News

Water Safety Education to Become Statutory in Schools

Today the Department of Education has published its RSHE draft statutory guidance, and we are thrilled to confirm, especially during #ILSW24, that it features a new “personal safety” module, which says ‘pupils should know how to recognise risk and keep safe around water, including the water safety code”.

Following the consultation launched today, the guidance is expected to become statutory later this year, which means schools in England must follow it unless there are exceptional circumstances.

This has been a huge team effort from all the bodies involved in water safety, including the National Water Safety Forum, ROSPA, RLSS, RNLI, Swim England and the STA. Leading the charge was Beckie Ramsay from Doing it for Dylan, thanks to her award-winning Parliamentary Petition which called for increased curriculum content about water safety, and received more than 100,000 signatures.

Dave Candler, STA’s CEO, said: “As a charity that is dedicated to water safety education, the announcement today is a huge milestone achievement, because when it comes into force later this year, it will be statutory for all children in all schools to learn how to #LoveWaterSafely.

“To illustrate the importance of this, in 2022 there was a 46% increase in accidental drownings in children compared to the 5-year average, and early indications suggest that this may have sadly increased again in 2023. Water safety education is therefore crucial for all children, and it is why the announcement today has been welcomed by everybody involved, because it could save lives,” confirmed Dave.

The RSHE draft statutory guidance also includes the teaching of basic first aid in the new “personal safety” module; based on this statutory curriculum requirement, pupils will be taught how to call the emergency services and how to deal with common injuries and ailments. This sits perfectly with STA’s Junior Medic Programme.

Categories
Association News, Member News, Water Safety, Health & Wellbeing

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