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Swimming: Children

Question for Department for Education

UIN 95640, tabled on 25 September 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of ensuring that swimming lessons are free of charge for children whose families are in receipt of universal credit.

Answered on

5 October 2020

Swimming is a vital life skill and pupils should be taught to swim and about water safety at primary school as part of a broad and balanced curriculum.

The PE national curriculum for Key Stages 1 and 2 sets out the expectation that 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.

In addition to their core curriculum provision, schools can choose to use the primary PE and sport premium to provide additional top-up swimming lessons to pupils who have not been able to meet the national curriculum requirements.

It is for local authorities and private providers to decide on the amount they charge for swimming lessons and whether to make them free to people on low incomes.