them to participate in physical activity at school are still limited.

That means disabled young people are now twice as likely to be physically inactive, compared to non-disabled young people.

The webinar aims to help schools, pools and leisure providers to gain expert insight and understand the resources available to improve school swimming provisions for this group.

Making positive change

Jon Glenn, Swim England Learn to Swim and workforce director, said: “It is concerning to see the lack of opportunities available to pupils with SEND to learn to swim.

“Swim England is committed to making school swimming fully inclusive and every child must be able to keep themselves safe in, on, or around water.

“This webinar will be a great resource for schools and leisure centres to understand the challenges and barriers facing young people with SEND.”

Vicci Wells, Youth Sport Trust’s National Manager for Targeted Interventions, said: “As a children’s charity, we are delighted to be part of a consortium delivering a DfE-funded programme called Inclusion 2020.

“It aims to reach tens of thousands of pupils, 2,800 schools and train 6,000 teachers and coaches ahead of the 2020 Paralympic Games.”

Personal experiences

The consortium of organisations is led by Youth Sport Trust and includes Swim England, Activity Alliance, British Paralympic Association and Nasen (National Association of Special Educational Needs).

Representatives from two schools – Bincombe Valley Primary School and Newsome High School – will discuss their personal experiences.

The webinar will focus on identifying approaches and the impact of interventions thus far.

It also coincides with the launch of Swim England’s new national assessment tool, which allows local partners to undertake a review on inclusion and identify actions to increase participation for pupils with SEND.

If you would like to book your place for the webinar, please register here.

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