safely and enjoy the sport, education minister Catherine Ashton said
today as she published the government's response to the swimming
advisory group's recommendations.
Speaking at a swimming gala at East Ham Leisure Centre - attended by
world record holder Mark Foster and local school children she said:
'Swimming is one of the nation's favourite sports, it can be great
fun and has great health benefits.
'However it is essential that children are aware of the principles
and skills of water safety, which is why swimming is a compulsory
part of the national curriculum for all children aged between 5-11.'
The package includes:
- a new swimming and water safety website - providing guidance and
ideas for teachers to support their planning and teaching of
swimming and water safety and a 'splash' area for children,
including water safety quizzes - which goes live today;
- proposals for a Swimming Charter to be published in 2003 that will
offer practical guidance and help spread best practice. The key
features of the charter should be a strong emphasis on local
strategies for swimming. It will also give advice: on the amount of
time that should be allocated to swimming lessons; to schools to
help them deliver training in water safety and health and safety at
the pool. It will also encourage non or reluctant swimmers to
participate in classes and encourage girls - especially those from
minority ethnic communities - to participate;
- 2 pilot schemes (one urban and one rural) for children who get to
the final year of primary school and can't swim at least 25 metres.
This will provide evidence of good practice which will then be
disseminated to LEAs and;
- increased training in swimming and water safety for PE teachers to
help raise the quality of teaching and learning in swimming.
David Sparkes, chief executive of the Amateur Swimming Association,
'This initiative demonstrates the importance the government
attributes to swimming as a life skill and a life-saving skill.
Swimming can be fun and it can play a part in a healthy lifestyle or
as in the case of Mark Foster it could lead on to the Olympics. We
are delighted with the support we have received from the government.'
The government is investing£459m over the next three years to
enhance sporting opportunities for 5-16 year olds to ensure 75% of
all children have access to two hours of high-quality PE and school
sport per week within and beyond the curriculum by 2006. PE and
school sport including swimming, have an important role to play in
raising standards, improving behaviour and attendance and tackling
This Press Notice applies to England.
1. Today's swimming gala at East Ham Leisure Centre was organised
jointly by the Amateur Swimming Association and the Department for
Education and Skills.
2. Swimming and water safety is a compulsory component within the
national curriculum for all children at Key Stage 2. At the end of
Key Stage 2 all pupils should be able to swim unaided over a distance
3. The OFSTED Report 'Swimming at Key Stage 2' was published in
November 2000 and is available at
www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspect/index.htm. The Swimming Advisory Group was
formed in January 2001 to review swimming provision in light of the
OFSTED report. An executive summary of the Swimming Advisory Group's
report is available on the PE and School Sport website.
4. The Swimming Advisory Group comprised the Amateur Swimming
Association, The Institute of Sport Recreation Management, the Youth
Sport Trust, English Schools Swimming Association, Royal Life Saving
Society, Sport England Physical Education UK, British Association of
Advisors and Lecturers in PE and the Swimming Teachers Association.
5. The swimming charter will be put out to consultation with LEAs and
other interested groups early in the new year.
6. The swimming activities and water safety website is managed by the
Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.