One in six children is unable to swim at 11

Click to follow
The Independent Online

One in six children leaves primary school each year unable to swim despite a three-year government campaign to raise standards, a survey shows. Teachers said that lack of money, facilities and time limited their ability to give children adequate lessons.

One in six children leaves primary school each year unable to swim despite a three-year government campaign to raise standards, a survey shows. Teachers said that lack of money, facilities and time limited their ability to give children adequate lessons.

Teachers' leaders and sportsmen said the findings had worrying implications for children's safety as well as for Britain's sporting hopes. Drowning is the third most common cause of death for under-16s with 50 fatalities every year. Yet 100,000 primary-school leavers in England and Wales are unable to swim 25 metres, the level of competence expected by the Government for 11-year-olds.

Three out of 10 children aged 11 leave school without mastering basic life-saving and survival skills, shows a poll by the Central Council for Physical Recreation and the Times Educational Supplement. The survey covered 587 primary schools.

Mark Foster, the short-course world record holder who won a silver medal in the recent world championships in Barcelona, said: "How can parents relax if their children cannot swim?"

Comments