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Swimming: Children

Question for Department for Education

UIN 21308, tabled on 23 June 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on children's access to school swimming lessons.

Answered on

2 July 2021

Swimming and water safety is a vital life skill, which is why it is a mandatory part of the curriculum for physical education at primary school. The Department recognises that children have missed out on opportunities to learn to swim due to COVID-19 restrictions. We are working closely with Swim England and other swimming and water safety organisations to support pupils to return safely to swimming and to promote water safety education. This includes an additional £10.1 million to improve use of school sport facilities, including swimming pools.

Water safety education is a priority for the summer period to enable children to know how to be safe in and around water. The Department has made new virtual water safety lessons available through Oak National Academy and has supported the Royal Life Saving Society UK’s Drowning Prevention Week 2021.