100,000 Lessons From British Gas’ Pools 4 Schools


A direct, immediate and physical approach to skills training, British Gas’ ‘Pools 4 Schools’ scheme physically puts swimming pools into schools and communities across the UK. Pools 4 Schools installs specially designed mobile pools in school halls and gyms, provides teachers and sometimes elite swimming stars for support and then opens them up to both pupils and community groups.


The programme has identified areas defined as being ‘aquatically deprived’ and is aiming to use these mobile pools to teach thousands of children to swim. It is an an attempt to react and rectify statistics showing that in some communities four out of five kids were unable to swim upon leaving primary school.


Linked to the utilities giant’s wider sponsorship of British Swimming and the government’s Department of Children Schools and Families, the idea behind the activity came from Olympic medallist and British swimmer Steve Parry.


The 12m by 6m pool can be built in almost any space and is designed for primary teaching. Each pool is typically in situ for 6 weeks, during which time the programme offers two teachers and 5 hours plus teaching per pupil as they work towards National Curriculum requirements. Outside school hours thee focus usually switches to the local community with adult classes, lifeguard training and aquatic fitness programmes.


Since its launch in May 2009 the programme has reached 160 schools, provided 100,000 swimming lessons and by July 201 had met its initial objective of teaching 10,000 non-swimmers to swim 25 meters unaided.




Today’s best sponsorship initiatives have clear objectives – and these are no longer just about reach and eyeballs – and with this scheme the aim couldn’t be simpler.


Pre-programme research found that 1 in five children leave primary school unable to swim and British Gas is determined to address this. There are multiple factors contributing to the problem including a lack of facilities, pool closures, local authority cuts, expensive transport and low levels of education and information. All of these are being taken in to account in the Pools 4 Schools initiative.


Thus far, results have been impressive and the brand is able to point to fact-based progress and a clear contribution.


British Gas Pools 4 Schools – YouTube




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