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Water safety and swimming

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The Queensland Government is committed to providing a high quality water safety and swimming education program and developed the:

Queensland state schools, in Prep to Year 6, are required to offer a water safety and swimming program. Participation in these programs by students is not compulsory. Parents can choose for their child not to participate.

To support schools implement water safety and learn to swim programs, the Department of Education has developed the water safety and swimming education program. All resources are based on current water safety and learn to swim best practice and are aligned to the:

  • draft National Swimming and water safety framework
  • Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education (HPE) achievement standards and content descriptions
  • department's Prep to Year 10 HPE Curriculum into the Classroom (C2C) materials.

The program provides eight lessons for each band of years (Prep, Years 1 and 2, Years 3 and 4, Years 5 and 6, Years 7 and 8, and Years 9 and 10). Supporting materials for implementing the program include guidelines, sequence of competency, competency checklists, glossary and curriculum alignment resources. The program is available to all Queensland state and non-state schools through the Learning Place and Scootle.

Schools are encouraged to include water safety and swimming as part of the delivery of the Australian Curriculum. Health and Physical Education and determine the best method of delivery using school-based staff and/or qualified external providers.

The statement of expectations: water safety and learn to swim programs (PDF, 2.6MB) provides additional information about targeted programs, training, qualifications and competencies.

Schools must complete a Curriculum Activity Risk Assessment (CARA) that complies with the requirements outlined in the specific water location guidelines. Additional risks, hazards and control measures supplied by an external provider must be included with this risk assessment.

The Queensland Government also committed to providing additional funding for state primary and special schools without a pool to support water safety and swimming programs. The learn to swim funding is calculated and paid to schools automatically. Further, funding via a Water safety and swimming grant is now available to state primary and special schools without pools. Applications open in Term 4 each year.

Eligible state schools can apply for funding by completing the application form. Applications will be assessed against the eligibility criteria outlined in the application form.

Enquiries can be sent to water.safety@qed.qld.gov.au.

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Last updated 24 October 2019