The Programme

  • What is School Swimathon?
    School Swimathon is a swimming programme for school children, encouraging them to improve technique and confidence, culminating in a challenge to swim further than ever before. The Swimathon Foundation is helping pupils across the country to 'Swim their Best' in School Swimathon, along with their partners Swim England, Swim Wales and Zoggs. Participating schools will use their national curriculum weekly swim lessons throughout the 2019 Spring Term to improve pupils' swimming ability. This will build up to a final session at the end of the spring term (ending Friday 5th April) where pupils will attempt to swim further than ever before.
  • Who can take part?
    The programme is open to all school children, both primary and secondary, who are receiving school swimming lessons during the Spring Term 2019. Teachers must register their class and provide details of all participating children in order for them to be part of School Swimathon 2019.
  • When is it?
    School Swimathon takes place during the school Spring Term 2019, 3 January - 5 April (if required, schools will be able to input times after the Easter holidays). Initial distances should be recorded and uploaded before 1 February. All challenges should be completed before 5 April.
  • Where is it?
    School Swimathon should take place at the venue where the school normally holds their school swimming lessons.
  • What's in it for the school?
    The chance to be part of a campaign to raise the profile of school swimming and encourage children into the water. The campaign is designed to work alongside pupils' Key Stage 2 swimming lessons and incentivise them to swim their best. For a £20 delivery fee, registered classes can receive a wall chart to record swims and a limited edition School Swimathon swim cap and achievement badge for each child.


  • How do teachers register their pupils for School Swimathon?
    Teachers must register their class to take part in School Swimathon via the website. Once a teacher has registered a class, they will be able to log in to add the names and ages of all their swimmers. For more details on registration, please go to the For Teachers section below.
  • When can I register?
    Registration is open from the 24th September to 20th December.
  • How much does it cost to take part?
    Registering your school for School Swimathon is free and you will have access to downloadable content to help your pupils in your 'Schools Area', including certificates and lesson plans.

    There is a £20 charge to cover the cost of delivery when ordering your school's materials, including wall charts, badges and swim caps. We advise you to order all your school’s materials at the same time to save on delivery fees. Note that schools entering more than one class will pay a slightly higher fee, please contact the School Swimathon team on info@swimathon.org for more information.
  • Who can register?
    Individuals will not be able to register themselves to take part in the programme as all registrations must be submitted by the class teacher.

For Swimmers

  • When do I receive my swim cap?
    Swim caps will be posted to your teacher in the Spring Term.
  • What material are the swim caps made from?
    Swim caps are made from latex and all pupils should be informed of this.

For Teachers

  • How do I register my pupils for School Swimathon?
    There are two stages to registering pupils for School Swimathon. Firstly, a teacher from the school needs to fill in the online registration form in order to register the school for the programme. The teacher will receive an email asking them to activate their account and inviting them to register their class and their swimmers. Classes and swimmers can be amended by logging in to the Schools Area on the website.

    To make the most out of School Swimathon and fully engage your pupils we recommend you also order School Swimathon swim caps and achievement badges from the orders page in the Schools Area.
  • Can a teacher register more than one class?
    Yes it is possible for a teacher to register more than one class using the same email address and password. This can be done by logging in to the Schools Area of the website and adding another class. We recommend that all classes are added at the same time and all School Swimathon materials are ordered together in order to save on delivery costs.
  • How many classes can enter per school?
    There is no limit to the number of classes that a school can enter. We recommend that schools order materials for all classes at once in order to save on delivery costs.
  • Is there a maximum number of pupils per class?
    The maximum number of pupils than can be registered per class is 35. If you have more than 35 swimmers taking part from your school, then you will need to enter them as different classes.
  • Can I edit the swimmers' details?
    Yes, teachers will be able to log in and edit the names and ages of the pupils taking part.
  • What will schools receive in the post?
    If schools choose to order class materials, they will receive an A2 wall chart and a swim cap and badge for every registered pupil. The wall charts will also be available online in the downloads area. We recommend schools order materials in one go in order to save on delivery costs. Materials will be sent out in January and throughout the Spring Term.
  • How do teachers record the distances swum by each pupil?
    Teachers will need to record and upload 2 distances for each swimmer. This can be done by logging in to the Schools Area on the website. In January, teachers will need to enter the initial distance swum (taken from the first session) and at the end of the term, teachers will need to upload their final challenge distance.
  • Is there a deadline for uploading the swimming distances for each pupil?
    Initial swimming distances should be uploaded before 1 February 2019. The final challenge distances must be uploaded by 5 April, but can be uploaded after the Easter holiday, if necessary.
  • How do teachers access certificates?
    Every pupil that takes part will get a personalised certificate that teachers can download from the Schools Area of the website. This will only be accessible once the final challenge distances have been uploaded.
  • What happens if pupils don't improve on their original distance?
    Pupils will still be entitled to a personalised certificate even if they do not swim further than before.
  • What happens if pupils are strong swimmers?
    If pupils are able to swim for 30 minutes continuously, they will be challenged to swim further within that time frame.

Swim England

  • What is the School Swimming Charter?
    The School Swimming Charter is an initiative driven by Swim England that aims to create a direct relationship between the national governing body and primary schools in England for the very first time. Essentially the Charter is a comprehensive package of support that will help primary schools to access the necessary knowledge and resources required to deliver high quality school swimming programmes.
  • How does the Charter link with the School Swimathon?
    School Swimathon increases swimming participation, raises the profile of curriculum swimming and supports Swim England’s vision that every child should learn to swim before they leave primary school.
  • How do the Swimathon and the Charter link with the national curriculum requirements set down by the Department for Education?
    The national curriculum states 'All schools must provide swimming instruction either in Key Stage 1 or Key Stage 2. In particular, pupils should be taught to swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres, use a range of strokes effectively such as front crawl, backstroke and breaststroke and perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations'. By encouraging pupils to swim their best and increase the distance they are able to swim, School Swimathon encourages them to extend beyond the minimum standard of 25 metres. The overall aim of the Charter is to help and support schools in meeting the minimum standards. In particular Swim England strongly recommends that schools devote at least 25 hours of study time per child to curriculum swimming.

If you can't find the answer to your question here, please email info@swimathon.org and the School Swimathon team will be happy to help you.