Dundee City Council has scrapped all school swimming lessons for primary pupils.
The decision has been taken following discussions with head teachers. Taking children out of school for lessons was not “efficient”.
The council said schools which want to continue teaching pupils to swim could use Pupil Equity Funding provided by the Scottish Government to cut the attainment gap to pay for lessons.
Lochee Labour councillor Michael Marra said axeing lessons was a “direct result of SNP cuts”.
Sharon MacDonald, director of development at Scottish Swimming, said the decision was “disappointing” and that without lessons many children from poorer backgrounds will no longer get the chance to learn to swim.
She said: “It is very disappointing but Dundee is not the first and it will not be the last council in Scotland to do this.
“There is a direct correlation between a pupil’s economic background and learning to swim, so for some children if they don’t learn to swim at school, they won’t learn at all. But we understand the economic pressures councils are under.”
The Scottish Government provided grants to encourage children from disadvantaged areas to learn to swim but this scheme ended in 2015.
Unlike England, there is no obligation to teach children swimming in Scotland.
Ms MacDonald said, as well as health benefits, learning to swim also teaches children about water safety.
She said: “Previous research found 40% of children could not swim 25 metres, which is not great for a country with a lot of open water and lochs.”
Mr Marra said: “Scrapping swimming instruction in our primary schools is the direct result of SNP cuts from Edinburgh being passed on by the SNP in Dundee.
“Most kids will now go without swimming lessons. There is a two-year waiting list for council swimming and that is if you can afford to pay the fees.”
A spokesman for Dundee City Council said: “Following discussions with primary head teachers it was agreed that swimming lessons for pupils in their current form were not the most effective or efficient way of delivering the curriculum.
“In some cases a class could be out of school for up to two hours and only have 20 minutes in the pool.
“Head teachers have been given the opportunity to explore how swimming lessons can be delivered through the Pupil Equity Fund and Dundee’s Leisure Family Swimming Initiative.”