Swim England

A nation swimming

Back the Swimming Safety Pledge to help all children to swim

A new campaign has been launched by Swim England to raise awareness of the importance of teaching swimming and water safety in schools.

The Swimming Safety Pledge has already been supported by more than 40 organisations including schools, pool operators, lesson providers and drowning prevention charities.

School swimming ambassadors and athletes are also backing the pledge, including Steve Parry, Lizzie Simmonds, Sharron Davies, Ellie Robinson, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor and Tom Hamer.

Steve, an Olympic medallist and Chair of the Swim Group’s Curriculum Swimming and Water Safety Review group, said: “Since my competitive days I’ve been championing the need for all children to be taught swimming and water safety at primary school.

“Along with Swim England and the Swim Group, we have been working tirelessly to raise awareness of the issues and provide support for all those involved in the delivery of curriculum swimming and water safety.

“Ensuring our children are able to enjoy the water safely is everyone’s responsibility. That’s why we want everyone – schools, parents, lesson providers, decision makers – to do likewise and pledge to support schools to achieve our joint vision of every child having a full knowledge about water safety and learning how to swim by the time they leave primary school.”

Giving young children confidence

People can show their commitment to supporting curriculum swimming and water safety by sharing their Swimming Safety Pledge on social media using #IPledge and #SwimmingSafety.

The Swimming Safety Pledge aims to ensure it is everyone’s responsibility that children are able to take part in swimming and water safety lessons at primary school.

Former Team England Commonwealth Games medallist, Lizzie Simmonds, champions swimming as a great way to learn water safety skills, meet new friends and stay healthy.

She said: “It’s incredibly important for all children to be given the opportunity to swim at school. Not only is swimming an inclusive, fun activity and a great way to keep fit, it’s also an absolutely crucial life skill.”

“This initiative is a hugely important step towards giving young children confidence and proficiency around water. Swimming has given me the opportunity to meet some incredible people, travel the world, and compete at the highest level, but it all started from school swimming lessons.”

Good skill that can save your life

Paralympic gold medallist Ellie Robinson highlighted the importance of learning to swim. 

She said: “Learning to swim has helped me to get to the point that I have today.

“You don’t have to be the next Michael Phelps or the next Olympic champion but learning to swim is such a good skill that can save your life and also can help you make lots of friends and enjoy a new sport.”

Sharron Davies, Olympic silver medallist, Commonwealth Games champion, commentator and lifelong supporter of ensuring everyone has the opportunity to learn how to swim, also backed the campaign.

She said: “I’m so pleased more effort is going to be made to make sure all children leave school with the required swimming and water safety skills.

“I was on the panel that gave evidence to the select committee many years ago when swimming went on the national curriculum. This is not only a life-saving skill but a great sport we can all participate in throughout our lives.”

  • For more information, and to download social media resources to support the campaign, click here.