School pools and swimming lessons

The New Zealand curriculum specifies that all children should get the opportunity, through school, to learn basic aquatic skills by the end of Year 6.

Whether schools provide that opportunity in their own school pool, at a neighbouring school pool, or a community facility is up to them.

Many schools choose to use community pools because they operate year round and provide access to trained instructors.

School pools tend to be outdoors, colder, and open for only a few months a year. They're also expensive to build and maintain.

For these reasons the Ministry doesn't fund:

  • pools in new schools, or
  • the replacement of pools at the end of their economic life.

Our school property section has more information about our swimming pool policy, and a list of schools that have pools.

Pools: List of New Zealand school pools(external link)

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