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Local Swimming School Taking Action to Make Children Water Safe and Reduce Risks of Accidental Drowning this Summer

Every year, several hundred children in the UK die from accidental drowning with more occurring during the summer months when children spend more time in the water.

Local Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire-based swim school-owner and instructor; Neil

Marshall, commented: “It is my mission to make the children we teach water-safe and reduce the risks of them drowning accidentally. Most parents’ of children I teach tell me the most important thing for them is for their child or children to be safe in the water - not to become an Olympic Swimmer”.

The Swim England Learn to Swim programme is the leading national swimming teaching syllabus in the UK used by swimming schools to deliver safe, inclusive, and effective swimming lessons for children. However, the recently launched Water Safety Awards have a different purpose – they have been developed by Swim England in partnership with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Royal Lifesaving Society UK (RLSS UK).  The aim of these awards is to teach children water danger awareness, self-rescue techniques and vital survival skills in clothes, without swimming goggles.

Neil continues: “The new Water Safety Awards are voluntary, and a lot of swimming schools are choosing not to teach them.  However, I consider the awards to be vital in helping keep children safe should they get in trouble in the water – be that in the sea, a swimming pool, a river, a lake, a reservoir or even a paddling pool in the back garden.  Therefore we teach the Water Safety Awards to all our learners from day one and include them in all of our lessons every week”.

This summer, Neil’s Swim School4ALL is going to be running 2 and 3 day Swim England Water Safety Award crash courses during the school holidays, to make even more children water-safe and reduce the risks of accidental deaths by drowning amongst them.  Neil says: “With the warmer weather and summer holidays fast approaching, children will be spending more time in the water than during other times of year, therefore, this is the best time to run these intensive courses for children”.

The Water Safety Awards consist of:

Water Safety Award 1:

·      Learn basic water safety awareness.

·      Practice survival techniques such as – floating, treading water and resurfacing (without goggles).


Water Safety Award 2:

·      Swimming in clothes.

·      Leaning the key water safety messages from RNLI and RLSS

·      Being confident in essential personal survival techniques such as – Heat Escape Lessening Position (HELP).

Water Safety Award 3:

·      Completing this final award will mean that there is a full understanding of how to perform safe self-rescue in both open and pool-based water situations, and how to react should you accidentally fall into water.

Neil’s Swim School4ALL will be running Water Safety Crash Courses for children of all ages at pools in Bedford, Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas throughout the school summer holidays. To find out more and book a place, visit the website and complete an enquiry form at  

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