A THIRD of all children leaving primary schools in Runcorn are unable to swim, a study has revealed.

Swim England found that 31 per cent of pupils had no basic water safety skills and could not swim.

Two thirds of parents also feared their children could not save themselves in water.

Rachel Bateson Franchise, manager of swim school, Puddle Ducks which runs a swim academy at Beechwood community pool, said: “I was really surprised to read the findings.

“We actively encourage swimming from an early age as the water provides a supportive, fun and socially stimulating environment for babies and children to learn.

“We believe that every child should have the opportunity to learn to swim, so we’re inviting primary school aged children to our pools across Runcorn to enjoy a free swim academy lesson.”