New specialist swim school to strengthen vital student programs

  • New School of Swimming and Water Safety to deliver high-quality water safety education across Western Australia
  • $3.3 million Cook Labor Government investment to benefit 250,000 young Western Australians who access school and vacation swimming lessons each year
  • Improved accessibility to swimming and water safety programs to ensure more young people learn how to swim and stay safe around water

The Cook Labor Government will invest $3.3 million to establish a specialist School of Swimming and Water Safety to deliver vital swimming programs for Western Australian school students.

Funded as part of the 2024-25 State Budget, the establishment of this specialist school is an endorsement of the 100-year success of the Department of Education’s current swimming program.

It will build upon the delivery of VacSwim and in-term school swimming programs, as well as specialist programs for students with accessibility challenges who may not usually participate.

From 2025, the School of Swimming and Water Safety will be led by permanent expert staff supported by seasonal instructors.

Additional training and professional development will be provided to strengthen workforce skills and ensure a culturally responsive learning approach for all students.

A greater focus will also be placed on aligning swimming and water safety programs with the Health and Physical Education curriculum, and integrating them with classroom practices and resources.

More than 220,000 school students are expected to take part in swimming lessons during the 2024 school year, with at least 30,000 more forecast to enrol in summer VacSwim.

As stated by Education Minister Dr Tony Buti:

“As a former VacSwim instructor, I understand that learning to swim and being safe around water are essential skills for every child in WA.

“This State has a 100-year history of school swimming and water safety programs, and this new specialist School of Swimming and Water Safety will strengthen delivery of these important programs.

“It is vital that our schools continue to deliver the comprehensive swimming and water safety programs in Australia to as many students as possible.

“Establishing the school will ensure that resources are strengthened for water safety programs and that accessibility is improved, particularly for children who may not have participated in the past.”

/Public Release. View in full here.