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STA pop into School Swimming to Deliver a Free NEW Safety Checklist

Posted on 13th April 2024

Making sure children of all ages and abilities have the opportunity to learn how to swim and be water-safe is our overriding charity objective, but we all know in school swimming there are many difficult, practical, and financial challenges still to overcome; especially when headteachers are faced with limited access to local facilities. Bridging this gap in recent years has been the installation of temporary pop-up pools on school grounds – and we expect this to become even more widespread in the future, especially if access to local pools continues to be a barrier for school swimming programmes.

With swimming being the only sport that is included within the national curriculum in England, pop-up pools are offering educational establishments, especially in inner-cities, rural communities and underprivileged areas, a way to effectively run swimming lesson programmes onsite at Key Stages 1 and 2 – without the need for transport costs, or the logistics involved in travelling to and from a distant pool (which also has an impact on curriculum time meaning school swimming is not always prioritised).

However, like any swimming pool, running a pop-up pool involves risk, and requires specialist expertise and knowledge to ensure it is safe, secure, and hygienic for users. Therefore, to help schools, STA has created a free school safety checklist for owners, operators, and hirers, all those responsible for managing these new types of temporary pool structures in schools.

Click here to download the Pop-up-pools for Swimming Lessons Safety Checklist

This ‘best practice’ tool will serve as a practical resource for assessing compliance, with guidance from HSG179, PWTAG’s Code of Practice, and TN65. It includes risk factors such as water quality, pool structure, pool housing structure, unique rescue protocols, and emergency procedures.

Ultimately what we all want is for children to have access to safe swimming lessons at school and learn a life skill, and STA, as a national governing body for swimming, recognises the reality of pop-up pools being a practical solution for many headteachers, and wants to show its support for those using or considering them. By creating this free ‘best practice’ toolkit, we want to help all those responsible for managing pop-up pools and provide the basic tools, and prompts needed for them to self-risk-check that the environment is safe and secure for staff and pupils.

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