The ASA Learn to Swim Companion

For parents, carers, and anyone considering taking the plunge

How to spot good swimming lessons


Good swimming lessons are made up of five key elements that parents need to look out for. They will let you know whether your child is getting the right provision.

They are:

  1. The ASA Learn to Swim Pathway – this ensures your children are receiving the best possible instruction with qualified teachers. Learn more about the ASA Learn to Swim Pathway here.
  2. Qualified knowledgeable teachers – the ASA recommends no more than 12 learners to one teacher during a lesson. Often good swimming lessons are run with two teachers, one in the pool and one out of the pool. Ask about the ASA qualifications your child’s teacher holds.
  3. The seven Learn to Swim stages – good swimming lessons will use the ASA Learn to Swim Pathway seven stages. Each stage carefully takes your child from learner to competent swimmer by Key Stage 2.
  4. Fun and games – a good swimming lesson will take a games-based approach. If it is not enjoyable your child is less likely to learn.
  5. Water skills and awareness – teachers should be aware of your child developing water skills such as buoyancy, and moving around in the water. They should also stress the need to understand swimming as fitness and a way to keep fit. Swimming for swimming’s sake does not make for good swimming lessons.

More information about good swimming lessons

As a parent you’ll want as much information as possible to ensure your swimming lessons provider is good. So, as well as the five elements here are a few more basic facts about good swimming lessons.

  1. Most lessons last around 30 minutes and children should be as active as possible throughout the lesson. All children should be having fun.
  2. Swimming strokes should be introduced gradually once your child has acquired the basic skills. These should not be introduced immediately.
  3. Under no circumstances should teachers force children into activities. Children have to understand why they are doing it to be able to consistently carry out the skill.