Outsourcing Swimming Education-Experiences and Challenges

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Dec 22;18(1):6. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18010006.


In Norway, swimming and lifesaving education (swimming education) is an obligatory part of physical education, with explicit learning aims after grade four. After recent reports of Norwegian pupils achieving low scores in swimming abilities, the Government has outlined strategies for improving swimming education. There is a notable trend toward using external providers in delivering swimming education. This article examines the outsourcing of swimming education in Norwegian primary schools. Eighteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with school leaders, physical education teachers and swimming instructors involved in outsourcing arrangements. The outsourcing was organized through private providers, municipalities, or local swimming clubs. Data were analyzed thematically and separated into highlighted areas of outsourcing practices. The results showed that outsourcing may be a solution for schools that lack staff with swimming experience and knowledge. It also indicates that teacher courses, professional development through collaboration, and strategies for measuring quality would improve swimming education.

Keywords: elementary school; external providers; pedagogy; physical education; swimming abilities.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Norway
  • Outsourced Services*
  • Physical Education and Training*
  • Schools
  • Swimming / education*