Speedo Swim United report calls for UK Government support to improve child swim safety

Speedo Swim United has presented a report to the UK Government, providing details of its innovative pop-up pool programme as a way to get more children learning lifesaving swim skills.

The programme is in response to research showing that 1 in 3 children in the UK leave primary school unable to swim and childhood drowning has increased at a rate of 43%. Without intervention, it’s predicted that 60% of children will leave school unable to swim in 2026.

Speedo Swim United took the temporary pools programme to seven schools in disadvantaged and ethnically diverse communities across the Black Country, UK. The area has a swimming attainment of less than 50%, yet most children are within walking distance of open water.

The results were outstanding. In just three-weeks, 57.5% of children could swim at least 25m, compared to 17.7% at the start, and 9 in 10 children could demonstrate safe self-rescue skills. The programme also resulted in a positive effect on classroom behaviours.

Speedo’s pop-up pool programme has reimagined school swimming lessons, focusing on intensive interventions that inspire and equip young swimmers most at risk of falling behind. By bringing pools to seven school playgrounds, 742 children were able to participate in the programme. The temporary pools helped to reduce travel time to local pools, maximising children’s familiarity with water safety and their time in the water.

During the presentation in Parliament, Speedo UK, in collaboration with its partners Active Black Country and Speedo ambassadors Ellie Simmonds and Michael Gunning, called on policymakers to take three actions:

– To ringfence the funding needed from each pupil premium for investment in swim provision.

– To identify where swimming attainment is lowest, and ensure interventions are planned for in the 2024-2025 academic year.

– To commit additional funding so that the schools showing the lowest attainment can invest in additive approaches to learn to swim.

Full details of the report can be found HERE or ways to get involved, go to Speedo Swim United or follow @Speedo #SwimUnited on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and Facebook.


Photo from left to right- Simon Breckon (Speedo), Kirsty Saddler (Speedo), Catherine West MP, Ellie Simmonds OBE (swimmer), Michael Gunning  (swimmer), Amanda Tomlinson (Active Black Country), Vicky Minihane (St Mary’s Catholic Primary Academy) & Ian Carey (Active Black Country).