'Let's get kids swimming weekly' urges education boss

An education boss is calling for all children to be swimming weekly.

Ellesmere Primary School children make the most of the school pool
Ellesmere Primary School children make the most of the school pool

Research conducted by Swim England and a group of MPs has warned that the majority of primary school children will be unable to swim a length of a pool by 2025.

It prompted Steve Docking, chief executive of North West Academies Trust which has Ellesmere Primary School in its stable, to call for more swimming for kids.

He said: "You wouldn't teach maths or English and expect children to get it after four weeks, so why should swimming be any different?"

Ellesmere Primary School is lucky enough to have its own swimming pool.

Mr Docking added: "Let's get all children swimming weekly. Schools should be proud to lead on this and there's no reason it should be considered an elite sport.

"Schools will blame budget cuts or the lack of pool time - they will blame anyone but themselves for not providing swimming as a weekly activity.

"It's a challenge for sure, but the rewards are huge in terms of pupils’ confidence, ability and health.

"I'm very passionate about this subject and I'd urge all schools to act to make sure the worrying projections in this report never come to fruition."

Ellesmere headteacher Stuart Roberts said: "Having our own pool on site is something we are very proud of and grateful for, and we make sure we get the absolute most from all the benefits it offers our children.

"As their abilities progress under the expert tuition they receive, you can also see children flourish in terms of their confidence and, equally importantly, they have a lot of fun too. They love it."

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