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Opinions Please

(90 Posts)
treas Thu 22-Nov-12 18:18:18

This morning I went to the early bird swim session at the local pool.

On completing my 2 mile swim, [hark at her]grin, pupils from my dd's school were sat on the side waiting for the start of their lesson. These were children from my dd's yr but not her class - she will swim in Januarysad

The pupils were v. v. well behaved when suddenly there was a buzz of chatter as the message "Miss is getting in" passed around the group and I turned to see a woman in her swimming costume walking down the side. She then told the group "No I'm not!"

Anyway! Once I had finished changing I had to go back on poolside to get my googles and saw "Miss" swimming lengths while the children were taught by the hired swimming teachers.

AIBU to think that "Miss" who was in charge of the class should not have been having a freebie swim and should have been keeping an eye on the children in a behaviour rather than swimming teaching capacity?

So really I'd like to know:

1/ How would you feel if your child had been in this lesson?

2/ If IANBU should I raise the issue with the school?

Maryz Sun 25-Nov-12 22:59:50

Flow summed up your posts quite nicely ken. In most of them you say (and I'm paraphrasing here) "you may have an opinion, but I know what I'm talking about and you are not correct".

Which is the same as pompously telling everyone you think you are righter than they are.

[sigh]

NotaDisneyMum Sun 25-Nov-12 15:52:54

Sorry - I've missed the bit where the OP confirmed this was definitely a TA

I thought that it was an adult the OP didn't know who the DCs referred to as Miss, and who was partly fulfilling a role previously carried out by a TA that the OP knows.

flow4 Sun 25-Nov-12 15:39:42

It's good to hear you are so clear about the terms and conditions of your employment, ken. It's more than likely that this TA is too. smile

kenanddreary Sun 25-Nov-12 15:34:04

Thank you for making my points again for me flow - I couldn't have put it better myself! wink.

Still haven't quite managed to find the quotes attributed to me by Maryz though have you? smile

Anyway - life is too short to be embroiled in this debate any longer. My final thought is that despite needing some exercise, I certainly won't be having a quick dip during swimming lessons this week as without a doubt my HT would suspend me.

Treas - good luck with finding some answers if that is what you decide to do smile

flow4 Sun 25-Nov-12 15:32:54

My point too ihear... smile

ihearsounds Sun 25-Nov-12 15:24:50

How many students were at the group?

Also, if say there was a serious accident that required student to go hospital, there would be serious problems. How could she represent the school and go hospital with the student leaving the rest of the group unattended? So the real problem is not about her swimming, but about the wrong ratio for visits outside the school.

flow4 Sun 25-Nov-12 15:20:05

Then perhaps that is a problem, treas, because:

- Only a level 3 TA is allowed to be in charge of children without supervision (and most schools don't have many level 3 TAs any more).
- Teachers and management staff, not TAs, are responsible for doing risk assessments.
- Pupil:staff ratios vary according to activity and LA, but I have never come across one that accepts fewer than 2 adults with any group on a trip outside school.
- Many schools are varying and reducing the contracts of TAs, so that they are not contracted or paid for breaks or for non-contact time. It is perfectly possible that she is only being paid to supervise the kids to the poolside, or even just to the building.

So if you really feel YANBU to talk to the head teacher about staff supervision at the pool, I think you should take your focus off this individual incident and TA, and ask some questions about the more general issues.

EvilTwins Sun 25-Nov-12 15:14:42

Treas, do you KNOW that? Could it be possible that another member if school staff had popped to the loo? Or was talking to the sports centre manager? Or had stepped outside to take a phone call? I would be surprised if only one member of staff had gone on the bus- I teach secondary and we have to have more than one. AFAIK, the accepted ratio is 1:10 for that age group. We have to have 1:15 for KS3 kids, 1:20 for KS4/5.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 25-Nov-12 15:08:45

Just to add to the debate - our local school employs people solely to escort DCs when travelling between off-site destinations and school, and they are not required or paid to supervise the DCs while at the off-site location.

Swimming lessons is a classic example of when this happens - the DCs are escorted by the paid escort to walk there, the escort then leaves, returning to escort the DCs back to school an hour later.

So, perhaps 'Miss' was swimming in her own time? wink

treas Sun 25-Nov-12 14:59:30

Bollocks - representative

treas Sun 25-Nov-12 14:58:39

ihearsounds - actually she was the only member of school staff staff their.

The other swimming teachers are brought in from outside the school - therefore, the TA is the school's only representive.

ihearsounds Sun 25-Nov-12 14:47:34

How many members of staff from the school were also present.
The TA CAnnot be the only member of staff there.
So it doesn't really matter what she was doing because there would be other staff from the school to monitor the students.
Maybe the staff take it in turns to have a swim.

flow4 Sun 25-Nov-12 14:36:45

I think I can help you out there ken...

"And apart from health and safety...this is a PE lesson and the teacher should be watching and recording notes in order to be able to assess the progress of the children!! How on earth can proper feedback be given to parents either verbally or in school reports if the teacher hasn't bothered to watch the swimming lessons?^

"I have certainly never 'sat in the spectator area reading a book and having a coffee'!"

"It's no different to walking out of school in the middle of the day and heading off to McD's for a quick burger."

"Well you might not agree bruffin but unfortunately you are not able to deny that within the LA I work in it is not the case that teachers stay behind at school"

"Obviously the health and safety guidelines and the risk assessment that absolutely should be in place for every school trip off-site, swimming pool or otherwise, are completely passing some posters by. Incidentally I only ever post on threads where I feel I have adequate knowledge to contribute. But you can of course ignore the opinions of a long qualified and very experienced teacher!

(All my italics)

I don't know about the 'arse' bit, but that definitely sounds pompous to me.

kenanddreary Sun 25-Nov-12 13:41:58

Lol @ Maryz - 'you sound like a pompous arse'!! grin

Maryz - could you just help me out a little by finding the quotes where I 'repeatedly' said 'I know I am right', 'as a teacher I am right', 'everyone else is wrong and doesn't know what they are talking about '...because all I can find are:
'that's fine and of course your opinion'
'IME' (in other words not a universal phenomenon)
'I wouldn't deny that in your LA teachers do not go with the children'
Oh and I have also stated some documented facts about the teaching profession which are simply that - just facts about contracts which we can't get away from.

HTH smile

Maryz Sun 25-Nov-12 13:15:42

That's fine then, my argument isn't with you. It's with ken, who keeps repeatedly telling everyone their opinions are wrong.

treas Sun 25-Nov-12 13:13:45

Maryz - actually its not that I don't like your opinion, just that I don't necessarily agree with it, however, I find it just as valid as anyone who does agree with my concerns.

Maryz Sun 25-Nov-12 13:11:25

That should be "She isn't having a discussion" - don't know where that bit of post went confused.

Maryz Sun 25-Nov-12 13:10:46

Well actually, ken keeps saying that she is right because she just knows she is right and as a teacher she is right and everyone else is wrong and doesn't know what they are talking about.

Those are the types of opinions that make people sound like pompous arses. She isn't discussion, she is just telling everyone that she is right. Full Stop.

And I disagree with her. I think she isn't right.

I wasn't nasty, I just stated my opinion. Which is what you asked for of course. It isn't my fault you don't like my opinion.

treas Sun 25-Nov-12 13:02:40

whois - No not a silly post just asking for peoples opinions, of which there have been several.

treas Sun 25-Nov-12 13:00:23

Maryz - You don't need to get personal. You disagree with me and kenanddreary so what. We haven't made personal comments on what we think of your posts so why do you feel justified to be nasty.

Maryz Sun 25-Nov-12 12:51:59

You know ken, your posts really make you sound like a pompous arse.

kenanddreary Sun 25-Nov-12 12:45:53

Obviously the health and safety guidelines and the risk assessment that absolutely should be in place for every school trip off-site, swimming pool or otherwise, are completely passing some posters by. Incidentally I only ever post on threads where I feel I have adequate knowledge to contribute. But you can of course ignore the opinions of a long qualified and very experienced teacher! smile I can't help thinking that if this was a trip to a museum, for example, and the teacher left to have a cup of tea in the cafe leaving the children with the curator, there would be an outcry. And it wouldn't matter to them whether or not the curator was CRB checked, had vast experience of showing groups around the museum, or knew far more than the teacher about the exhibition. People simply wouldn't be happy!

But I digress...my final point is this: whatever you think of teachers/TAs having their own time to swim during a lesson, the contract for staff in every school in the country is the same - they have to fulfill their hours (directed time) and this is in school time and does not mean they can take a break whenever they feel like it to pursue a leisure activity. Oh what a wonderful thing that would be grin!

whois Sun 25-Nov-12 12:26:28

What a silly post.

You were being totally U about the TA/teacher being in the pool.

1. She was probably only needed to supervise coach and changing. If she get dried off before the class finishes whats the issue.
2. She isn't there to save lives (life guard instincts kicking in, ha ha!) that's for the instructors and/or lifeguard.
3. Any medical attention will be provided by the trained staff, not the TA. If its something minor like a kid just feeling a bit sick then then need to get dried off anyway so the TA would also have a chance to get died off.
4. She is setting a good example.

I would suggest a grip is got...

flow4 Sun 25-Nov-12 12:10:24

If it's an issue of supervision, then actually, one TA is not enough. If there was any kind of incident that required a TA to do anything, then all the other children would be left unsupervised. It MUST be the case that the pool staff undertake full responsibility for the children during the swimming lesson, leaving the TA free to do whatever she likes.

I like the idea that the TA is in the pool. She's setting a really good example of (a) keeping fit, (b) doing what the school is expecting the children to do, and (c) using her spare time constructively. smile

I have never ever had any feedback from any member of staff about any aspect of my children's swimming abilities. I'm quite excited by the idea that I should have done, and if I still had a child this age, I might be asking for it now!

kenanddreary Sun 25-Nov-12 11:53:39

That's fine - and of course your opinion. IME I have found that parents love to hear about more than simply the actual swimming ability of their children. Just saying! Have been in education a very long time and basing my posts on that.

But I think we are going off point a little here as it wasn't the focus of the original OP.

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