Jon Glenn from the Amateur Swimming Association said "parents have a role to play as well" as the schools, when encouraging children to learn to swim.
He said: "If families do not swim, it is unlikely that you will take your families swimming as well because you feel uncomfortable, nervous in and around the water, so starting at an early age is really important.
"Once they've learnt those basic skills once you get to school and you have those lessons you can really pick up the strokes a lot quicker."
More top news
Five people were taken to hospital after walking on coals at a Tony Robbins seminar called 'Unleash the Power Within'.
An emergency meeting will be held today to discuss the Scottish government's next steps following the UK's decision to leave the EU.
As Muse made their third headlining appearance at Glastonbury, Jess Glynne appeared for her debut while Damon Albarn also starred.