Fewer and fewer students in Sweden can swim

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Published 7 December 2022 at 18.36

Domestic. Seven percent of students in year 6 cannot swim 200 metres. Compared to 2014, the percentage of people who know how to swim has decreased by two percentage points. It shows a follow-up that the National Education Agency has done.

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– That 93 percent of students in year 6 reached the grade criterion in swimming may seem like a high percentage. But in practice, this means that approximately 8,300 students who left middle school in June could not swim before the summer holidays. It is serious, says education advisor Sabina Vesterlund at the Swedish National Agency for Education.

The follow-up shows that the students who have received instruction in swimming already at the beginning of primary school meet the requirement to be able to swim 200 meters to a greater extent than those who have not it.

The follow-up also shows that the composition of students at the schools is important for the proportion of students who know how to swim. At schools with worse “socio-economic conditions”, 89 percent of students pass the grade criterion in swimming, compared to 95 percent at schools with better conditions.

– There is no other grade criterion that is as clear as that for swimming skills. The requirement is based on a safety mindset and protection of life. Support must be put in place for all students who it is believed will not meet the requirement. All students have the right to that, regardless of background, says Sabina Vesterlund in a dispatch.