Water Safety Scotland Launches New Education Resources For Schools

Water Safety Scotland (WSS), in partnership with Education Scotland, has officially launched its first instalment of free water safety educational resources for schools and practitioners in Scotland.

Water Safety Scotland, which is committed to reducing accidental drowning deaths in Scotland by 50 per cent by 2026, introduced the initiative to provide a consistent level of learning across Scotland’s educational institutions in a bid to equip Scottish youth with the knowledge and skills required to reduce water-based accidents.

Laura Erskine, Water Safety Scotland’s Education Subgroup Chair, said: “On average, there are 96 water-related fatalities in Scotland each year. We aim to reduce the number of deaths from accidental drowning by 50 per cent by 2026 by driving a generational change in water safety in Scotland. We want to encourage safe and responsible access to Scotland’s waterways, which can be a positive and enjoyable experience for young people when coupled with appropriate risk awareness and education.”

The materials aim to provide consistent and curriculum-aligned information which feeds into a full progression pathway created specifically for water safety in Scotland. Starting from children aged 3, the resource set will instruct and inform young people right up to the age of 18 and has been endorsed by a wealth of supporting partner agencies.

Gayle Gorman, Chief Executive of Education Scotland said: “Every year we hear of tragic accidents taking place in Scotland’s waters as many young people are not aware of the dangers of swimming in open waters.
“That is why we welcomed the opportunity to work with Water Safety Scotland to develop educational materials that aim to increase awareness of water safety. We hope that this information will reach as many children and young people as possible to ensure they are aware of the dangers that come with going into open water.”

Scheduled for a staggered release over the next nine months, the first set of lessons is being released on Tuesday, April 26. Specifically focusing on the Third/Fourth level within the five tiers of the Scottish curriculum, it can be accessed via Education Scotland’s National Hub or through the Water Safety Scotland website.

Intrinsically linked to WSS’ Water Safety Code, which was created to help people enjoy Scotland’s waterways as safely as possible, it follows three key pieces of advice:
• Stop and Think, Spot the Dangers
• Stay Together, Stay Close
• In an Emergency, Call 999.

Education is a key part of Scotland’s Drowning Prevention Strategy, which has now entered its fifth year. An interim review was published earlier this year and was launched by the Minister for Community Safety, Ash Regan, along with the Ministerial Action Plan for Water Safety.

Community Safety Minister Ash Regan said: “I would like to thank Education Scotland, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and Water Safety Scotland for their excellent collaborative work in creating this fantastic resource which will help to educate children about keeping themselves and their friends safe around water.
“This is a vital part of the work being taken forward across Scotland to improve public safety, including the recent launch of the Water Safety Action Plan drawn up by the Scottish Government and a range of key partners.”

Water Safety Scotland aims to roll out the next phase of this initiative in late May and will continue this strategy during the rest of 2022.

About Us
Drowning is among the leading causes of accidental deaths in Scotland.

Water Safety Scotland is a voluntary association of organisations and individuals whose main purpose is to understand the risks around water in Scotland and engage with partners to develop a consistent approach to the prevention of water related fatalities


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