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About Swimming and water safety

School swimming and water safety has provided programs for the development of water safety and learn to swim skills since 1954. Approximately 1,300 schools and over 110,000 students access the activities provided by School swimming and water safety programs annually. The NSW Department of Education provides funding for all students to receive instruction. The students meet costs associated with transport and all pool costs. 

School swimming and water safety programs give primary students of NSW the opportunity to learn vital swimming and water safety skills, catering for diverse cultural backgrounds and all socio-economic circumstances.


Web Tile 10 Day Program

A series of 10 swimming and water safety lessons that develop water safety awareness and focus on competitive strokes. Available for all students who are unable to swim 25m with confidence in deep water.

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Web Tile 5 Day Program

A series of 5 survival swimming lessons that focus on survival strokes/swimming and personal water safety skills. Available to all students in the primary setting. 

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Web Tile 5-10 Day Additional Needs

Swimming teachers follow a modified program based on the individual needs of the students. Teacher to student ratios are reduced to suit the students’ needs. This can be conducted at a school’s pool or offsite. 

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Web Tile Classroom Resources - Let's be water safe

School swimming and water safety has developed 'Lets be water safe' for classrooms with 5 animations and resources to support schools in meeting components with the PDHPE curriculum

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There are 2 different ways for metro, rural and remote community schools to access the programs: 

  • Centrally coordinated program – organised by NSW DoE School Sport Unit on behalf of schools using the information supplied in their registration. A timetable is drawn up, staff are employed and pools booked in accordance with the schools’ information. 
  • School managed program – schools organise their own School swimming and water safety program of choice. This includes organising transport, booking pool space and hiring instructors. Schools are allocated funds based on the number of students indicated on their registration and the number of instructors needed. 


The benefits gained by students’ participation in these programs, both practical and theoretical, include: 

  • shared knowledge with families and safer participation in water-based activities  
  • increased fitness, resilience and well-being 
  • reduced risk of drowning