New Handsam Example Policy: Water Safety and Swimming
A new example policy covering safety on or near water and in swimming pools
This new example policy covers all the areas of risk and responsibility that should be considered by schools whenever students are near or in the water.
What must a school do regarding water safety?
All schools should ensure that all the necessary measures are in place for all water-based activities to be safe at all times based on adherence to the HSE’s publication ‘Managing Health and Safety in Swimming Pools HSG179’ (See Appendix 5).
Staff member in charge
The staff member in charge of a group of pupils is responsible for:
· The lesson content;
· The supervision of pupils;
· Ensuring this policy is adhered to during every aspect of that activity; and
· Assessing and managing risks likely to be caused by and to the members of the group on the way to the pool, during changing and preparation for swimming, in the pool and during the activities.
Teacher/Coach Supervision and Ratios
The Responsible Person for all Swimming and Water-based Activities will liaise with swimming pool authorities to establish what lifeguard supervision is available.
The Association for Physical Education recommends that specialist aquatic staff may also provide essential lifesaving cover. Another responsible adult should be available to supervise the students in any situation where the specialist aquatic teacher has to enter the water to carry out a rescue.
What is in the policy?
The policy covers:
- The Responsible Person(s);
- Safety Procedures;
- Risk Assessment;
- Travel to the Activity;
- Liaison with Swimming Pool (or other) Staff;
- Changing Facilities;
- Teacher/Coach Supervision and Ratios;
- Use of Volunteers and Paid Coaches;
- Pupil Behaviour;
- Lifesaving and Apparatus;
- First Aid Provision;
- Emergency Arrangements;
- Record Keeping;
- Pupils with Disabilities and Special Educational Needs;
- Qualifications and Training;
- Pool Maintenance;
- Equal Opportunities; and
- Monitoring and Review.
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