Pupils: Swimming

Department for Education written question – answered on 3rd December 2018.

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Photo of Jo Stevens Jo Stevens Labour, Cardiff Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate his Department has made of the proportion of school children who received at least six swimming lessons in the last academic year for which information is available.

Photo of Nadhim Zahawi Nadhim Zahawi The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Swimming is a vital life skill. That is why we have made sure that swimming and water safety is compulsory in the national curriculum for PE at primary levels (key stages 1 and 2). The curriculum sets out the expectation that all pupils should be taught to:

  • swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres;
  • use a range of strokes effectively; and
  • perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations.

The department does not collect data on the number of swimming lessons provided by individual schools. Schools have the freedom to choose the swimming programme to meet the needs of their pupils.

All primary schools must report annually on the percentage of pupils who can meet the national curriculum requirements for swimming by the end of KS2 as a condition of the primary PE and sport premium funding. Since September 2017, schools can use this premium to provide top-up swimming for those pupils who are not able to meet the national curriculum requirements after completing their primary school swimming lessons.

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