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Ok, ‘tidal wave’ might be a bit dramatic, but I am sure you will have all seen in the press that the Government backed a new drive to ensure all children can swim and know how to stay safe in the water by the time they leave primary school. This is something Swim England and the Swim Group have been campaigning for and follows the work that Jon Glenn, Steve Parry, Ali Clowes and Sue Barlow have been doing on the Swim Group’s recommendations report and new national resource pack for schools, operators, deliverers and parents (this will be available soon and will complement our School Swimming Charter).
As part of the announcement, DfE and DCMS have highlighted how primary schools can use their PE and Sport Premium to up-skill teachers through our swimming National Curriculum Training Programme, and provide top-up swimming sessions for those who haven’t reached the requirements by the time they finish Year 6.
This is on the back of earlier announcements that require primary schools to publish attainment levels, and the inclusion of swimming and water safety in the Sport England Active Lives Children survey (first results due 6 December). The DfE is also working with the Independent Schools Council to encourage independent schools to open their swimming facilities to local state primary schools, which will help them to access more facilities.
All this shows we are moving in the right direction and Swim England have an updated area on the web site
In addition to the Tidal Wave, Swim England also rolled-out a new campaign to raise awareness of the importance of teaching swimming and water safety in schools.
Everyone has a role to play to support primary schools to deliver swimming and water safety lessons. The Swimming Safety Pledge asks people to think about their role and pledge their support. Lots of individuals and organisations have already done so, please have a look and show your support on social media (there’s even some funky infographics to download and use!). Find out all the info about the Swimming Safety Pledge.