CHILDREN in the UK are leaving primary school without basic life skills such as being able to swim or ride a bike.

According to a recent study, almost one in six (16 per cent) primary school leavers are unable to swim, despite the national curriculum stating that all children should be able to swim 25 metres by this time.

The research, by watch and sunglasses specialist, Tic Watches, also suggests that boys are less likely than their female peers to leave primary school without the ability to swim, with 15 per cent of parents reporting their son left school without this life skill, compared to 18 per cent of girls.

The data also showed over one in ten (13 per cent) of 11-12 year olds cannot ride a bike, whilst 9 per cent are unable to use a watch to tell the time.

This trend continued in other areas, with one in ten boys reportedly leaving primary school unable to ride a bike (10 per cent), compared to one in six girls (16 per cent) and a tenth (10 per cent) of girls unable to tell the time, in comparison to 8 per cent of boys at this age. The most common basic skills that UK children leave primary school without are:

1. Swimming (16%)

2. Riding a bike (13%)

3. Knowing their times tables (13%)

4. Reading full sentences (10%)

5. Brushing their own teeth (10%)

Danny Richmond, managing director of Tic Watches, said: “This research illustrates the importance of teaching children to be active from an early age, and that it is vital to invest time teaching them how to swim whilst they’re still young.”

“Studies have shown that we learn best at a young age, so it’s important that parents give their children the opportunities to learn and experience these activities as early as possible to help the development of these skills.”