Under consideration PE1891: Make swimming lessons a statutory requirement in the primary school curriculum

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to ensure that all children will have had the opportunity to learn to swim by making it a statutory requirement to provide lessons in the primary school curriculum.

Previous action taken

The action I have taken includes contacting all of my local MSPs to make them aware of this petition and why I think it is a good idea to do so.

One said they would write to the Cabinet Secretary; another has said they look forward to hearing it being debated in parliament.

As a result of still being a University Student I had actually did an assignment on this topic, which kind of piqued my interest in this policy area. The assignment was to write a policy brief to change or create a new policy. I am also a swimmer myself so I know the sport fairly well.

Background information

In 2017, it was estimated that, 40% of children left primary school not being able to swim. Then in 2018 a report by Water Safety Scotland, found that child water safety was poorer in Scotland than other EU nations.

These are disappointing figures given that Scotland has incredible outdoor spaces, many having huge bodies of water for use. For a nation that has plenty of outdoor spaces to explore, and has shown to be excellent in Swimming at the Elite level, the level of disregard for swimming lessons is disappointing.

Unlike England and Wales, it isn't a statutory requirement in Scotland to have swimming lessons. Swimming lessons are provided on a council to council basis which could mean that children miss out on this opportunity.

In 2010, the Scottish Government invested £800,000 into swimming lessons which is very little when compared to the UK Government, who invested £320 million (Department of Education, 2018).

  • Created by Lewis Alexander Condy
  • Considered from 16 September 2021

This petition is now under consideration by the Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Find out about the Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee’s discussion of this petition

1,554 signatures