Why Over 25% Of UK Children Cannot Swim?

According to recent studies, nearly half of British children are unable to swim, and 1 in 3 children are still unable to swim when leaving primary school. This figure is, quite frankly, shocking, and also, dangerous.

School Swimming

One reason for this declining figure of confident young swimmers, is that schools no longer offer as much opportunity to swim as they have done in previous years. One of the reasons for this is due to the decreased access to facilities. Over the past 20 years, there has been a dramatic decrease in school pools. Another reason is due to the cost of transportation to access a public pool. This expense and inconvenience means that, despite swimming being on the Key Stage 2 national curriculum, it is not a priority for many primary schools.


Many parents say that the cost of private swim schools is too expensive for them to be able to afford. Despite it being seen in many families as life saving skill, it is still not at the top of their list of priorities when families are on a budget.


Time is another major factor as to why parents do not take their children to learn to swim. With the work/life balance seemingly more of a juggling act than ever before, it is no wonder parents are struggling to get their children to swim classes.


One in 3 children between the ages of 10-16 are still unable to swim. This age bracket makes up the highest number of drownings, which really highlights the urgency of the matter. Swimming is more than just a luxury. It is a vital life skill that can save your children’s and others’ lives. We need to reverse these statistics, and it looks like it’s down to the parents to do so.

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