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Primary Swimming... with no lifeguard?

Discussion in 'Physical education' started by hsw202, Sep 7, 2015.

  1. hsw202

    hsw202 New commenter

    Please help and advise, fellow teachers.

    I have just begun a new job at a small primary school and class teachers are expected to teach swimming in the school swimming pool- with no lifeguard or qualifications at all. I have a large class so the TA will stay in the classroom with half of the class while I take the others swimming on my own. I feel very uncomfortable about this- not only do I have no clue whatsoever how to teach swimming or how to fill the time in the lesson, but from a safety point of view... is this even allowed? It's completely normal and accepted at the school, it's the way they've always done it. No one is questioning it. I don't want to kick up a fuss, but I really don't feel happy with it this way!

    One option is for me and the TA to take the whole class (30+) so that there will be two adults present, at least.

    I've contacted my union but no reply yet. EEk!

    Thanks in advance for your advice.
  2. bigfatgit

    bigfatgit Occasional commenter

  3. spongerob101

    spongerob101 New commenter

    Having been a lifeguard and swimming teacher in my previous life, we never taught swimming without a lifeguard on poolside - and that was in a leisure centre! I believe it is still the case that at an absolute minimum you hold a rescue test for teachers certificate. If I was in your position, my background knowledge would not allow me to take the lessons and I would be refusing on health and safety/risk assessment grounds - has your school even done a risk assessment as it sounds like not!
    It sounds to me that you are currently not even covered by the health and safety at work act, as your employer is not showing a duty of care towards you making you teach whilst unqualified to do so.
  4. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    Don't delay - refuse to do it until a lifeguard is provided, or a member of staff with at a least a rescue test cert for teachers.

    It is your duty of care to the children not to teach them swimming under these circumstances.

    If there is an accident, you can bet the Headteachers finger will be pointing firmly at you.
  5. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    I'm not surprised you feel uncomfortable! I would want two adults present even with half the class - and at least one of the adults should have some kind of swimming or lifesaving training.
  6. diddydave

    diddydave Lead commenter

    !!! - I worked as a lifeguard at a pool and 90% of my 'rescues' were during school swimming sessions - !!!
    Imagine how you would answer questions in an inquest and refuse now...
  7. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    Diddydave, you are about 3 years too late - perhaps hsw202 is in jail by now!!
    Kartoshka likes this.
  8. diddydave

    diddydave Lead commenter

    Typical newbie error :)
  9. Lrp5786

    Lrp5786 New commenter

    Totally unacceptable.
    Safeguarding not in place.
    Any accident would result in yourself/school being negligent.
    Anyone teaching swimming in school must have a swimming qualification and (preferably)/ or have a lifeguard present.

    ASA Guidance (2017) was
    H & S Quality delivery
    Non-swimmers and beginners – Young children, normally
    primary school age, being introduced to swimming who are 12:1 8:1
    unable to swim 10 metres unaided on back or front

    Children under the age of seven – Irrespective of their
    swimming ability group size should be restricted 12:1 8:1
    Improving swimmers

    Swimmers of a similar ability to each other who can swim at
    least 10 metres competently and unaided on their back and 20:1 12:1
    on their front. It is recommended that the lesson be confined
    to an area in which the children are not out of their depth

    Mixed ability groups – Pupils with a range of abilities (from 20:1 12:1
    improving to competent) where the least able and least
    confident are working well within their depth. Swimmers
    techniques, stamina and deep water experience should be

    This just scratches the surface - are you qualified in emergency pool procedures and CPR.

    It sounds as if you are being put in a situation that should never even be considered. For your safety and the students you should refuse to teach these lessons.
  10. How deep is the pool?

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