Active Schools News

European Learn to Swim standards launched

European Swimming Federation LEN has released new minimum learn to swim standards.

The aim is to standardise swimming ability across Europe and ensure young people are taught the same skills regardless of the country they live in.

Jon Glenn, Learn to Swim Director at Swim England, has been representing the UK during the development of the standards and was at the launch yesterday in Copenhagen, Denmark.

“This is an important step to ensuring all children learn the key swimming techniques”, said Glenn. “Across Europe swimming standards differ greatly and no county has developed a fool-proof system which means all children have the required knowledge about swimming and water safety that will keep them safe if they get into trouble.

“The launch of these agreed standards is definitely a step in the right direction. But there is still a long way to go to ensure each country is able to implement them.”

One of the key standards is to ensure that by age 11 all children are able to swim 200 metres without stopping using front crawl, backstroke and breaststroke.

Glenn, who is also a member of the Swim Group that reviewed the state of Curriculum Swimming and Water Safety in England, hopes the introduction of the LEN standards will further help improve swimming in primary schools.

“At present, the national curriculum guidance for swimming requires pupils in key stage 1 and 2 to be able to swim at least 25 metres unaided. The Swim Group has long advocated that the 25 metre distance should be increased, and this new LEN guidance will help us to continue to advocate a longer minimum distance with government.”

Glenn said: “From a UK perspective we will continue to work with colleagues at Swim Wales and Scottish Swimming to ensure all our relevant Learn to Swim programmes incorporate the European standards.

“Although there is still a long way to go, it is a great start to ensuring all our young people are able to enjoy the water safely.”

Click HERE to find out more about the LEN Standards

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