Department program

Swimming in schools

The Victorian Budget 2021/22 invests funding of $55.2 million between 2022 and 2024 to Victorian government primary, English language, and specialist schools as well as Catholic primary schools to continue and improve the delivery of swimming and water safety education programs. This includes the continuation of the Public Water Safety Initiative, delivering workshops, tools and other resources to improve students’ swimming and water safety competency.

​​​​The Swimming in Schools initiative provides funding for the delivery of quality swimming and water safety education so all students have the opportunity to:

  • learn how to swim
  • develop lifelong skills in water safety to reduce their risk of drowning and injury.

By the end of primary school, it is anticipated that students should be able to demonstrate the knowledge and skills identified in the Victorian Water Safety Certificate.

The Certificate is awarded when a student can:

  • swim 50m continuously
  • answer water safety-based questions
  • perform simple rescues.

School swimming outside of school hours voucher program 

Swimming vouchers are available to students who had their school swimming and water safety programs cancelled due to COVID-19. 

The department has developed a School Swimming Outside of School Hours Voucher program to support schools to continue to meet the Victorian curriculum requirements for swimming and water safety. 

Through the Swimming in Schools initiative, schools are funded to provide up to 10 swimming lessons per year for students from Prep to Year 6. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many schools have had to cancel their planned swimming and water safety programs in 2020 and 2021. 

The School Swimming Outside of School Hours Voucher program will provide the opportunity for current primary school students who missed out on school swimming lessons to catch up. 

 For more information, see the relevant Frequently Asked Questions below: 

Teach swimming and water safety

Deliver swimming and water safety as part of the health and physical education curriculum.

Policy information

Swimming and water safety policy for principals and school leaders.

Funding for schools

The Swimming in Schools initiative provides funding to support schools to fulfil the swimming and water safety requirements of Health and Physical Education in the Victorian Curriculum F-10.

The  Victorian Budget 2021/22 allocated $55.2 million between 2022 and 2024 to swimming and water safety education in Victorian government primary, specialist, and English language schools as well as Catholic primary schools. This funding builds on the $46 million already invested in swimming and water safety education since 2017. 

In addition to this, the Budget includes $15.1 million for the cost of transport to aquatic facilities for Victorian government school students undertaking swimming and water safety programs.

$2.5 million has been allocated towards school swimming and water safety education through the Public Water Safety initiative. Life Saving Victoria will be developing further resources and continuing professional development and training in aquatic qualifications for:

  • teachers
  • parents
  • VCE/VET students
  • pre-service teachers.

Government schools funding

Funding that covers the cost of swimming and water safety programs for Victorian government primary schools will be distributed through the Student Resource Package: Swimming in Schools (reference 115).

Catholic schools funding

Catholic primary schools will receive funding directly from the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria.

Additional funding

Schools may be eligible for additional funding through the following programs: