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ds9 getting water poured over his head

(15 Posts)
Sexyfothermucker Sun 31-Jan-16 14:14:30

My ds9 goes swimming with school once a week. He's not a massive fan of water, but is doing quite well considering.
However, he does get a little nervous the day before & on the morning of swimming.
After much coaxing, it transpires that the instructor is a bit of a bully.
Amongst other things, I've been told that if they don't put their face in the water for up to 10 seconds, he pours a bucket of water over their head?! Is this normal?? It never happened when I went swimming with school!!
I've spoken to the head teacher on numerous occasions who keeps telling me that he's GOT to go swimming, and that she'll address the issues with the swimming baths. As yet I've not heard anything back, & his swimming day is fast approaching. What should I do? I'm on the verge of going down there and pouring a bucket of water over the instructors bloody head & wacking him over the head with the bucket.

Pipistrella Sun 31-Jan-16 14:29:33

You write to the HT withdrawing your child from swimming until you hear that there has been a satisfactory inquiry into this, and are assured that it will not happen again, and that your child will not be singled out due to your having raised the issue.

That's what I did. No one made a fuss - they said they would speak to the pool but they never did, so ds never went again.

We changed schools after that anyway.

Pipistrella Sun 31-Jan-16 14:30:32

By the way our issue was different, to do with threatening the children verbally but there was no pouring of water.

I think it sounds atrocious.

Pipistrella Sun 31-Jan-16 14:31:57

Also what time is the lesson? Ours was early so it was easy for me to send him in later, without his trunks and towel etc. and the school couldn't do anything about it.

Youcantmoancanyou Sun 31-Jan-16 14:39:50

Don't send him, please. Do as Pipistrella said re letter. The fact that the school is allowing this to happen is a red flag, to me.

Youcantmoancanyou Sun 31-Jan-16 14:41:38

Also, don't let the school pressurise you into sending him. I had similar issues years ago and I regret not being stronger, sooner.

Sexyfothermucker Sun 31-Jan-16 14:49:08

His lesson is at 1pm so I can't get away with not sending him.
As for taking him out of the lesson completely, the head teacher told me that swimming is compulsory, part of the curriculum.
I have been to her on quite a few occasions, so she is aware that he doesn't enjoy it. He spends most of the week leading up to it feeling sick & worried.

Youcantmoancanyou Sun 31-Jan-16 17:26:47

Well yes, it is compulsory, to them. But you are his parent and responsible for his not being bullied. What will the school actually do to you if you don't let him go? You have to decide which is more important to you - the school's opinion, or your DS.

Pipistrella Sun 31-Jan-16 17:32:27

I think it's not as simple as that if the lesson is mid-school day.

The school may decide to take him anyway.

I would find it hard to put a child in the position of not having his kit and potentially being told off.

I think I would be very clear, in writing, to the school that he was not to be included in the lesson until this matter was resolved, and then I would turn up at the pool on the day to make sure they abided by my wishes. And to observe the lesson, too.

Though of course it's likely the instructor would be aware you were there and deliberately be very reasonable while you were watching.

This is a difficult grey area, the subject of swimming in schools - on one hand it is a curriculum item, OTOH it requires a parental permission slip. I imaginethere are insurance issues should you decline permission, and the school would be on shaky ground if they ignored your wishes, particularly when you have such strong reasons for them.

That's what I'd do. If you email tomorrow morning, it's in writing, and they will have to respond before the lesson if they want him to attend - so it sort of puts the ball in their court.

I hope you find a way to resolve this.

3littlefrogs Sun 31-Jan-16 17:43:24

This is bullying - albeit by the swimming teacher, not another child.

Write to the HT requesting a copy of the anti-bullying policy, specifying that you are concerned about bullying by a member of staff.

Advise them that you will be withdrawing your child from swimming lessons until you and HT have agreed on appropriate method of dealing with swimming instructor.

Is the instructor employed by the school or the LA/pool?

You could kindly offer to copy the letter to the relevant authorities.

Technically this is an assault - especially as it causes fear and distress to the victim.

Youcantmoancanyou Sun 31-Jan-16 17:48:02

Will you be at work, or are you able to go along to the school during the day? That's what I'd be doing, and taking him for exactly an hour or however long the swimming lesson plus journey lasts. Have a cup of tea in a caff if school a bit of a drive away and not worth going home. Stand your ground. Someone has to stop bullies like this swimming instructor. Pricks like him have a lot of damage to account for.

Hissy Sun 07-Feb-16 18:36:48

This is horrible! That teacher and the head need to ftfo back to the 70s.

Can you enrol him in some private lessons? An intensive course? Pay for 121?

If you go with them, aged 9, he'll be mortified! It'll make matters worse.

Swimming is fabulous... I've spent 30odd years dodging it myself, with a fear of breathing in the water etc, but have had lessons this past year and I'm hooked! The right approach, at the right time will solve this, bullying won't. Write to the head, deliver your letter in person and inform them that under no circumstances is your ds to attend the lesson, the you will deal with it yourself.

MrsLeighHalfpenny Sun 07-Feb-16 18:51:21

Yes swimming is a compulsory part of the curriculum, though many schools don't do it as nearby swimming pools have closed down and coaches too expensive sad.

Do you take DS swimming regularly yourselves, or send him to private lessons too? That would help reduce his dread of the school lessons I think. The boy should learn how to swim.

Instructor is behaving badly though. If the school won't address his behaviour, I'd have a work with the pool manager yourself.

MrsLeighHalfpenny Sun 07-Feb-16 18:51:45

*have a word.

TheChimpParadox Sun 07-Feb-16 19:03:22

My assumption is that the swimming session takes place at a local public pool so the swimming teacher is not a school teacher ?

The swimming teacher will have some sort of coaching license / teaching qualifier from either Amateur Swimming Association or British Swimming. They are both governing bodies of swimming so I would contact their safeguarding departments for advice.

Totally unacceptable behaviour from a child sports coach.

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