There is a desperate need for properly trained swimming teachers who can work in schools, clubs and community groups. Without more qualified swimming teachers thousands of children in schools up and down the country are not being taught how to swim; endangering lives now and limiting the experiences they might have in later life.
Why is there a problem?
For schools the chief barrier is cost – 44% of schools say they don’t have the budget to meet the cost of training. Although swimming is a curriculum subject at primary school; one of the attainment targets is that children should be able to swim a minimum of 25m before going to secondary school, it is not separately funded.
In 2012 the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) published its Manifesto for School Swimming. One of its recommendations was that all primary school teachers should be provided with at least six hours of aquatics and water safety training. However in the recent school swimming census (Learning the Lesson: The Future of School Swimming 2013) 16% of teachers said they still needed more training to improve confidence and knowledge.
Swimming Clubs face similar problems – most clubs rely on volunteers to support professional staff and say they don’t have sufficient funds to meet the additional cost of training courses; completing both level 1 and 2 courses can cost as much as £1,000.
Pool operators and swim schools are not excluded. Lisa Johnson – senior sports development officer at Hull City Council says, “Our leisure managers say there are not enough qualified swimming teachers to cope with the demand for swimming lessons in Hull. As a result we have to turn people away and have a very large waiting list.”
How can this be turned around?
This will not be easy but it can happen – with your help.
In 2010 Coca Cola Great Britain invested £50,000 into a partnership with the Swimming Trust to provide training bursaries in the run up to the London 2012. Through this grant the Swimming Trust were able to train 248 Level 2 teachers.
Research by the ASA suggests that swimming teachers provide, on average, 288 hours of instruction a year to around 190 people. Coca Cola’s investment had the potential of helping more than 47,000 people learn to swim in the first year and that legacy continues.
The SwimmingTeacher Education Fund will help more swimming teachers become trained so that they can help in schools, clubs and community groups. This dedicated fund is designed to help businesses and individuals invest in the future of young people.
Developing a world-class workforce of qualified, enthusiastic swimming teachers is essential if young people are going to have the opportunity to learn and enjoy swimming throughout their lives. The Fund will have an immediate and positive effect on the way swimming is taught in schools and provide much needed support in swimming clubs and community groups.
Providing this training will also have an impact on the lives of the people we are able to train. The skills they develop are in demand and for many will provide an opportunity to find work and help their families.
How will the fund work?
Our aim is to work with partners such as local authorities and community groups and provide bursaries that will help reduce the cost of training. This model is well established and we have a number of training schemes already in operation.
The Swimming Teacher Education Fund is a great opportunity to invest in the future of British sport and help make a difference to countless lives for generations.
For more information about corporate support for this programme please contact James Male: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 07768 288014. To support any of our programmes please visit www.virginmoneygiving.com