Free swimming lessons for children

Published: Friday, March 15, 2024

  • Free swimming lessons will be available for children in school years 5-7.  
  • All Wandsworth children aged under eight can swim for free in Wandsworth. 
  • Making Wandsworth a fairer place to live with high-quality services accessible to all. 

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This is in addition to the existing free off-peak gym and swimming sessions at council leisure and sports centres available to residents of all ages on a range of benefits.

The council is working with their contractors Places Leisure and Enable to open up services for all and ensure no-one is priced out of keeping fit, happy and active.  

'No child must be priced out of learning this vital skill'

Free swimming will be for children aged eight and under who live in the borough. One adult is required per two children.

From April 2024, free swimming lessons will be on offer during school holidays for children in school years 5-7 (aged between 9 and 12) who have not reached the required Key Stage 2 swimming level set out in the National Curriculum.

Register your interest by filling out the short form on Places Leisure website.

Young people up to the age of 18 who receive free school meals can swim for free, with a parent or guardian looking after one or two children, and can use the free junior gym which is open to young people aged 11-15.

Judi Gasser, cabinet member for environment, said: “We are making the borough fairer and making sure high-quality services are accessible to all.

“It’s crucial that everyone can use our leisure facilities to keep fit and well, and all children must have the opportunity to learn to swim. No child must be priced out of learning this vital skill.”

Find out more about the free sports, gym and swim offer

Free gym and swim off-peak sessions are available to residents receiving Universal Credit and range of other benefits including Housing Benefit, Income Support, Council Tax Support and Pension Credit. Off-peak sessions are before 5.30pm on weekdays and all day at weekends. They can also also make a free sports booking, such as squash courts, during off peak hours.

Expansion of the free swimming scheme follows other initiatives to help people with the cost of living, including: