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Staff/pupil ratio at gymnastics

(10 Posts)
dikkertjedap Sat 19-Jan-13 20:35:38

Dd has joined a gymnastics class for 7-10 year old girls. It turns out that each lesson there are about six pieces of equipment out (high bar to practise different types of rolls, rings, trampoline to practise different jumps and salto, high beam, long mat to practise handstand and cartwheels, kind of sloped mat with trampoline to practise salto).

All fine, however, it turns out there is only the teacher and she is usually at the long mat to supervise handstand and cartwheels. There is no adult or any type of assistant for that matter at all the other pieces of equipment.

I don't know if the other parents are aware of this as the kids go straight after school and it is in the PE hall of the school.

How would you feel about this? Would you feel comfortable leaving your seven year old? Just keen to hear other people's views.

dikkertjedap Sat 19-Jan-13 20:36:04

Forgot to add, there are 18 girls in the class.

RhinestoneCowgirl Sat 19-Jan-13 20:43:09

DS does a similar gym class at school (he's the only boy), however it is for younger children, years 1&2. Think there are between 12-15 children in the class, 1 main coach and an assistant.

MaureenMLove Sat 19-Jan-13 21:41:57

I don't know what the rules are for these sorts of clubs, but for Guiding (and I know that's a very different club) there needs to be two adults to every 6 girls of that age.

The main reason is if there is an emergency, one takes care of the emergency and one the rest of the pack.

Are there any other adults in the building when this is going on? If not, that would concern me, more than there only being one person in the hall at a time.

meditrina Sat 19-Jan-13 21:47:59

DD is in that age range, and does a recreational gym club (as opposed to full on serious training) in an after school club. They have two adults for about 16 children, and don't have that much kit out simultaneously (typical example: low beam, Inflatable (where they are always supervised) and floor work). As teachers are still on the premises, in the event of injury the one dealing with the child would ring the (still staffed) office and someone would appear to deal with the afflicted.

dikkertjedap Sat 19-Jan-13 22:55:03

Thanks for all the responses.

The gymnastics club uses the door facing the playground to enter the PE Hall and has no access to the rest of the school.

At present it is directly after school, so there will still be some teachers somewhere in the main building, however, they have nothing to do with the privately run gymnastics club. The club simply rents the PE hall. In a few months they are going to change times to 18.00 to 19.00 so then there definitely won't be anyone around.

The more I think about it, the more uncomfortable I feel about it.

ReallyTired Sat 19-Jan-13 23:05:07

The gym club my children went to have a ratio of one teacher to 8 children.

The children were split into 5 groups of eight according to the level they were working at in the gymnastics badge scheme. They also have a squad for gifted gymnasts. Injuries can happen very easily, ie straining muscles through not warming up properly.

Personally I would not be happy with the set up the OP describes, especially the trampoline being unsupervised. It is possible to break bones falling off a high beam.

Catper33 Thu 24-Jan-13 08:11:47

I run my own Trampoline/Gymnastic facility and would only ever have a mximum of 8 youngsters per class with 1 qualified coach and 1+ assistants. 18 with 1 coach fills me with horror to be honest. Having children unsupervised on the Trampoline I am sure is not actually 'allowed' by British Gymnastics. I am not in the UK anymore so may be a bit out of touch with their current rules. You can check out a lot of info on their website about the expected/required ratio's in Gymnastics and Trampolining. The set up you describe would be of concern to me.

dikkertjedap Sun 27-Jan-13 19:49:03

Thanks for all the responses.

Have decided to withdraw dd on safety grounds.

We are not in the UK but in the Netherlands, where the attitude towards safety is rather slapdash at the best of times it seems.

socharlotte Sun 03-Feb-13 19:13:04

I should know this as I am a Level 3 coach, but I can't remember exactly blush.Good practice is a max ratio of 1 to 8 gymnasts in a British Gymnastics setting but I think the maximum allowed is 1:13.However in and educational setting the ratios are much bigger than that.I think its 1:25 but as I say I can't remember without looking it up.
It depends entirely on what they are doing and their skill level of course, but it doesn't sound a good set up to me. I would be standing by the trampoline it were me and not allowing them to work on the high bar without supervision

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