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Can anyone clarify a disagreement about swimming duty? Is it legal for a level 3 classroom assistant take a school of 24 children on a bus to go swimming with 1 parent helper? Within the group there are 2 reception children. I would be grateful for some professional advise to help a colleague.

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Guest LornaW

blackcat I think that if your school's risk assessment says that the risk is low and they can show that it has been safe in the past then it is legal! Of course they cannot take the swimming lesson aas they MUST hold a swimming qualification to do so and there MUST be a suitably qualified person at the poolside also.

 

Lorna

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You can check if your LA issues any specific guidance on this, although as Lorna says, often guidance can be 'woolley' and be left down to the risk assessment.

 

If this is a public bus (rather than a school minibus), then I certainly wouldn't want to, even if the majority of children are juniors! For one thing Id be asking why a teacher isn't going. My LA recommends 2:20, for children outside of the EYFS, but the 2 MUST be employees,not parents helpers. I would say you should have at least one other member of staff.

 

Also, what is provided at the pool, if you are not taking the swimming instructors with you?

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You can check if your LA issues any specific guidance on this, although as Lorna says, often guidance can be 'woolley' and be left down to the risk assessment.

 

If this is a public bus (rather than a school minibus), then I certainly wouldn't want to, even if the majority of children are juniors! For one thing Id be asking why a teacher isn't going. My LA recommends 2:20, for children outside of the EYFS, but the 2 MUST be employees,not parents helpers. I would say you should have at least one other member of staff.

 

Also, what is provided at the pool, if you are not taking the swimming instructors with you?

 

 

Thanks for reply, the issue is travelling on a private coach and attending the changing rooms. Classroom assistant has been told to take the children with parent helper but doesn't feel she can handle the responsibilty. Swimming instructors already and waiting at lesiure centre to take the class. Not sure if this is allowed with reception children in group of 24.

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Cant advise as I don't work in a school. My question however is, is it a mixed class and do they get changed seperately? If so who supervises which group? Presumably the TA is police checked but the parent helper probably isn't? (apologies if they are)

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Cant advise as I don't work in a school. My question however is, is it a mixed class and do they get changed seperately? If so who supervises which group? Presumably the TA is police checked but the parent helper probably isn't? (apologies if they are)

Hi its whole school 24 children seperate changing rooms all are crb checked even parents. Each person supervises a group.

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Guest LornaW
Hi its whole school 24 children seperate changing rooms all are crb checked even parents. Each person supervises a group.

 

 

If it is the whole school where is the teacher on this trip? Or could it be this is PPA time?

 

Lorna

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I dont think its reasonable to ask a parent to supervise a group of children changing on their own (assuming you have two rooms, one for boys and one for girls and that the TA/parent are male/female), nor would I wish to be the parents put in that position, CRB or not.

 

Your TA could refuse to do this, is she part of a union who would support her concern. Otherwise your H+S policy should also cover not only trips in general but safer supervision at swimming.

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I dont think its reasonable to ask a parent to supervise a group of children changing on their own (assuming you have two rooms, one for boys and one for girls and that the TA/parent are male/female), nor would I wish to be the parents put in that position, CRB or not.

 

Your TA could refuse to do this, is she part of a union who would support her concern. Otherwise your H+S policy should also cover not only trips in general but safer supervision at swimming.

Yes her union is supporting her and head of school has already sent her to occupational health because she said it would make her ill with stress and after Easter break a guy from health and safety is going to accompany the swimming trip. Because this was done by a previous teacher employed as grade3 classroom assistant county hall have said it is ok for new TA to continue in with duties of swimming. Its turning in to a real pickle and not a happy situation to be in.

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I think that if the employee is unsure, then it is not safe. Just because someone else managed it, that does not take into account the skills/ expertise/ experience of different employees.

 

When I was working in schools, we always had more than the LA recommendations. In this case, 2 members of staff and 1 or 2 parent helpers. If there was an accident need ing a member of staff to stay behind/ go in ambulance, then there should still be enough adults to take remaining children back safely. In the case given, this would mean one parent helper on their own with 24 children! Whereas if there were 2 members of staff 1 could stay with child, 1 go with parent helpers.

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I think that if the employee is unsure, then it is not safe. Just because someone else managed it, that does not take into account the skills/ expertise/ experience of different employees.

 

When I was working in schools, we always had more than the LA recommendations. In this case, 2 members of staff and 1 or 2 parent helpers. If there was an accident need ing a member of staff to stay behind/ go in ambulance, then there should still be enough adults to take remaining children back safely. In the case given, this would mean one parent helper on their own with 24 children! Whereas if there were 2 members of staff 1 could stay with child, 1 go with parent helpers.

 

 

Thank you for advise this is what the classroom assistant is afraid of accidents and unforeseen problems.

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