On 27th March 2018 it was announced that Schools across the state would receive more support for swimming lessons as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s plan to keep Victorian children safe around water.
Schools will share in an additional $9.8 million to help contribute to the cost of swimming lessons over the next two years, increasing the support provided to each Year 6 student from $50 to $90. Announcing the investment today, Minister for Education James Merlino said the Labor Government is making sure kids can swim in an effort to reduce the number of drowning deaths.
The move will support up to 60,000 students at Government and Catholic Schools to achieve their Victorian School Water Safety Certificate, which includes being able to swim 50m continuously, before leaving primary school.
Along with the $9.1 million already invested to support schools to deliver swimming and water safety education, schools will be able to determine how they use the funding to best meet the needs of their students.
The Swimming in Schools program aims to increase opportunities for students to learn how to swim, and ensure they develop lifelong skills in swimming and water safety to reduce their risk of drowning and injury.
Minister for Education James Merlino said “We know that swimming can be an expensive skill to learn for some families. But we also know that it is a crucial life skill and that’s why we’re providing extra funding to ensure it is not a burden on schools.”
He said “With 43 drowning deaths in Victoria in between July 2015 and June 2016, the need for water safety to be part of the curriculum is clear. We want to make sure all Victorian children know how to swim and stay safe in the water before they finish primary school.”