The Programme

  • What is School Swimathon?
    School Swimathon is a swimming programme for school children, encouraging them to  improve their technique and confidence in the water. The Swimathon Foundation and Swim England  are  helping pupils across the country to  ‘Swim their Best’  in School Swimathon. Participating schools will use their national curriculum weekly swim lessons throughout the  2020  Spring and Summer Terms  to improve pupils' swimming ability.  This willl  build up to a final session at the end of the term where pupils will challenge themselves 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 2020 Spring and Summer Terms. Once registered, teachers must add their class details to receive our School Swimathon materials. Please note that due to the current school closures, School Swimathon is no longer operating for 2020.
  • When is it?
    School Swimathon takes place during the school spring and summer terms. Pupils should complete their initial challenge swim at the start of the term and their final challenge swim at the end of the term. All challenges should be completed before 5  April for the spring term and before 23 July for the summer term. Please note that due to the current school closures, School Swimathon is no longer operating for 2020.
  • 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.  Teachers should add their class details after registering to receive the limited edition School Swimathon swim caps and achievement badges for each child along with a wall chart to record swims free of charge!


  • How do teachers register their pupils for School Swimathon?
    Due to the current school closures, School Swimathon is not open for registration.
  • When can I register?
    Due to the current school closures, School Swimathon is not open for registration. 
  • 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. School materials, including wall charts, badges and swim caps and their delivery are also free.
  • Who can register?
    All registrations must be submitted by the class teacher, individuals will not be able to register themselves to take part in the programme.

For Swimmers

  • When do I receive my swim cap?
    Swim caps will be posted to your teacher in February for your spring term swim and in late May for your summer term swim. Please note that due to the current school closures we are not currently delivering School Swimathon swim caps.
  • 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 in the Schools Area. Classes and swimmers can also be amended in the  Schools Area  on the website.
  • 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 so that we can calculate the correct amount of materials to send out for pupils at your school.
  • How many classes can enter per school?
    There is no limit to the number of classes that a school can enter. 
  • 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?
    Once teachers have entered all pupils’ details, they will receive a free 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. Materials will be sent out in February for spring term participants and May for summer term participants.
  • 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. At the start of the term, teachers will need to enter the initial distance swum (taken from the first session) and at the end of the term (from a final challenge swim), teachers will need to enter the final distance swum.
  • Is there a deadline for uploading the swimming distances for each pupil?
    Initial swimming distances must be uploaded before 31 January 2020 for spring term and 22 May 2020 for summer term. The final challenge distances must be uploaded before 1 May 2020 for spring term and 23 July  2020 for the summer term.
  • 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.
  • What happens to my pupils' data I add in the schools area?
    We take data protection very seriuosly at School Swimathon and have taken steps to ensure that all data stored on our system is held securely. Participant data is held for 24 months from the event delivery date, at which point it is then destroyed. Data is encrypted in the database and there is an SSL certificate on the site to protect it when in transit. We request a minimal amount of information regarding each pupil so that we are not storing unnecessary data. To protect the privacy of Under 18s, we only request the first name and surname initial of each pupil and do not capture date of birth information.

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.