Britain could become a nation of non-swimmers if drastic changes aren’t made to ensure all young people have access to adequate lessons and facilities.
51 per cent of primary school children are unable to swim the minimum of 25 metres.
“It is a national problem that children cannot swim by age 11,” said Dr Avieson, who along with Dr Lamb is publishing an article in the journal Physical Education Matters, outlining findings and presenting a new training model for teachers.
“Ensuring children have basic swimming skills is the responsibility of both primary and secondary schools and this is a chance to do something about it,” said Dr Avieson. “Teaching children such an important life skill should be a priority and there should be joined-up thinking between primary and secondary schools to address this issue.”
Lack of funding, cost of transport and limited access to a pool – particularly in rural areas – are some of the reasons for a decline in swimming provisions for primary school students.
A new web site has been developed to help teachers to teach children in Key Stage 2 – as a parent you might like to know what it says :
Key Stage 2 National Curriculum requirements – can be found at: www.swimming.org/schoolswimming.