Child swimming and wearing floatiesChild swimming and wearing floatiesChild swimming and wearing floaties

Only 4% of children meet Swim England’s standards for swimming at the point they stop formal swimming lessons

It was in a recent survey that Swim England discovered 96% of youngsters are stopping their swimming lessons too early to meet the required standard to keep themselves safe in the water.

As headline statistics go, that’s certainly a worrying one. Particularly if you happen to be a parent.

Most children can't keep themselves safe in the water.96% of youngsters are stopping their swimming lessons too early to meet the required standard to keep themselves safe in the water.Credit: Image by Swimtime

The same research found that a staggering 81% of parents are aware their children have not reached the required level. Even though they say they want their child to be a strong enough swimmer to stay safe, the majority of Mums and Dads are still willing to let the swimming lessons lapse too early.

Too many other activities

Digging a little deeper, parents said the main reasons for not providing formal swimming lessons outside of school were being too busy with other extra-curricular activities, not seeing the need because of lessons in school and their children being able to swim already.

Obviously, the recent coronavirus pandemic has given parents plenty of other things to worry about, and this is bound to have taken their eye off the ball. (Or, in this case, the pool.)

But it’s worth pointing out that even before the Covid-19 outbreak, around one in four children could not swim the statutory 25 metres when they left primary school. Now, it is feared that number could rise to three in five children by the 2025-26 academic year.

Going the extra length

However, the statutory 25 metres falls well short of the standards deemed ‘competent’ by Swim England, with support from the RNLI. They recommend that young swimmers can master the following four challenges in the water:

1. Learn to Float 

2. Tread water for 30 seconds 

3. Swim in clothing

4. Swim 100m

Off the top of your head, would you know if your child could do all the above? If the answer’s no, or you’re not sure, it could well be worth finding out how proficient a swimmer your child is, and then taking action if needed.

Following a tragic summer in the UK in which 24 people drowned in just one week during July, this is definitely an issue that warrants instant attention. Fatal incidents occurred in the sea, canals, flooded quarries and rivers, so living inland is no excuse for thinking the dangers don’t apply to your family.

Calling all parents!

These events, combined with the findings of the Swim England report, has prompted Swimtime to, once again, call on parents to ensure their children have mastered the vital skills that could end up saving their own life and possibly the lives of others.

We use cutting edge-digital technology behind the scenes to help us deliver not just world-class lessons, but an unrivalled service outside the pool. This includes enabling a simple booking process, class-leading lesson planning, child attainment records and easy payments.

Award-winning swimming lessons

Our Learn to Swim programme has been designed by leading industry experts to take your children on an engaging learning journey through a wide range of skills that let them have fun, whilst remaining safe in the water.

From the very first step on our ladder, our swimmers start learning the key skill of floating safely. Children as young as four can let us guide them through a three-stage programme. Our programme marks the first experience for young swimmers of being in the water without one-to-one adult supervision. These lessons are conducted in small groups for our eager (in most, but not all cases) beginners.

Book now

Learning to swim safely is one area of life where procrastination can have devastating consequences. If you’d like to take action today, it couldn’t be easier. To book local lessons at award-winning Swimtime, the UK’s largest independent swim school, click ‘book swimming lessons’.

Published by Swimtime: (updated: )