EQUITY AND DIVERSITY
Helen’s Swimming School is committed to treating everyone equally regardless of their age, level of ability or disability, gender (including gender reassignment), marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or any other relevant characteristic.
The Swim School will ensure that equality is incorporated in all aspects of its activities and also recognises and adopts the principles of Sport England and the Swim England Equality & Diversity policy. (www.swimming.org/swimengland).
Staff at Helen’s Swimming School have attended equity training. As teachers they have a responsibility not only to behave equitably themselves but they must also play an important role in promoting equitable behaviour among other participants of the lessons and in selecting appropriate ways of dealing with inequitable behaviour that may arise during the sessions.
It is the parent or carer’s responsibility to make the swimming school aware of any issues that may be a barrier to a child learning to swim. Any swimmers with medical conditions are made known to the Staff at the beginning of each term. The Staff will work together to devise a swimming programme that is achievable and challenging but which also reflects that swimmer’s abilities. Additional support either in or out of the water is provided when necessary and this is reviewed each term.
Due to the design of the swimming pools, difficulty of access into the water may limit the lessons available to some physically disabled swimmers. All swimmers’ needs can be discussed on an individual basis and the Swimming School will endeavour to make swimming lessons available to all, providing safety requirements can be met.
HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY
The aim of this policy is to prevent accidents and occupational ill health by eliminating hazards, wherever possible, and by reducing those that remain to the lowest level reasonably practicable.
The Health and Safety Policy demonstrates that all members of the Swimming School have a part to play in making our workplace safe and healthy.
Helen’s Swimming School will, so far as reasonably practicable, take all steps necessary to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all its employees, pupils and other persons in the pool area and will endeavour to conduct its affairs in such a way as to protect persons not in their employment who may be affected by its undertaking.
Particular attention will be paid to the provision of:
- safe systems of work.
- arrangements for the safe use, handling and storage of equipment.
- sufficient information, instruction, training and supervision to enable all affected people to contribute to their own health and safety and to avoid hazards.
- a safe place to work with safe access and egress from it.
- training for employees in first aid, life-saving and resuscitation.
- the water should be tested at the specified time as arranged with qualified staff and no pupils should enter the water if the water quality is below standard.
- the awareness of the drugs and alcohol misuse
- risk/hazard assessments for each pool.
Arrangements for the reporting of injuries and dangerous occurrences will be in accordance with RIDDOR 1995.
LEVEL OF RESPONSIBILITY
Employer: Responsible for health, safety and safe working practices within the working environment, promoting best practice and ensuring that a safe system of work is employed.
Employee: While at work to take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves, their pupils and other persons who may be affected by their acts or omissions.
STRATEGY FOR MANAGING CHILDRENS’ BEHAVIOUR
Helen’s Swimming School has a no corporal punishment policy (no smacking, slapping or shaking), but accepts that, in extreme cases, physical action may be necessary to take a child away from a situation so as to stop personal injury either to the child, to other children, to an adult or to prevent damage to property.
It is the general policy of the Swimming School to encourage good behaviour by following the rules and code of conduct stated for each pool and to develop each pupil’s understanding of acceptable behaviour and good self-control when working in an environment that could be a potential area of risk.
Should a child misbehave repeatedly the Teacher will explain why their behaviour is not acceptable and that if the pupil persists with this behaviour they will be taken away from the situation. This could mean sitting on the pool wall or poolside chair for a ’time out’. The pupil should be observed during this time in case there is any over-reaction. After the ‘time out’ period the child should be returned to the lesson and encouraged to do well so that any effort to conform may be rewarded by verbal praises. The Assistant on poolside could play a positive role in this though it is equally important that the Teacher remains in charge giving praise, encouragement, constructive teaching points to enable the pupil to improve their swimming. They also need to reinforce signs of good, acceptable behaviour. No child should leave the pool or go home on a negative note and without the Teacher speaking to them positively.
If a child continues to be constantly disruptive the Teacher will speak to the parent asking for their support. The Teacher must also inform Helen Blake who will follow up the matter as soon as possible. After further consultation with the Teacher, various strategies may be used to help the child. Placing an additional Assistant in the water or on poolside during the normal class lesson is likely to be the most usual and often the most successful way forward. Once the child has settled down this support is gradually withdrawn. In the unlikely event of poor behaviour continuing the child MAY be asked to leave the Swimming School.
Frequent poor behaviour may suggest an underlying problem that needs investigation. It is important that this is followed up.
HEALTH AND SAFETY FOR STAFF
In addition to being aware of issues listed in the overall Health and Safety policy, Staff at Helen’s Swimming School are expected to take responsible care of themselves and to protect themselves from the following risks and hazards when working for the Swimming School .
Possible areas for concern maybe divided into two sections: In the water and on poolside
IN THE WATER
- Irritant properties of the water and swimming pool atmosphere causing rashes, inhalation injuries, respiratory problems, asthma and eye problems. (European respiratory Journal)
- Damage to the voice
- Infection from contaminated water
- Verruca or other fungal infections
- Physical injuries caused by a child grabbing at clothing or body
- Sunlight and reflection flickering on the water
- Tripping on aqua steps
- Lifting of aqua steps into and out of the water. Two people should lift them out of the pool.
- Irritant properties of the water and swimming pool atmosphere causing rashes, inhalation injuries, respiratory problems, asthma and eye problems. (European respiratory Journal
- Damage to the voice
- Slipping on tiles and pool surrounds
- Vomit or blood spillages
- Physical or verbal abuse from a customer
- Hazards on poolside (buggies, baby seats, equipment etc) that may cause tripping up
- Young children moving around poolside where teacher is walking
- Sunlight and reflection flickering on the water
There is little or no evidence that time spent in the water by those who are pregnant or by those who wish to become pregnant is harmful, but it is suggested that Staff in such a position consult their doctor for advice. Risk assessments are available for individual pools.
HYGIENE RULES FOR SWIMMERS
- Use the footbath where provided
- If possible shower before entering the water
- Use the toilet before entering the water
- Blow nose before entering the water
- ATHLETE’S FOOT – persons with severe athlete’s foot should not be allowed in the swimming pool or surrounding area unless their feet are suitably covered
- VERRUCAE – persons suffering from verrucae must wear a verruca sock
- Anyone suffering from any type of stomach upset (diarrhoea or sickness) should not be allowed in the pool
- Persons with any infected skin lesion should not be allowed in the pool
- Persons with a discharging ear infection should not be allowed in the pool
- A swimming hat should be worn by all bathers in order to protect the filter system
- Only one piece swimming costumes and trunks should be worn in the pool. Long shorts will not be allowed
- Swimmers must sit in a designated area once they are changed and not where spectators walk with outdoor shoes
HYGIENE RULES FOR STAFF AND SPECTATORS
- In order to minimise the dirt and harmful bacteria brought into the pool environment all Staff must ensure that their footwear is clean before walking into the changing area. Parents may only walk on poolside where directed.
- At Mayfield and Ashdown pools everyone who enters the building must remove their footwear before walking on poolside or going into the changing area. At St Marys pool customers are restricted to one side of the pool unless they remove their shoes. Outdoor footwear should not be worn where swimmers walk.
- All Staff change from outdoor footwear and wear special pool shoes. The rules above also apply to all Staff who work in the water.
- Customers are requested to leave buggies in a designated area, although it would be preferable for them to be left outside weather permitting.
HEALTH AND SAFETY – CHEMICALS
All chemicals are fed by the pool staff and levels monitored by the pool technician. Hirers have no access to the chemicals or plant room.
ST MARY’S SCHOOL
All chemical levels are monitored by the pool technician. Hirers have no access to the chemicals or plant room, but a designated member of staff is required to check that the water has been tested and recorded as satisfactory before swimmers enter the water
DRUG AND ALCHOL AWARENESS
Helen Swimming School aims:
- To be aware of the inappropriate use of and misuse of drugs and alcohol.
- To ensure that those we teach are not put at risk by anyone’s inappropriate use of drugs or alcohol.
- To ensure that confidentiality is maintained and that employees have access to support and advice if they require assistance.
USEFUL WEBSITES: https://www.eastsussex1space.co.uk/Services/2152/STAR-East-Sussex-D
All staff at Helen’s Swimming School should
- Be aware of this policy and their responsibilities about the use of drugs and alcohol.
- Be aware that the use of drugs and alcohol prior to their teaching could result in unacceptable behaviour, poor teaching and reduced standards.
- Recognise the signs of potential drug and alcohol misuse.
- Seek help if they, or their colleagues, have a problem with the use of drugs and alcohol.
- Avoid covering up or colluding with a colleague who may have a drug or alcohol problem that is affecting their work.
SMOKE FREE POLICY
All Helen’s Swimming School workplaces are smoke free. Smoking is prohibited in all enclosed and substantially enclosed premises in the workplace. This policy applies to all employees, consultants, contractors, customers or members and visitors. Local disciplinary procedures will be followed if a member of staff does not comply with this policy. Those who do not comply with the smoke free law may also be liable to a fixed penalty fine and possible criminal prosecution. The NHS offers a range of free services to help smokers give up. For further information: http://www.nhs.uk/smokefree
MENTAL HEALTH & POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD)
Helen’s Swimming School will ensure that confidentiality is maintained and that employees have access to support and advice if they require assistance.
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that may be experienced after being involved with or experiencing a traumatic event. The Swim School is aware that there are different types of PTSD and individuals can be affected weeks, months and even years after an incident.
Staff affected should contact their GP. Talking to their Line Manager or the Owner of the Swimming School will ensure they receive the support they need at work. Helen’s Swimming School will make reasonable adjustments to the duties of employees who are affected by PTSD or any other mental illness, in line with the Equality Act 2010.
An employer can refer staff to an occupational health professional for assessment if their physical or mental health problem is affecting their work or causing time off sick for four weeks or more. The government-funded initiative called Fit for Work provides expert advice on occupational health assessment or a return to work plan (if employees agree to this). Fit for Work provides work related health advice for GPs, Employers and Employees.
Updated: October 2017
SAFEGUARDING & PROTECTING CHILDREN
The following documents have been prepared in conjunction with:
- Swim England Child Safeguarding Policies & Procedures (Wavepower 2016-19)
- NSPCC (Child protection in sport unit)
- HM Government guidance (March 2015)
- East Sussex Child Protection Committee
- Sports Coach UK
A copy of the Swim England’s Wavepower is kept in the office and is available on request. It is also available online: www.swimming.org/asa/clubs-and-members/safeguarding-children.
These safeguarding procedures stem from the following principles:
The child’s welfare is the first consideration. Services should be based on an understanding of children’s needs and views.
All children and adults have the right to stay safe and be protected from abuse.
Swimming and aquatics is and should remain, accessible to all, regardless of age, gender, faith or religion, culture, ethnicity, sexual orientation, background, economic position, disability or level of ability.
STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES
Helen’s Swimming School seeks to provide a safe, secure and positive environment in which children and adults can learn to swim and develop their full aquatic potential.
The Swimming School is committed to a value system within which children and adults are entitled to be treated with respect and understanding so that they may participate in any activity without fear of intimidation. Any behaviour which undermines this is unacceptable.
The Swimming School seeks to ensure that those acting on behalf of the Swimming School actively listen to children and act appropriately on information received in order to ensure that a safe, secure and positive outcome is provided.
All children have a right to feel secure: to be able to trust without fear, and to expect protection from adults in positions of care and responsibility. They also have a right to take part in activities in an environment that does not subject them to cruelty or create unhappiness.
Helen’s Swimming School will promote the positive aspects of sport and never condone the use of inappropriate or abusive language, inappropriate relationships, bullying, harassment, discrimination or physical violence.
The Swimming School will respect the spirit of sport adhering to the rules and laws in and out of the pool, incorporating the concept of friendship and respect for others.
All bullying is unacceptable. All victims of bullying will be treated in a supportive manner. Bullying may be defined as the intentional abuse by power of an individual or group with the intent and motivation to cause distress to another individual or group. It may be physical, sexual, verbal, racial, emotional, psychological, digital (on-line) or based on ‘difference’ in nature. It may occur frequently or infrequently, regularly or irregularly, but it will be taken seriously even if it has only occurred on one occasion. (See Kidscape.org.uk for further information.) Safeguarding children is everyone’s responsibility. (The Children Acts 1989 and 2004/Working Together to Safeguard Children – Department of Education, 2015). This includes everyone who works with children.
Helen’s Swimming School’s policy is in line with the principles of Wavepower, however, staff are advised to read Wavepower for more in-depth legal information.
Applicants for work within the Swimming School, whether voluntary or paid, will be interviewed before an appointment is made and will be asked to provide at least 2 references. Helen’s Swimming School will obtain a DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) check for all staff.
As a Swim England affiliated Swimming School, Helen’s Swimming School complies with the Swim England Code of Ethics and Safeguarding Procedures (Wavepower). All staff must adhere to Wavepower and the following policies: Swim England Anti-doping rules, Equity policy, Laws and regulations, Codes of conduct.
Details of all Swim England policies are available on the Swim England website: www.swimming.org/swimengland.
Staff must provide copies of all their Swimming Teaching certificates.
First Aid and Lifesaving qualifications must be updated regularly and certificates provided.
As part of the Swimming School induction, new staff are provided with a manual containing all the School’s policies. These are updated regularly and staff provided with copies of any changes.
There are training opportunities for all staff to ensure that they are able to recognise the symptoms of possible abuse whether physical, emotional, verbal, sexual or by neglect. All staff must carry out Child Safeguarding and Protection training regularly.
Young Water Helpers work with a fully qualified Teacher and other Assistants who provide guidance and support. They also have a Mentor to discuss their role with. The Mentor visits the pool regularly each term. The Water Helpers are provided with a separate Manual which includes a Young Persons Policy and Risk Assessments specifically for their age.
All staff are aware of the Helen’s Swimming School Charter of Intent and Codes of Conduct.
All organisations and individuals have a duty of care to safeguard children when they are participating in their activities. Staff must accept responsibility for their own behaviour and encourage and guide all Swim England members and parents of junior members to accept responsibility for their own behaviour and conduct.
Staff must ensure all concerns of a child safeguarding nature are referred in accordance with the Swimming School’s policy and Wavepower.
Staff must conduct themselves in a manner that takes all reasonable measures to protect their own safety and the safety of others.
Staff are expected to promote the reputation of the sport and never behave, encourage or condone others to behave in a manner that is liable to bring the sport into disrepute.
No adult will be left alone with individual children. If it is necessary to take a child aside to speak to them it will be done in full view of another member of Staff.
The lay-out of the swimming pools allows for constant supervision of all children. However, should it be deemed necessary to enter the changing rooms with an individual child, that member of Staff should seek support of another member of Staff, or a reliable adult.
Parents should not be in the changing room while children are changing unless their child is of an age where help is required from parents (usually 7 or 8 years and below) or if the child requires additional specific assistance.
Any person visiting the pools who is unknown to the Staff will be asked to identify themselves and which child they are accompanying. If this is not forthcoming or is unsatisfactory, they will then be asked to leave the premises.
Where public sessions follow lessons, no member of the public will be allowed to enter the changing room until all children have finished dressing. Equally, no Swim School members should enter changing rooms where other clubs or schools are using them until told to do so.
Because of the nature of the sport of swimming, staff may be the first to see signs of physical abuse or neglect. They are aware of the importance of listening to, rather than questioning, a child. No child who is freely recalling information or events will be stopped until they finish of their own accord. Staff will avoid asking leading questions or ones which could be construed as putting ideas into the child’s head. Staff will never promise the child confidentiality but explain that it may be in their interest for information to be passed on to an appropriate adult.
A record of subsequent events will be kept, no matter how trivial they may seem at the time. Staff will not promise the child confidentiality in any matter but will explain to the child that it may be in their interest for this information to be passed on to other appropriate contacts.
Members of Staff should not transport children to and from lessons. Parents should stay with their children at the pool but if a child is left at a pool at the end of the session, the Pool Manager and Teacher will stay with the child until they are collected. The Teacher will have a contact number for the parent. If the parent cannot be contacted and the emergency number has also been checked, the child should be asked if there is another family member who could be contacted. If no-one can be contacted, the local Police should be contacted to enquire about the best course of action.
Providing early help is more effective in promoting the welfare of children than reacting later.
PHOTOGRAPHY & RECORDING
As advised by the Child Protection in Sport Unit, photography and the recording of any kind of images are only allowed during swimming sessions under the direction of Helen’s Swimming School if a written application form is completed by the person taking the image and permission is granted by the Swimming School. If permission is granted then the person using the equipment will be given a written permit which must be shown to the member of staff on poolside before any images are recorded. ALL photography will be at the discretion of Helen’s Swimming School. All images must only be of the child specified and are for personal use only. No images of other children should be taken or shown publicly or via electronic media.
Under no circumstances will photography be permitted in the changing facilities or toilet areas of the pools. Increasingly, young people are at risk of images being taken of them and shared, most often by peers. Children should be made aware that it is a criminal offence to take, make, distribute (send), upload and/or possess any indecent image of a child (including those taken/possessed by other under 18 year olds).
In accordance with Swim England guide-lines any images taken by the Swimming School for publicity purposes will be done with the written permission of the parent/guardian.
Any member of Staff who suspects that a child may have been the subject of abuse will inform the owner of the Swimming School immediately. All changes in a child’s behaviour or appearance will be recorded. All suspicions and investigations will be kept confidential.
Records will include the name, age and address of the child, the time and date of the report. Observations must be objective and without interpretation or comment. Whenever possible, the exact words spoken by the child will be recorded. The record must be signed and dated by the member of staff. The owner will approach the parent/guardian or Head Teacher if appropriate. The explanation given will determine whether the matter is referred to the Social Services for further help and advice.
If an allegation is made against a member of Helen’s Swimming School staff, they will meet with the owner and/or their Line Manager as soon as possible. Details of the discussion will be recorded and dated. The Administrator will be informed within one day of the incident. If appropriate, action will follow in accordance with the Discipline & Grievance Procedures provided in the staff manual. If the allegation is against the owner, the incident should be reported to the Administrator. No member of Staff, apart from those appointed, should approach the parents/guardian of a child, Social Services or Head Teacher.
If a report is to be made to the authorities, the child’s parents/guardian will be informed at the same time as the report is made, unless a child makes a direct disclosure that they are being sexually abused. In this case, information would be passed to Social Services or the Police without informing the parents/guardian.
Where abuse at home is suspected Helen’s Swimming School will continue to welcome the child and family while investigations proceed. Confidential records will be shared with the family at the discretion of the Social Services with the proviso that the care and the safety of the child must always be of paramount importance. Helen’s Swimming School will do all in its power to support the child’s family and work with the Social Services department.
Helen’s Swimming School is only responsible for swimmers while they are in the water. The changing rooms are supervised by the parents and not the swimming school staff. Siblings are requested to stay with their parents during the lessons. The Swimming School is not responsible for any siblings not swimming.
Parents are expected to collect their children from the changing room/pool building after lessons or make arrangements for their child to be collected. Exceptional circumstances should be discussed with the owner of the swimming school.
At St Mary’s and Ashdown School pools the parents accompany the child into the pool area and sit watching in close proximity to the water. There are never more than 10 children in each class with a teacher on poolside and at least one assistant on poolside or in the water. There is all round vision and even a child leaving the water to use the toilet will be supervised by the parent.
If it was noticed that a child was no longer part of a class:
- The parent and assistant would be consulted as to their whereabouts.
If the child was believed to be missing:
- The pool would be cleared and the water checked.
- The registers would be retaken and the children grouped outside while the manager checked the building.
- The changing rooms/toilets would be checked by the pool manager or teacher in charge.
- The child’s clothes would be checked by the parent and if still there, the child would be presumed to be still in the pool area. If gone, then the parent’s car and surrounding area would be searched and the hiring school alerted.
- The Manager should organise a search using responsible adults to cover all areas. All those searching should report back to the Manager at a specific location and time.
- The Manager should make a note of events, including a description of the missing child, what they were wearing and where they were last seen for the Police.
- A report should go to the Police no later than 30 minutes after the young person’s disappearance is noted, even if the search is not complete.
During any procedure it is the teacher who is responsible for the children in the water. The teacher takes the register to ensure that all swimmers are accounted for and are out of the building if the situation requires this action.
This policy follows the same procedure as for an emergency evacuation procedure.
All staff and customers should be aware of e-safety with regards to protecting children/young people within Helen’s Swimming School and the use of social networking or other on-line services.
Staff have mobile telephones on poolside for emergency use only.
Children attending lessons should be protected while they are within the care of the Swimming School. Children on the poolside should be supervised by their parent/carer. It is the School policy that mobile phones are not used on the poolside and any photography or recording of images is only carried out in accordance with the Swimming School’s Safeguarding policy. Parents of children playing with electronic devices on poolside must make their children aware that any recording or streaming of other people is not allowed.
No one is allowed to use mobile phones or recording equipment in the changing areas. Increasingly, young people are at risk of images being taken of them and shared, most often by peers. Children should be made aware that it is a criminal offence to take, make, distribute (send), upload and/or possess any indecent image of a child (including those taken/possessed by other under 18 year olds).
The Swimming School will operate in line with the ASA’s code of ethics and within the law regarding how the Swimming School uses information technology. Email addresses and mobile phone numbers of parents/carers are held with the permission of the adult to enable communication between the swim school and parents. Children will not be contacted directly.
Photographs and information appearing on the Swimming School website and Facebook page are used in accordance with the Safeguarding policy. The School website and Facebook page are managed by Helen’s Swimming School staff who have carried out Safeguarding training.
The Swim School will get permission from parents of young Water Helpers to email or text them directly but will always keep parents informed of any information or changes to working hours.
All staff should protect their privacy on-line and carefully consider to who they give access to their personal information on-line. There should be a clear differentiation between their personal and professional profiles.
Anyone in Helen’s Swimming School processing personal data must comply with the eight enforceable principles of good practice.
Data must be:
- Fairly and lawfully processed.
- Processed for limited purposes.
- Adequate, relevant and not excessive.
- Kept no longer than necessary
- Processed in accordance with the data subject’s rights.
- Not transferred without adequate protection.
- Personal data covers both facts and opinions about the individual. It also includes information regarding the intentions of the data controller towards the individual, although in some limited circumstances exemptions will apply. With processing data it incorporates the concept of ‘obtaining’, ‘holding’ and ‘disclosing’.
- Staff are aware of the dangers of disclosing personal information and are trusted not to do so.
- Once a customer ceases to belong to Helen’s Swimming School their personal data is removed from all computers, however, it is necessary for the company to keep some information for seven years for tax purposes.