What to look for in a Swim School

Choosing a swim school can be a little tricky at times, here are our 5 top tips and things to consider:

Choosing a swim school can be a little tricky at times, here are our 5 top tips and things to consider.

1. Class Sizes

These vary from one swim school to another.

In general terms the smaller the class size, the more expensive the lesson will be, with a greater proportion of time spent swimming. Most schools operate in two categories, Groups and Private lessons which can be up to 3 students to 1 teacher, often ideal for families. The right choice for you all comes down to budget and your personal circumstances, some children respond better in groups, others in a more focused environment.

2. Qualifications of Teachers

In the UK, Swimming teachers have to be qualified to a Level 2 if they are to teach unsupervised. There are two recognised qualifying bodies in the UK, Swim England and the Swimming Teachers Association.

Both qualifications are basically the same.

Instructor demonstrating to children
A Swimtime teacher

Aside from this, teachers should hold a Safeguarding qualification and a DBS Check – both of which ensures the safest environment for children. Don’t be afraid to ask about this, any professional swim school should have no issue confirming this to you.

3. Insurance

Both the Swim School and the Swimming teacher should hold insurance in the unlikely event of any issue. A Swim School should be able to evidence this when asked.

4. Location

Swim schools operate from a wide range of locations. The more professional schools will operate out of commercial venues, for example at hotels or gyms, with all the wide range of commercial safety equipment that you would expect. These premium venues often have cafes or other relaxing areas where parents can relax whilst the lesson is taking place.

5. Experience

A well-established school with lots of experience, or one connected to a larger brand, will give you added confidence. These school are much more likely to have the resources, expertise and experience to deal with unexpected situations which naturally occur from time to time. They often have more sophisticated back office systems and will be working at a higher industry level contributing to the overall development of the sector. 

As an example, Swimtime sits on the board of the International Swim Schools Association helping to shape the global effort to combat drowning as well as helping to raise standards of swim schools around the world.

Swim Schools lecture
Swimtime's Theo Millward sharing the Swimtime story in Australia in 2019
Published by Swimtime: (updated: )