STA Publish Best Practice Guidance for Members in Preparation for UK Swim Schools Re-Opening

Update (2nd December 2020)

Sport England, the government body for sport, has today issued updated guidance in the form of a FAQ, and it specifically references swimming pools in relation to calculating bathing loaders, which we know has been a problematic issue for many members and has hindered the opening of pools. We are therefore pleased to confirm that Sport England state “pool operators should restrict numbers to allow three square metres per bather”. This concurs with STA’s guidance.

There is also good news for swim schools running parent and child sessions – Sport England has confirmed “different groups of up to six (tier 1) or household/support bubbles (tiers 2 and 3) can use the facility at the same time, provided they don’t mix”.

For more detailed information, please visit Frequently asked questions on the return of sport and activity | Sport England

Update (1st December 2020)

Updated Tier Guidance For Swimming Lessons And Non-Team Aquatics In England Post Lockdown 2

Click here for further information.

Update (23rd November 2020)

As of 2nd December the Government has announced that swimming pools can reopen in England across all tiers, meaning grassroots swimming lessons for under 18s and disabled people can resume.

Click here for further information.

Update (18th November 2020)

Updated guidance for Scotland

Click here for further information.

Update (13th November 2020)

Updated guidance for Wales

Click here for further information.

Update (10th November 2020)

Update on extra-curricular sport in schools

The Youth Sport Trust, Sport and Recreation Alliance, ukactive and Association for Physical Education have confirmed what extra-curricular sport, which will include school swimming, is permitted under the Government’s new lockdown guidance in England. See here for further information.

Update (6th November 2020)

Updated Guidance for swimming pools in England – Lock Down 2

  • All public and private swimming pools in England closed for swimming lessons from 5th November – including all lessons in residential homes
  • The ONLY exemption are school swimming lessons that are organised as part of a school’s normal national curriculum programme. They can continue as normal, in their own school pool or at their ‘regular’ local pool if that operator chooses to open for school swimming lessons only. Note: school pools cannot externally rent their pools for non-curriculum private swimming lessons
  • Boarding Schools are also permitted to run after school activity only for their own boarding pupils. Any activity providing ‘childcare’ is exempt from the regulations, and in this case the children are under the care of the boarding school throughout the week, even when outside of timetabled school hours. In this context, the school is able to hold ‘after school’ swimming clubs for boarders (non-boarders are not permitted under the guidance)
  • For further information click here.

Update (5th November 2020)

Updated Guidance for the reopening of swimming pools in Wales on from the 9th November 2020.

Update (9th September 2020)

Following on from the Prime Minister’s press conference on 9th September about the ‘6’ rule for England, Sport England have clarified that organised sports and activities which have been through return to play protocols will be allowed to continue as before – this includes swimming lessons in line with STA’s members guidance below.

In summary people can continue to:

  • Take part in organised sports and activities that have been through return to play protocols
  • Take part in organised outdoor sports and physical activity events
  • Use leisure facilities, including gyms and pools.
Guidance Document Last Updated: 6th November 2020

As the UK swim school industry eagerly awaits the news that swimming pools can reopen, STA, as a national governing body for swimming, has published a new guidance document today to help its 12,500 members determine, based on current information, what factors they might need to consider and plan-for.

Download Your Guidance Document Now

Dave Candler, STA’s CEO, confirms: “We are currently working alongside fellow UK aquatic governing bodies and leisure bodies to formulate a science-based plan ready for when swimming pools can re-open. In the interim, while we wait for this to be finalised, we’ve also been working with our IFSTA partners in the USA and Australia to share swim school knowledge, expertise and best practice ideas.”

“Today, in response to the many hundreds of members who contact us daily for advice and support on re-opening measures, we have decided the time is right to share a compilation of all these combined best practices, as guidance for our STA members. The guidance is based on available information at this time, and will be a living document, which we will continually update as and when new information is confirmed by the government – and as we all learn what is working and what is not.”

The 50-page best practice document has been developed by STA to act as a guideline for member swim schools and covers all areas and types of swim school operations; in recognition that individual situations will be different.

The document acknowledges that there is ‘no one size fits all’ COVID-19 solution for swim schools, but offers a choice of guidance strategies, and key considerations in relation to personal hygiene and practical social distancing measures across all areas of a swim school operation; from the physical building to the teaching environment, with the aim of covering as many different swim school and swimming lesson scenarios as possible – in line with the information available to hand at the moment.

STA’s ‘living’ document will enable STA members, swim partners and Swim Star Swim Schools to consider what sections of guidance applies to their swim school, in readiness for an official government announcement, so that they can assess what control measures are reasonably practicable, and financially viable for them to implement in order to eliminate or minimise health and safety risks from COVID-19 in their swim school.

“By writing this document we want to provide STA members with a decision-making framework that can be used to determine what may be feasible, practical and acceptable for a specific swimming pool facility ready for when they are given the go-ahead to re-open swimming pools and their swim school businesses to the public,” said Dave.

STA credits Brendon Ward and Gary Toner from ASCTA in Australia and Leslie Donavan from Starfish Aquatics in the USA for their support in helping to create this guidance for STA members.

Download Your Guidance Document Now

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