Institute of Swimming launch Teacher Recruitment Academy to solve teacher shortage

The Institute of Swimming has launched a new Swimming Teacher Recruitment Academy in a bid to solve a nationwide demand for swimming teachers.

The Academy, which follows successful pilots with Everyone Active, Trafford Leisure and 1Life, will give those starting a career as a swimming teacher – or those looking for a change of profession – the chance to receive training of the highest level at a fraction of the usual cost, whilst being matched with a potential employer.

The Teachers’ Academy gives people the chance to become a swimming teacher for only £79, compared to the usual £1,000, and takes them through the Swim England Level 1 Swimming Assistant (teaching) Course and Level 2 Teaching Swimming Qualification.

The Teachers’ Academy is a one stop shop for employers to source and recruit swimming teachers of the future.

The trainee teachers will work with potential future employers to gain practical experience and valuable advice from mentors, ensuring they have the necessary experience for the role. The Institute of Swimming will manage the search and recruitment of trainee teachers while supporting them through their training on behalf of employers, ensuring leisure operators receive teachers who are trained to the highest level.

The new Teachers’ Academy follows an extensive Workforce Census by The Institute of Swimming in 2017, which discovered around 400,000 people in the United Kingdom are currently missing out on swimming lessons, with 23% of primary school children unable to swim. Leisure operators often have long waiting lists for lessons and a key factor to these failings is the nationwide shortage of qualified swimming teachers.

Rebecca Cox, Managing Director, Institute of Swimming says:

“There is a shortage of new and available swimming teachers trained to deliver the Swim England learn to swim framework across the country, which means people are missing out on swimming lessons. It was critical for us to address this issue. Through our research we found the cost of the courses was one of the barriers in getting people interested and committing to the training. Teaching swimming is a very rewarding job with flexible hours, but the cost of qualifying can hold people back. We want this opportunity to be available to everyone. Feedback from our pilots have proven the reduced cost of studying broadened the catchment of people who might otherwise have not considered training to become a swimming teacher.”

Emma Thomas, Head of Development, Trafford Leisure says:

“Being able to swim is an extremely important life skill. Everyone should have the opportunity to learn. Following our successful pilot, we have employed newly qualified teachers, sourced and trained by the Institute of Swimming, and been able to maintain and fulfill our swimming lesson commitments. We have signed up again to the Teachers’ Academy in a bid to further develop and grow our swimming lesson offerings to our community. The Academy provides the ideal mix of high-grade training and practical experience in an affordable package, giving operators peace of mind that their employees will deliver safe, high-quality swim lessons.”

Miguel Marcano recently achieved his Swim England accredited Level one and two qualifications with Everyone Active after joining the pilot Teachers’ Academy. He said:

“I have always loved the water, but I never considered turning my hobby into my career. I saw the training advertised online by the Institute of Swimming. The courses are very thorough, and I’m delighted with the mentoring I received through volunteering with Everyone Active, who have gone on to employ me at a number of their sites in London. I’m passionate about teaching people to swim; it’s a very satisfying job, I’m proud of myself for finding a career that I love and equally proud of the students I teach.”

Jacqui Tillman, Head of Swimming at Everyone Active says:

“The Teachers’ Academy is already having a big impact on our ability as an operator to recruit highly-skilled swim teachers. It is not only attracting more people to pursue swimming as a career and assuring the quality and qualifications of the teachers but with the Academy managing the search and recruitment of trainee teachers, operators are able to dedicate more time to children’s swimming development, which has to a benefit to everyone.”

The Institute of Swimming is looking for further leisure operator partners to join the Recruitment Academy. For more information or to find out how to get involved with the scheme please visit