Action urged to teach children to swim – BBC News

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Image caption Too many 11-year-olds have weak going swimming and water safety skills, states report

Almost a third of 11-year-olds in England leave primary school not able to swim, a representative sample of 1, 1000 parents of Year 6 students suggests.

Plus two-thirds of the parents, surveyed with regard to Swim England, feared their child cannot save themselves in water.

“Hundreds of people block every year, ” warned Steve Parry, a former Olympic swimmer and leader of a report urging an change of school swimming.

Ministers agreed “more must be done” to enhance school swimming.

According to the survey, published alongside the particular report, an overwhelming 94% of mom and dad believe it is important for their child to be able to go swimming competently by the end of primary college.

“Water security is the only part of the national program that will save children’s lives, this can’t be treated as an optional additional, ” said Mr Parry.

The report, put together after eight months of analysis, points out that the National Curriculum demands all children to be able to swim 82ft (25m) by the age of 11 — but says that too many educational institutions miss the target.

It draws on figures put together last year by Swim England, previously the Amateur Swimming Association, which usually show that only 36% associated with primary schools reach all the nationwide curriculum swimming and water basic safety standards.

Plus worryingly, the same set of figures display that more than a quarter of institutions are either not providing going swimming lessons or are not monitoring little one’s progress.

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Image caption Steve Parry in the mens 200m butterfly final at the Questionnaire Olympics in 2000

In his foreword towards the report, Mr Parry called the numbers “unacceptable”.

The particular independent report, by a group of sports and educational bodies called Go swimming Group, was commissioned by the authorities.

Its tips for swimming and water safety training include:

  • a brand new national Top-Up Swimming programme to make sure all children reach statutory requirements
  • a new swimming achievement award regarding pupils
  • better swimming resources just for schools
  • swimming to be contained in the next national curriculum review
  • better training for staff who coach swimming

The authors say that educational institutions tend to “prioritise subjects for which they may be graded” and says that if college inspections paid greater attention to going swimming this could be a “silver bullet” with regard to standards.

The particular report also notes that nearly three-quarters of primary schools visit local authority pools for classes and transport can be time-consuming plus expensive.

The particular authors say greater use of demountable and mobile pools should be investigated.

“Swimming is really a vital life skill, ” stated Children’s Minister Robert Goodwill.

He said the federal government would work closely with the authors to examine the recommendations.

Sports Minister Tracey Crouch additional: “We want to see more schools upgrading and ensuring that the number of children who else leave school able to swim goes up. ”

And John Whiteman, general secretary designate from the National Association of Head Educators, agreed swimming was a crucial lifetime skill but added that colleges needed more resources “to employ a pool, pay for qualified trainers and to arrange transport”.

He added: “At a period when budgets are being pushed outside of breaking point, many schools find it hard to deliver anything outside of the academic primary.

“The govt must invest, or risk viewing a further decline in swimming among primary age children. ”