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Angry with swim club

(26 Posts)
Malotkins Thu 07-Jul-16 21:38:50

My 3 almost 4 year old son has been having swimming lessons every Saturday for almost a year and loves it. He is doing really well and is confident in the water. He swims with his face in the water and using a noodle or float. He's just got his stage 2 badge.

Where he goes there are other classes happening in different parts of the pool, my other son also swims at the same time. Two weeks ago his class moved across to the next lane from the shallow end that he was used to. He was swimming across with a float and went off course going into a deeper area. Half way across he got into difficulty and started to sink, struggling to keep his head out of the water. The instructor was facing the children at one end of the pool and the helper was looking at the children at the other end of the pool so no one was watching him even though he was on his own in the middle. It was only when one the mums asked me is he ok that I saw he was in trouble. By this time he was really in trouble. I ran over and had to get the attention of the assistant who had not seen what was happening. When she realised what happened she swam over and brought him back to the side. No member of staff had noticed something was happening despite the fact me and another mum had ran over to the side of the pool. It was like they had forgotten about him. He was really shocked and upset although did get back into the pool with the instructor. Luckily the pool was quiet that day so he was noticed by a mum. If the pool was busy he may not have been noticed at all.

I was pretty upset but by the time I got home I was so angry. No one asked me at the end of class what happened or if he was ok. I emailed them straight away and had a holding email from them on the Monday saying the directors would investigate. Since then, nothing despite chasing them three times and asking for a copy of their health and safety policy. The assistant was about 12 years old! They often have young helpers. It will have been 2 weeks on Saturday since it happened and we went last week when it wasn't even mentioned.

Am I wrong in thinking they should be taking this more seriously? Should they at least have acknowledged it when it happened and filled out a form or something? We have decided not to renew our classes in September.

Sorry for the long post.

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Thu 07-Jul-16 22:33:47

Good Lord of course this should have been taken more seriously. Im not surprised you're angry. Your poor boy.
I wouldn't know who to report it to though. But there has to be a relevant body.
Hopefully someone more cleverer than me will be a long soon.
Will bump this up as a thread like this needs traffic. It can't disappear.

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Thu 07-Jul-16 22:34:02


Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Thu 07-Jul-16 22:34:20


Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Thu 07-Jul-16 22:34:33


PseudoBadger Thu 07-Jul-16 22:36:08

Report it to your local council environmental health department please

VanillaSugar Thu 07-Jul-16 22:36:11

Marking my place.

Blink1982 Thu 07-Jul-16 22:52:45

My god. I hope the reason they r taking so long to get back to you is because they have now realised how rediculous they have been and how dangerous that was and how much worse the outcome could of been. My boy is 3.5 but he's not confident enough to go to the next stage and swim alone yet. I can only imagine how scary it was for you both and I hope it's long forgotten for him.

Blink1982 Thu 07-Jul-16 22:53:29

I'd start emailing the club daily for a reply 😀

Beeziekn33ze Thu 07-Jul-16 23:00:15

Local authority pool or private one? No lifeguard in attendance? I assume they charge for lessons. And the assistant is a 12 year old child?!
The assistant couldn't be expected to take responsibility for safety. I think the instructor was very lucky not to have a far more serious situation to deal with. Shocked at lack of interest and slow response from adults employed there and directors.
Glad DS was all right, hope both your DC continue to enjoy swimming.

nancy75 Thu 07-Jul-16 23:03:15

That is terrible, I am amazed they don't have a life guard on duty as well as the instructor.
It is possible that the staff they need to speak to about the incident don't work everyday and that is why it is taking a while to get back to you, although if that is the case they should have told you this.

AppleMagic Thu 07-Jul-16 23:03:45


Does the pool have cctv? If so, I'd be asking for a copy of the footage. I think you've been significantly more relaxed about it than I would have been.

BeenThereTooSEL Thu 07-Jul-16 23:08:19

Email the pool again telling them if they do not contact you by XXXXX you will be going to the press. That'll put a fire under their arse

CotswoldStrife Thu 07-Jul-16 23:23:53

Have you considered contacting the ASA (swimming association) for advice?

The swim school/pool should have been in contact with you though.

BackforGood Thu 07-Jul-16 23:27:25

IME with littlies learning at a swimming club, the teachers are trained lifeguards.
The classes are such that the teacher is in ratio to the number of pupils.
The teens in the water are 'additional help' , not responsible for the dc in tneir own right.

Not answering your quesion op, just pojnts others have raised.

LauderSyme Fri 08-Jul-16 00:39:12

Of course you're right to be angry! Surely they breached their duty of care? You were entitled to believe your ds would be safe, but he wasn't.
God it really doesn't bear thinking about... and yet they have behaved since as if it was nothing. angry
I hear that complaining on the social media pages of the offending party gets a pretty rapid and fulsome response.
I wouldn't bother to give them any warning though, they've had enough time already.

genericusername1 Fri 08-Jul-16 03:04:47

Fucking hell I got shivers reading that! Yanbu at all! I would contact the council now, they have had long enough to deal with this.

MyFriendsCallMeOh Fri 08-Jul-16 03:31:30

This is terrible, you Ned to take it as far as you can. I'm a swimming teacher (Australian qualified) and in that system, children who are not yet independent in the water always swim with a parent or caregiver or 1:1 with a teacher. Always amazes me that one teacher can be responsible for more than 1 child.

mylovegoesdown Fri 08-Jul-16 07:49:26

It definitely needs looking into but also, why didn't you see that he was in trouble and had to be told by another Mum?

Leggytadpole Fri 08-Jul-16 08:00:55

No need for that mylovegoesdown, she doesn't need to have her eyes on her child every second when he should be supervised by the pool staff. This is absolutely not her fault.

YANBU malotkins, what an awful thing to happen. I'd be livid. A child got into trouble in my DS's swimming class (Level 2 also) but it was literally seconds and the instructor and lifeguard were there in a flash. They got the child out to check him over and spoke to the mum about signs of secondary drowning.

KP86 Fri 08-Jul-16 08:09:37

mylove, OP had two children swimming at the same time, perhaps she was watching the other child?

mylovegoesdown Fri 08-Jul-16 08:19:36

That's why I asked. I wasn't saying it was her fault, OP said no-one was watching him but neither was she so I wondered if there was something else happening to have distracted everyone except one other random Mum.

It shouldn't have happened and the responsibility lies with the staff but I was asking why no-one there noticed because that's got implications for whether OP feels safe enough to continue to go or are other specific changes needed e.g was it because there were too many children swimming? Is another group there too noisy and distracting? Was the view of the staff blocked by something etc?

Becles Fri 08-Jul-16 08:22:33

I understand that you add re anxious etc and don't want to minimise what happened but it does take more than a week and a half to carry out a proper investigation which looks to need full HR and other input due to potential disciplinary / safeguarding / h&s issues.

You emailed on the day it happened and the acknowledged on the same working day of receipt.

Emailing 3 times in the 8 days afterwards is not reasonable or helpful, to you or them. They have your complaint and are investigating - did they give an idea of the eta for a response when they responded on the Monday?

If your emails are sooner than this timescale all they are going to say is that they are still investigating and can't say or do much until it's completed; especially if this ends up requiring formal follow up with the member of staff.

redskytonight Fri 08-Jul-16 09:12:48

Does the pool not have a lifeguard? I'd expect them to be looking out for children in trouble - as you've pointed out, it's just not possible for the teacher to have their eyes on every child in the class.

Mummaaaaaah Fri 08-Jul-16 18:33:23

ask them for a response one more time. then go to the press and use social media (their twitter or facebook page) to kick up a fuss.

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