Deeper dive into the impact of the swimming teacher shortage across England13 June 2023
Less than 12 months on from a successful Commonwealth Games for swimming, and a nation surrounded by water, but yet thousands of children in each region may never learn to swim.
That could be the case, unless the issue of the current shortage in swimming teachers improves.
Swim England recently joined forces with the Swimming Teachers’ Association (STA) to tackle this ‘urgent issue’ after revealing that the equivalent of more than 660,000 children could be missing out on swimming lessons.
Now, the national governing body has delved deeper into the data collected from the learn to swim and workforce audit to see the impact on each region of the country.
There are currently almost 12,000 vacant roles across the aquatics sector, with more than 3,700 amongst national and regional operators.
The North West region has the most number of available vacancies, as they look to fill more than 1,500 roles.
Based on the shortage, as well as other factors such as pool space availability, it is estimated that around 99,000 children could be missing out on swimming lessons.
In the capital of the country, there could be around 21,000 children missing out on lessons and in the South West, home to the coastal counties of Devon and Cornwall, an estimated 55,000 children may never learn to swim.
The South East and South West regions combined have a total of more than 2,400 available vacancies.
Reduce the number missing out
Rebecca Cox, Swim England Business Engagement Director and Institute of Swimming Managing Director, said: “Learning to swim is a vitally important, but also a really fun skill – and teaching that skill can be just as fun!
“We know from previous research we have done that swimming teachers love their job and we want to encourage as many people as we can to get involved.
“But it’s not only the enjoyment factor that should encourage people to want to return or become a swimming teacher. It’s also the impact it has on children across the nation and to reduce the number who could be missing out on lessons.
“Too many children will miss out if this issue is not addressed and as an island nation, this needs to change.
“Every region throughout the country is crying out for more swimming teachers, so I would urge those contemplating a future within aquatics to take the leap and find a course near you.
“There is also programmes and funding available to help reduce the costs of training and qualifications, such as the Institute of Swimming’s recruitment academies.
“We want to ensure everyone has the opportunity to learn to swim.”
Become a swimming teacher
Those who are interested in becoming a swimming teacher can use the course finder tool on the Swim England Qualifications website.
In 2022, a total of 27 Swim England Approved Training Centres delivered more than 1,600 courses.
As well as this, the Institute of Swimming, supported by Swim England, have introduced recruitment academies to reduce the financial barrier of training.
Successful applicants who join the Swimming Teacher Recruitment Academy will be funded through their SEQ Level 1 Swimming Assistant (Teaching) course and Level 2 Teaching Swimming Qualifications. To find out more, click here.
If anyone is looking to advertise any available vacancies, there is also an exclusive offer on Careers in Aquatics, the one-stop shop for the latest jobs across the aquatics sector. More details on this can be found here.
Estimated number of children missing out on swimming lessons per region:
- 67,000 children could be missing out on swimming lessons in the North East
- 99,000 children could be missing out on swimming lessons in the North West
- 49,000 children could be missing out on swimming lessons in the East Midlands
- 45,000 children could be missing out on swimming lessons in the West Midlands
- 22,000 children could be missing out on swimming lessons in the East
- 21,000 children could be missing out on swimming lessons in London
- 48,000 children could be missing out on swimming lessons in the South East
- 55,000 children could be missing out on swimming lessons in the South West
Number of vacant roles across the aquatics sector per region:
- 3,700+ vacancies available amongst national and regional operators
- 1,000+ vacancies available in the North East
- 1,500+ vacancies available in the North West
- 900+ vacancies available in the East Midlands
- 800+ vacancies available in the West Midlands
- 800+ vacancies available in the East
- 400+ vacancies available in London
- 1,400+ vacancies available in the South East
- 1,000+ vacancies available in the South West