Access to swimming tuition and water safety skills differs across the UK, most notably there is often a disparity for those from low-income and ethnically diverse family groups. This includes both any curricular provision and extra-curricular activity. The most recent data shared through the 2022 Active Lives Survey shows that only 34.7% of children from low-affluence families are able swim 25m unaided compared to 76.4% from high-income families (76.4%).

Water Smart Schools requires a holistic, whole school approach that is pupil-led, bringing the classroom and the outdoors together through a process of encouraged experiential learning.