- Private residential swimming pools. A swimmer teacher cannot continue to teach in a private residential pool – in line with latest government update.
“Personal trainers and sports coaches should only provide training in public outdoor spaces, such as parks. They should not provide ANY training in private homes or gardens.”
- School swimming lessons organised as part of a school’s normal national curriculum programme 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. For clarity a school is defined as “an educational institute, which is outside of the further education sector and the higher education sector and is an institute for providing primary and secondary education, or both.
- 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).
Ahead of the Commons ‘second lockdown’ vote later today, which follows on from the PM’s announcement on Saturday where he confirmed this month-long circuit breaker would include the closure of leisure and swimming pools from 5th November– we have sought clarity on the areas of confusion, based on the many thousands of questions we have received over the last few days.
First and foremost, if agreed by the Commons today, all public and private swimming pools in England will be forced to close at 12.01am on Thursday 5th November for swimming lessons – making today, sadly, our last day for swimming lessons for a month.
There have been questions in regards to ‘exemptions’ for ‘supervised activities for children’ or ‘support groups’ – but we can confirm that swimming lessons DO NOT currently fall into these exemptions. Further, no 1-2-1 lessons held in private or endless pools can take place either.
However, you will be pleased to know that there are some exemptions to the rules:
Note: School pools cannot externally rent their pools for non-curriculum private swimming lessons.
Importantly, as much as we all passionately want swimming pools to stay open, so private grassroots swimming lessons can continue, it is imperative we ALL follow the rules, not only for our own personal and public safety but to ensure you are covered by insurance.
No one really knows what the outcome will be today, and I think its honest to say that no governing body has any real direct influence over the government’s decisions with regards to COVID-19 and swimming pools. But, if pools have to shut tomorrow for swimming lessons, which is almost inevitable after Boris made it perfectly clear when asked about grassroots sports, that if the lockdown is passed through the Commons, “it will be difficult to take out one part of the Jenga block without disturbing the whole package.”), we must work together to support and protect our STA family.
And, while as a National Governing Body for Swimming, we have no influence on the decisions that will take place today, we do have a responsibility, and duty, to guide the swimming industry and support our members through these difficult times – and this is what STA will continue to do.
Working together is the only way we can make difference – as one we have a bigger voice, which is why looking ahead we will continue to promote and support the #SaveOurSports campaign.
This is a devasting blow for grass roots swimming, and I know how much effort everyone has made to make lessons COVID-safe, but let’s hope this circuit breaker does its job so we can all get back to teaching next month.
As usual, we are always here to provide support.
Dave Candler – STA CEO
Disclaimer: While STA has made every effort to ensure the aforementioned information is correct, it is our interpretation of the government’s guidance as at 4th November 2020. We therefore, before undertaking any activity during a lockdown, would always advise you check with your insurers and / or gain clarification and authorisation from your local authority (EHO) before undertaking any activity.