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Shortage of Swimming Teachers

Updated: Dec 18, 2019

A survey carried out by STA shows that difficulties in recruiting trained swimming teachers are continuing to create widespread problems for many swim schools across the UK – with 62% of swim schools saying this is also majorly impacting on the opportunity for children to learn how to swim.

The 2019 Industry Swimming Teachers Recruitment Survey by STA, found that more than half of UK swim schools, operating in both the public and private sector, have a waiting list for lesson spaces, while 77% said they could not find appropriately qualified swimming teaching staff to meet this demand – swim schools operating in the West Midlands, South East, South, North West, North, London and East Midlands were revealed to be the biggest problem areas for recruitment.

This latest study, designed to understand how widespread of an issue swimming teacher recruitment is in the UK, is being used to monitor and benchmark against similar research that was undertaken by STA in 2015 and then in 2018.

The 2019 research indicates the national recruitment situation is relatively static, no worse or no better than 12 months ago, which gives continual cause for concern and especially where its impacting on children not being able to access local swimming lessons and learn a vital key lifesaving skill as a result. All areas confirm that it is continuing to have an impact – the highest* in particular is the South East, South West and London.

Kaylë Brightwell, Head of Qualification Development at STA said: “Recruitment continues to a widespread problem and causes many operational issues for swim schools; from them not being able to cope with demand, being forced to cancel swimming lessons and longer waiting lists, which all impacts on their future growth. While the research shows some pockets of improvement as compared to the 2015 survey, the issue of recruitment and how it’s impacting on the opportunity for children to learn how to swim remains a major concern – and especially when you consider that less and less children are actively participating in primary school swimming programmes which is pushing even more demand onto swim schools.”






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