5 Good Reasons Why We Have a No Parents at the Poolside Policy

At Dolphin Academy, we offer a wide range of swimming classes in our Oldham and Castleton locations, to a wide range of happy swimmers. We teach beginners of any age to experienced swimmers who want to improve their technique. Many of our groups are made up of children and we love and care for each one of them. We also know that every little swimmer has a parent who is worried about their child’s wellbeing and, naturally, their loved one’s safety during swimming lessons. Often, this natural concern means that we get requests by parents to be present during swimming.

Now, we do have a ‘no parents on poolside’ policy and we would like to explain why it is in place to put your mind at ease! Although it might seem restrictive, it improves the safety of the swimming environment and we want the policy to reassure you that your child is in the safest environment possible.

We believe it is in the interest of both our little learners and our teachers if parents are not at the poolside as they learn to swim. Here are our reasons:

Teacher – learner relationship building

Teacher – learner relationship building is one of the fundamental blocks of good swimming instruction. The child must learn to trust the teacher and to take instruction from them. When parents are present at the pool and the lesson is underway, children often will look to their parent instinctively for instruction. This undermines their first steps in building trust with our teachers. And, trust is so important as it allows children to relax in the pool and it makes them more willing to listen to the instructor and progress with their swimming. If there was an emergency, we are trained in water safety.

Your child’s progression is quicker

When children build that trust with their teacher they listen to instructions and pick up things quicker. The absence of their parents by the pool also gives them the chance to interact more with their swimming teacher and to be less distracted in general as they learn to swim. It also prevents the parents from disrupting the lesson by accident. This speeds up their progression.

Health and safety concerns

We make sure that our swimming lessons and the environment in which they happen are safe. When our kids are in the water we focus our attention fully on them. Unfortunately, it would be very hard for us if we had to make sure that parents, siblings or others that have come along to watch the swimming lesson are also safe. We do not have any medical information on guests and if an accident should happen, it will be extremely hard for us to react appropriately.

Child protection concerns

We have multiple swimming sessions and learners in our locations in Oldham and Castleton. This means that it will be impossible for us to keep a record of all parents or guests if we allow them on the poolside. For many fellow parents, this situation could also, understandably, raise child protection concerns. Other parents may not be comfortable with you at the poolside even if you would be okay with it. So, to be on the safe side, we have decided as a swimming school to adhere to a strict ‘no parents on poolside’ policy which is fair to everyone.

Covid-19 and social distancing

2020 and 2021 have been exceptional and have created some new challenges concerning allowing people to gather. Dolphin Academy follows all the government’s recommendations and guidelines to ensure our lessons are as safe as possible for our learners; this includes restricting the numbers of people we allow to be in one space. For example, we ask only one parent attend the pool rather than two, as this will reduce the total number of people at our venue. You will understand that parents at the poolside are not strictly necessary, and present possible risks to everyone if we were to allow them. You can read our Covid-19 policy here.

We hope that this information puts your mind at ease. We try to do what is best for our swimmers and we are very concerned with both their safety as learners and their progression in learning to swim. If you are still worried, do not hesitate to contact us. And, for very young children, you might want to consider signing up for parent and baby swimming lessons sessions with our partner Dolphin Babies to help both you and your child to ease into learning to swim.

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