The ASA's New School Swimming Manifesto Whips up National Media Flurry

The announcement last week by the ASA that 1 in every 3 children in the UK leaves primary school unable to swim whipped up a storm of publicity as the national governing body launched its new manifesto for school swimming.

Research by Kellogg’s, based upon a freedom of information request to local authorities, showed that attainment in school swimming is getting worse, as previous research suggested that 1 in 5 children left school without achieving National Curriculum Key Stage 2 for swimming.

The new figures suggest that 200,000 children this summer will leave primary school without possessing this important life skill.

These new findings have prompted the ASA to launch a six-point manifesto, Save School Swimming, which aims to improve central and local government support for swimming, and make school swimming lessons a priority.

The manifesto was launched at a parliamentary reception on 17th May, at which Total Swimming’s Steve Parry spoke about the future of school swimming.

There was also coverage across the media, including national television interviews by ASA representatives, including Parry, Duncan Goodhew and Mark Foster, on ITV1’s Daybreak, BBC1’s BBC Breakfast and Newsround, and the Sky News channel.

National radio coverage included stories on BBC Radio 2, Radio 4 and Radio 5 Live, along with numerous regional BBC and independent radio.

Press articles were featured in The Times, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail and many regional and local newspapers.

This widespread media interest highlights the depth of feeling nationally about the important of school swimming, and has proved a powerful launchpad for the ASA’s campaign.

At the heart of Save School Swimming are six key points:

1.    Every child learning to swim in primary school

2.    Improve training for primary school teachers

3.    Robust monitoring of school swimming at Ofsted

4.    Swimming as a school budget priority

5.    Support at secondary schools

6.    Help keep school pools open

The ASA has so far had dialogue with a number of Government departments following the publication of its new manifesto, and discussions continue.

Total Swimming fully backs the ASA in its campaign to get a better deal for the nation’s children and have more government funding available to help schools and local authorities deliver school swimming lessons.

Find out more details on the ASA’s school swimming manifesto by clicking here.