AS deaths across the country reach 15, experts are pushing for more water safety education in schools.

Two children, a brother and sister aged 11 and six, were rescued from the river Arrow near Redditch last Wednes-day but two deaths happened in the river Wear and another in Cumbria on the same day.

Earlier this month, two men died in the waters of Gullet Quarry, Malvern Hills, within the space of a week.

The Swimming Teachers Association (STA) – the world’s largest swimming teaching and lifesaving organisation – is calling for more to be done to educate children and teenagers about water safety and the dangers of swimming in open water.

Theo Millward, operations director, said one drowning is tragic but 15 in the matter of a few weeks is very serious, and children from a young age should be taught to ensure they have a greater awareness of the threats and hazards water can present.

“With young people drowning needlessly, it is abundantly clear that swimming and water safety is a life skill that should be an essential part of the education curriculum – like reading and writing,” he said.

At present, the National Curriculum in England says a child in key stage two must be able to swim a recognised stroke for 25 metres and be able to demonstrate water survival skills. But as one in three children fails to meet these requirements across the country and more people are swimming in open water during the hotter weather, swimming organisations are calling for it to become more of a priority.

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