Swim England

A nation swimming

It’s ‘frankly unacceptable’ that children leave primary school unable to swim

Swim England chief executive Jane Nickerson says it is ‘frankly unacceptable’ that six out of 10 children could leave primary school by 2025 unable to swim 25m.

The recognised national governing body is one of several aquatic organisations which have joined forces, alongside some of the biggest stars in the sport, to support Speedo’s Swim United campaign.

It is calling on the Government to provide the necessary investment for primary schools to ensure that every child has access to swimming and water safety lessons.

Currently, one in four 11-year-olds leave primary school unable to competently and confidently swim the required 25m in a variety of strokes or perform safe self-rescue.

However, unless action is taken, it is feared that could rise to six in 10 by 2025.

Vital skill

Speedo’s Swim United campaign is encouraging the public to sign a petition urgently calling on the Government to find the cash for school swimming lessons and facilities which are at risk of closure due their age or rising energy costs.

The campaign is being backed by Swim England, the Black Swimming Association, Black Country Active, Olympic gold medallist and world record holder Adam Peaty, multi-Paralympic champion Ellie Simmonds and international swimmer Michael Gunning.

Jane said: “Every child should be given the chance to learn to swim at school.

“They’re given the opportunity to learn to read and write – and swimming and water safety should be no different.

“There is a reason it’s part of the national curriculum – because it’s a vital skill that could one day help save their life or someone else’s.

Sign the petition

“The fact six out of 10 youngsters could leave primary school by 2025 having not been taught a key part of the national curriculum is not only extremely disappointing, it’s frankly unacceptable.

“Drowning is one of the most common causes of accidental death in the UK so it’s important youngsters are taught how to be safe in and around water to help prevent future tragedies.

“I would implore everyone to throw their weight behind this campaign and sign the petition.

“If we all work together, our voice will be louder and difficult to ignore.

“It will ensure Swim United is a success and everyone at primary school will get the opportunity to start their journey towards a lifelong love of the water.”