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Swimming

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 3 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what estimate he has made of the number of children under the age of 16 years who are receiving swimming lessons from Qualifications and Curriculum Authority Level 2-trained swimming teachers; (259840)

(2) what estimate he has made of the number of Qualifications and Curriculum Authority Level 2-trained swimming teachers in (a) 1998 and (b) 2008;

(3) what estimate he has made of the number of vacancies for Qualifications and Curriculum Authority Level 2-trained swimming teachers in (a) 1998 and (b) 2008.

Under the national curriculum for physical education, swimming is compulsory for all pupils in Key Stage 2 in primary schools. Across all primary and secondary schools, 85 per cent. provide swimming.

All primary school teachers with qualified teacher status are able to deliver school swimming, subject to a risk assessment carried out by the head teacher. The recommendation from the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA)—the national governing body for the sport—is that ideally school swimming is taught by instructors with ASA/UK Coaching Certificate Level 2, and that they should be supported by a class teacher, who has undertaken at least Module One of the ASA National Curriculum Training Programme. Some local authorities insist that school teachers undertake this additional training in order to deliver school swimming in their pools.

The Department does not collect data on swimming teachers or coaches. We understand from the ASA that there were 27,001 ASA/UK Coaching Certificate Level 2 swimming teachers in 1998 and 45,856 in 2008. The Department is not aware of a QCA-based qualification.

The ASA does not have any data on the number of vacancies in 1998 and 2008.