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Nov 08 2014

Bob Blackman MP Urges Local Primary Schools to Sign Up to the School Swimming Charter

bob_blackmanBob Blackman, MP for Harrow East, has pledged to support the School Swimming Charter, a new initiative from the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) aimed at increasing the number of primary school children that can swim and know how to be safe in and around water. The Charter was developed after statistics revealed that 45 per cent of seven-11-year olds are unable to swim 25 metres unaided. The ASA’s 2014 School Swimming Census also revealed that nearly 1,300 (6.6 per cent) primary schools do not teach swimming in Key Stage 2 despite it being a national curriculum requirement.

Of the schools that do, the average amount of time spent in the water by pupils was just under 10 hours – less than half the 25 hours of study time that the ASA recommends is required to ensure a child has sufficient opportunity to learn to swim.  As a response to the Census results the ASA has launched the School Swimming Charter, a comprehensive package of support that aims to ensure every primary school in England has the necessary knowledge and resources required to deliver high quality school swimming programmes.

Bob commented, “Swimming isn’t just a leisure activity or a way for young people to keep healthy, it’s a lifesaving skill that every child has the right to learn. Drowning is the third highest cause of accidental death in children in the UK, and research suggests that if children do not learn to swim at primary school they will become one of the one in five adults in the UK that are unable to swim. This is why I am urging all local primary schools to sign up to the School Swimming Charter and work in partnership with the ASA to increase the number of children leaving primary school able to swim.”

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For more information about the School Swimming Charter, including how primary schools can get involved, people can visitwww.swimming.org/schoolcharter.

Photography credit: Mark Pain

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