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Health & Safety/School activities. Please advise.

(10 Posts)
Eaney Tue 18-Jan-05 10:04:04

My son is in reception in a school that has a small learner pool. They intend to start teaching the children how to swim. I was told today that the teacher taking the class is not a qualified swimming instructor nor is she a trained life saver.

She explained that she would be in the water with approx 10 of the pupils nad that there was a first aider present. She was adamant that the local authority said it was sufficent to have a first aider poolside. SHe also said that the water only comes up to the childrens chest.

Can anyone shed some light on this. I assumed that it would be a requirement to have a lifesaver at the very least.

Slinky Tue 18-Jan-05 10:08:52

Have a look at this


Our school offers swimming lessons but we use the local Leisure Centre and have their swimming instructors.

roisin Tue 18-Jan-05 13:22:18

Eaney - I am surprised that the guidelines Slinky linked to are mainly recommendations rather than regulations, and I am surprised that your school do not insist on using qualified swimming instructors. However, a properly trained first aider is qualified to do resuscitation - which is what would be necessary in a worst case scenario. A life-saver would have additional abilities such as being able to recover a body from deep water, pull them out of the pool, etc.: These skills are not necessary in shallow water .. someone could just jump in, stand up, and pick up a struggling child.
However I still retain some concern. There are specific dangers related to water/swimming, and I would want some reassurance that the duty personnel had some appropriate training to watch out for potential difficulties.

Having said that it is a fantastic facility for a school to have their own small learner pool - you are very lucky!

Caligula Tue 18-Jan-05 13:38:56

Eaney, in your position I think I would ring the local authority and actually ask them what their guidelines are.

I'd be very surprised if the school took any chances which could open them to legal action. Having said that, a ratio of one adult to five non-swimming children sounds quite low to me. Would they welcome parent volunteers?

roisin Tue 18-Jan-05 13:48:03

Eaney - I am surprised that the guidelines Slinky linked to are mainly recommendations rather than regulations, and I am surprised that your school do not insist on using qualified swimming instructors. However, a properly trained first aider is qualified to do resuscitation - which is what would be necessary in a worst case scenario. A life-saver would have additional abilities such as being able to recover a body from deep water, pull them out of the pool, etc.: These skills are not necessary in shallow water .. someone could just jump in, stand up, and pick up a struggling child.
However I still retain some concern. There are specific dangers related to water/swimming, and I would want some reassurance that the duty personnel had some appropriate training to watch out for potential difficulties.

Having said that it is a fantastic facility for a school to have their own small learner pool - you are very lucky!

sootyrupert Tue 18-Jan-05 19:47:59

I agree check with your local authority as to what they recommend, and if you are available to do so, offer your services to the teacher for swimming time - then you can see how it works and I'm sure you'll see the teacher has it all under control. It will also put your mind as ease if you can be ther as an extra pair of eyes.

RTKangaMummy Tue 18-Jan-05 20:02:21

At DS school all the children from reception up to class 6 use the schools own pool in the summer term.

They have swimming lessons there 3 times a week.

The teacher is there plus parents in the water
and parents on the side of the pool

and a lifeguard

The lifeguard is paid for by parents and the school we pay about £5 per term per family for the lifeguard and for other luxury things like a theatre group that come to put on a show for the children.

So paying £15 per year to pay for the extra things we feel is a good idea. Obviously for some families that money will not be able to be part of the family budget so they are subsidised by the school.

Is that an option you think the school would go for?

janeybops Tue 18-Jan-05 20:07:27

This doesn't sound right to me and I am a teacher.

Phone the LEA and ask what their guidelines are on this. I would not let my child have lessons with this inadequate supervision.

tamum Tue 18-Jan-05 20:13:49

I agree with roisin- the qualification you do as a lifeguard is almost entirely to do with deep water problems, none of which would be relevant in a shallow pool. You do have to learn appropriate firstaid, but that's just resuscitation, recovery position and so on. I wouldn't worry personally.

Whizzz Tue 18-Jan-05 20:17:06

Have a look at the ROSPA blurb too
here
There are also other links too from this document

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