What does a parent need to know? The list is shared below to help parents nationwide support their school officials with their safe schools efforts.
Royal Life Saving believes that the rapid increase in drowning in young adults aged year olds is undeniably linked to a fall in the swimming and water safety skills of children in Australia over the past 10 years.
For several years now, Royal Life Saving has highlighted research showing that many children are leaving primary school without being able to swim 50 metres or float for 2 minutes; skills Royal Life Saving describes as a basic right of every child living in Australia and mandatory if we are to halve drowning by Whilst there is no comprehensive analysis of achievement levels across every State and Territory, where we have investigated achievement rates they point to a problem.
We published these results in the report titled No Child to Miss Out: Royal Life Saving believes that there are groups of children who are swimming better and younger than in previous generations. These are children whose parents value and recognise the importance of swimming and water safety, have ready access to quality swim schools and instructors, and have the financial means to afford lessons and other activities that build confidence and skills in the water.
However, we also see many children and many communities for which swimming and water safety is not accessible, not a priority, too costly or who are simply unaware of the benefits of programs such as Swim and Survive.
These concerns are well reflected in the Australian Water Safety Strategy, and should be a concern to us all. Royal Life Saving believes that parents, community organisations and the swim school industry should all commit to making swimming and water safety compulsory for all children living in Australia and has launched a national petition to gauge the level of feeling across the community.
Royal Life Saving will raise the petition results with Governments across the country. Put very simply, the petition is intended to urge all Australians to pledge support for making swimming lessons compulsory in Australian primary schools.
Royal Life Saving believes a national benchmark of swimming and water safety skills needs to be urgently established and supported by all Governments. This would provide guidance to those that conduct and participate in programs across the country.
Royal Life Saving believes that reinvestment in long standing school based and vacation programs needs to be a major priority.
These programs have provided generations of Australians with affordable, water safety focused swimming lessons and are something we should all be proud of. They provide a form of safety net, particularly for those living in regional areas or who have trouble affording other programs.
However, in the current economic and social environment many of these programs are under pressure. Royal Life Saving supports calls for greater investment in ageing aquatic facilities across Australia. It believes that existing programs such as the Active After Schools program may also provide opportunities for improved access to programs.
The Australian Federal Government and Governments across Australia also play an important and valuable role in supporting swimming and water safety. We welcome the support and collaboration of schools, parents and industry across Australia. Together we hope to see a day when no child misses out on learning how to Swim and Survive.Comment: Spine creases, wear to binding and pages from reading.
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