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Should swimming be compulsory for all children at school?

Man's leg sticking out of water

Many people agree that swimming lessons are very important for children to have. The younger they start to learn to swim the quicker they pick it up and being able to swim unaided is something that is really important to a child’s safety in the water.

Often schools only take the older pupils such as years four, five and six swimming so until they are around 10 they may have little or no experience in the water. Some schools have started to see how important it is for all pupils to be given the opportunity and therefore has started taking the whole school swimming for a set amount of weeks usually through the summer.

For some parents and carers, they may struggle to take their child swimming as much as they would like to. This may be because of work commitments of having other children and not being able to take them all together.  Giving these children the opportunity to get confident in the water and to learn to swim small distances can be a life-saving skill.

Often at the start of the lessons is more about building confidence and being able to put their face in the water. They will usually be at a depth where they can stand up with their head out of the water and over time they will be taught different swimming techniques.