Essential skill for kids to learn
MILLIONS of young children’s lives are being put at risk because schools are not teaching them how to swim, a hard-hitting report has warned.
Almost a third of pupils are leaving primary school with no water skills because teachers focus on subjects graded by inspectors.
Many more have insufficient ability to get themselves out of trouble according to parents of pupils in Year 6 (their last year at primary school), twothirds of whom fear their children could not save themselves without help.
One in 20 schools do not teach swimming, despite the subject being on the curriculum for more than 20 years. Former British Olympic swimmer Steve Parry, the chairperson of the Swim Group’s Curriculum Swimming and Water Safety Review Group, which released the report, said: “We know that over 1 000 schools don’t teach swimming even though it is a statutory requirement.
“We’re failing our children by not helping them learn an essential skill. Water safety is the only part of the national curriculum that will save children’s lives. It can’t be treated as an optional extra.”
The organisation called for measures including better training and resources for teachers to tackle the problem.
Three-hundred people died in accidental drownings in the UK last year, including 40 aged 19 or under. This was up a quarter on 2015.