More children may drown without better school swimming provision, the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) has warned.
Half of seven- to 11-year-olds in England, some 1.1 million children, cannot swim the length of a standard pool, research suggests.
Only 2% of schools surveyed delivered the government’s recommended 22 hours a year of swimming lessons.
The report says Ofsted should focus PE inspections on swimming as “it is the only sport that can save lives”.
Some 407 people died from drowning in 2011, according to the most recent figures from the National Water Safety Forum. Of these, 47 were aged under 19.
“These numbers could increase in future if the current issues with school swimming programmes are not addressed,” warns the report.