Swim England recently joined forces with the Swimming Teachers’ Association (STA) to tackle the urgent issue of more than 660,000 children could be missing out on swimming lessons. The national governing body says there are 12,000 vacant roles across the aquatics sector, with more than 3,700 amongst national and regional operators.

Based on the shortage, as well as other factors such as pool space availability, it is estimated that around 99,000 children could be missing out on swimming lessons. In London, there could be around 21,000 children missing out on lessons and in the South West, home to the coastal counties of Devon and Cornwall, an estimated 55,000 children may never learn to swim.

Rebecca Cox, Swim England Business Engagement Director and Institute of Swimming Managing Director, said: “Learning to swim is a vitally important, but also a really fun skill – and teaching that skill can be just as fun! “We know from previous research we have done that swimming teachers love their job and we want to encourage as many people as we can to get involved.

“But it’s not only the enjoyment factor that should encourage people to want to return or become a swimming teacher. It’s also the impact it has on children across the nation and to reduce the number who could be missing out on lessons. “Too many children will miss out if this issue is not addressed and as an island nation, this needs to change.

“Every region throughout the country is crying out for more swimming teachers, so I would urge those contemplating a future within aquatics to take the leap and find a course near you. “There are also programmes and funding available to help reduce the costs of training and qualifications, such as the Institute of Swimming’s recruitment academies. “We want to ensure everyone has the opportunity to learn to swim.”

In 2022, a total of 27 Swim England Approved Training Centres delivered more than 1,600 courses. As well as this, the Institute of Swimming, supported by Swim England, have introduced recruitment academies to reduce the financial barrier of training. Successful applicants who join the Swimming Teacher Recruitment Academy will be funded through their SEQ Level 1 Swimming Assistant (Teaching) course and Level 2 Teaching Swimming Qualifications.

Swim England
SportPark, Pavilion 3
3 Oakwood Drive
Loughborough University
LE11 3QF
Tel. 01509 640 700