After research found that two thirds of adults were unaware that swim teachers needed public liability insurance, STA is advising parents to check that their chosen swim school adheres to industry standards.
A survey by STA* discovered that 67% of UK adults did not know teachers were obliged to have public liability insurance, while 59% of parents whose children have lessons did not know that it was required.
Of the 2,005 parents surveyed aged under 50, fewer than one in three (30%) had asked their child’s swim teacher if he/she had insurance.
Theo Millward, STA’s Operations Director, said it is crucial that parents understand the importance of choosing a reputable swim school; one that not only has teachers with insurance, but one that also has appropriate dedicated swim school business insurance.
“We know there are still swim teachers out there who are not personally insured, either because they do not know that they need it, the cover has lapsed or because they genuinely think they are already covered,” he said.
“In essence if a swimming teacher is employed at a swim school, the swim school itself needs insurance to cover its employee(s) and the individual swimming teacher needs to have separate public liability insurance to cover him/herself as a swimming teacher,” explained Theo.
Public liability insurance covers a swimming teacher if a learner makes a claim for compensation over a loss or injury that occurs during the lesson. The insurance covers any compensation payment as well as legal expenses.
Theo added: “With the rapid growth of the private swim school market over the last decade, it’s more important than ever that parents are made aware. We hope that no one will ever need to claim against the insurance, but it’s absolutely essential for both pupil and teacher that there is appropriate cover so all parties are protected.”
STA launched its STAmark quality accreditation scheme in 2005, originally to provide greater clarity of standards within the leisure industry for the operation of both public and private swims schools.
Re-launched in 2014, STAmark now aims to provide a standardised level of accreditation that organisations can work to that demonstrates best practice in the key areas of running a swim school and or leisure facility.
“Any swim school or teacher that carries the STAmark accreditation has demonstrated that it provides excellent standards and operational provision to swimmers,” Theo continued.
“For assurance, we recommend that parents and carers look for this accreditation when choosing a swim school.”
All STA Swim Star Swim Schools, which are independent swim schools that draw upon STA’s support and expertise, must have or be working towards STAmark accreditation.
“While it is exciting to see a rise in privately run swim schools, parents need to be assured that the swim school and their teachers follow strict industry guidance with regards to insurance cover,” said Theo.
“We would also urge any swim teachers to check their cover to make sure their policies are up-to-date and fit for purpose.”
* STA carried out this survey in March 2015 with 2,005 Nationally Representative UK adults aged 18+, as part of its education campaign to raise awareness to both swimming teachers and parents on the importance of swimming teacher insurance.