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We have been pleasantly surprised since the return of the Manchester School Swimming Programme in September, 78% of the schools returned following consultation over the Summer period where MCRactive worked with all 5 pool operators (GLL, Everyone Active, Love Withington Baths, Broadway Community Development Group and Wright Robinson High School) to ensure the sessions could be delivered safely.  
There are currently 171 sessions being delivered per week across 10 facilities. There are a total of 6,255 pupils attending per week and since the programme has returned since September the distance swam by our pupils is approximately 5,000,000 metres, equivalent to 3,106 miles. This is like swimming from Manchester to Montreal, Canada.

We kept in communication with all schools to provide them with regular updates throughout the summer holidays and shared all guidance and resources with them, this obviously gave them confidence that processes and operations within the centres were to a high standard. 
Manchester is one of a small number of programmes that have started back up across the whole of the country; and here in Manchester we are committed to ensuring that we support schools in delivering the compulsory element of the key stage 2 National Curriculum, whereby all pupils by the time they leave primary school should be able to achieve the following – 
1. Perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations
2. Swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres
3. Use a range of strokes effectively, for example, front crawl, backstroke and breaststroke.
The support from the schools is fantastic as they understand the importance of teaching their pupils to swim – “Thanks very much for making sure that our children can still access Manchester swimming lessons. Our children love swimming and we have worked hard with your team to ensure that all children learn to swim before they leave primary school. We did Risk Assess the first swimming lessons in September and were very impressed with the standard of safety and care at Arcadia  leisure centre. Much appreciated” Head teacher
Manchester City Council's Executive Member for Skills, Culture and Leisure, Councillor Luthfur Rahman OBE, said:

Swimming is an essential life skill and we're committed to making sure that children in Manchester don't miss out on what is a vital part of their curriculum.

Working closely with our schools and leisure providers has been key to ensuring that lessons for primary school-aged pupils right across the city have been able to continue in a Covid-safe way.

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