Teachers’ Academy hailed by leisure operators

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Leisure operators have hailed the Institute of Swimming’s innovative Teachers’ Academy for helping them to recruit teachers who “are the very best they can be.”

More than 150 people have applied to join the pilot scheme of the Academy in London and Manchester since it was launched by the Institute of Swimming two weeks ago.

It’s been created as almost 400,000 people could be missing out on swimming lessons due to a nationwide shortage of swimming teachers.

Now leisure operators Everyone Active and Manchester-based Trafford Leisure have teamed up with the Institute of Swimming to ensure they appoint graduates of the Academy – highly-skilled teachers who are ready to hit the poolside running.

The Academy gives people the chance to become a swimming teacher for only £50 and takes them through the Swim England Level 1 Swimming Assistant (Teaching) course and Level 2 Teaching Swimming Qualification.

In between the courses, they will work with potential future employers to gain practical experience, benefit from CPDs to help them develop as well as getting expert advice and support from a mentor to ensure they have the necessary experience for the role.

Determined to make teaching more accessible

Jacqui Tillman, Head of Swimming at Everyone Active, said: “Everyone Active is fully in support of the Teachers’ Academy.

“It is not acceptable that children are missing out on the opportunity to learn a life-saving skill because of a shortage of teachers, and through our partnership, we are determined to make the vocation more accessible.

“With the Academy managing the search and recruitment of trainee teachers, operators will be able to dedicate more time to children’s swimming development.

“The Academy provides the ideal mix of high-grade training and practical experience in an affordable package, giving operators peace of mind that the swim teachers they recruit can deliver safe, high-quality swim lessons to children of all abilities.

“We hope that more teachers will realise their full potential and open up more opportunities for people to learn to swim.”

Waiting lists of children wanting swimming lessons

Emma Thomas, Head of Development, at Trafford Leisure said: “Being able to swim is an extremely important life skill.

“Everyone should be given that opportunity. At Trafford Leisure we have waiting lists of children wanting swimming lessons and we simply cannot recruit qualified teachers quick enough to fulfil the demand.

“We are excited to partner with the Institute of Swimming and its Academy to ensure that our swimming teachers are the very best they can be. We are confident that this approach will encourage people who may not have considered this as a career before to undertake the training.”

Rebecca Cox, the Institute of Swimming’s managing director, said: “During this pilot, we’re delighted to be working closely with Everyone Active and Trafford Leisure to help them recruit highly-skilled swimming teachers.

“The initial interest has far exceeded our expectations and we are excited to see the impact of the programme on the future of swimming teacher training and learn to swim provision.

“We are looking forward to extending the programme up to more of our partners following the pilot, ensuring even more leisure operators see the benefits the Academy has to offer.”

In addition to the training, applicants will also receive a years’ membership to the Institute of Swimming and access to the online Introduction to Swimming Strokes CPD.

Applications for the pilot are now closed.

Want to support our academy?

Are you a swimming lesson provider looking for swimming teachers, and interested in working in partnership with the Institute of Swimming? If so, please email us at workforce@swimming.org. We already have roles for the trainees going through the pilot scheme but will be looking for more employers to be part of our academy after the pilots.

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