Different parents send their children for swimming lessons for a multitude of reasons. Some children show an interest in the water from a young age, so it is only natural to send them for swimming lessons. Other parents may be concerned about childhood obesity and feel that it is an effective way to keep their child fit. Some parents may want their child to participate in hobbies. Many parents send their children for swimming lessons because it is such a vital life lessons which could one day save their child’s life.
Shocking statistics about drowning
Britain is a small country surrounded by a beautiful coastline. There are many towns, cities and villages based around the coast and even those who don’t live near the seaside tend to regularly visit.
Back in 2011, 407 people lost their lives due to drowning in Britain. Of that number, almost 50 were 18 or younger. More than 1,000 parents took part in a survey which revealed that more than half of parents doubt that their child would be safe in open water which is a great cause for concern.
What are the rules about swimming lessons in schools?
Parents may be keen to take matters into their own hands and send their children for extracurricular swimming lessons rather relying on schools to provide them. Despite the fact that the government recommends that schools provide pupils with 22 hours of swimming lessons per year, only 2% of British schools actually meet this target. By learning to swim in those crucial early years, hundreds of lives could be saved each and every year.
According to the Amateur Swimming Association, half of English children between the age of 7 and 10 are unable to swim the length of a standard swimming pool. Of the parents surveyed, 40% admitted that their 10-11 year old child could not swim the length of a standard swimming pool.
Why aren’t schools prioritising swimming lessons?
On average, most pupils only receive 8 and a half hours of swimming lessons per year, compared to the national requirement of 22 hours. Schools are putting swimming lessons to the bottom of their priority list due to the costs involved in swimming lessons and transport. Teachers are also struggling to fit swimming lessons into the curriculum.
It is feared that swimming lessons in schools will be side-lined altogether if action is not taken. Some parties believes that Ofsted should monitor swimming lessons just like other aspects of the National Curriculum. Schools are putting swimming lessons on the back burner due to pressure to stick to budgets and deliver brilliant examination results.
What can be done about this issue?
Many believe that funding for physical education lessons should be placed into sending children on the recommended 22 hours of swimming lessons per year. Many parents have admitted that their children’s only experience with swimming is on their annual holidays.
Parents who are concerned about the safety of their children should consider taking their children for swimming lessons outside of school to build their confidence and ability in the water.
Jean Herod is a renowned author of all things child related. When getting the latest information on great sports for children, Jean visits www.puddleducks.com.
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