A new report out reveals that more than 1.1 million children, that’s more than half of 7-11 year olds, are not able to swim a length of a standard swimming pool.
The Learning the Lesson – the future of school swimming report, carried out by the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA), also found that, on average, each child only received 8hours 15minutes of school swimming tuition a year, compared to the 22hours recommended by the Government.
Only 2% of schools surveyed delivered the government’s recommended 22 hours a year of swimming lessons. The national curriculum for schools in England says children should be able to swim at least 25m unaided by the end of primary school.
David Sparkes, of the ASA, said: “Swimming is one of the easiest, safest forms of exercise for children of all abilities, and school swimming is the single most effective way of teaching children how to be safe in and around water.
The report says Ofsted should focus PE inspections on swimming as “it is the only sport that can save lives”.