Following a recent study which shows that a third of primary school children are unable to swim, campaigners are calling for swimming lessons to be a priority. According to data, drowning is one of the top causes of death by accident in the UK, actually in the top three causes. This news has initiated concern that a large number of children are unable to swim.
A report has been produced by Kellogg’s and the Amateur Swimming Association, revealing that out of the children who are unable to swim, 39 percent haven’t had the chance to attend swimming lessons at school. Figures from the report show that each year about 200,000 kids leave primary school unable to swim, with 75,000 never learning. The report also stated that the national curriculum for children of primary school age includes swimming lessons. Children aged seven to 11 years old should be able to swim a length of a regular sized pool, about 25 metres.
Improved teacher training and Ofsted to be thorough in their monitoring of lessons has been called for by ASA. School budgets should include funding for swimming lessons and children at secondary school who can’t swim should be given help. Another statement from the report reveals that one parent out of every six never takes their child to a swimming pool, which means that kids who don’t have swimming lessons at school may never learn.
In addition to being a life saving skill for children, it is also a skill which can help prevent child obesity in youngsters. Mark Foster, British Olympic swimmer said:
“I go into a lot of schools and I see obesity, diabetes, and all these things on the increase and I think, if we only give them the opportunity to swim… it’s a life skill we should give people. It can save their life. It can save them from drowning, but also long term… being healthy and fit.”