TERMS & CONDITIONS
- STATEMENT OF LIABILITY AND PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY
Parents, you are responsible for the safety of yourself, your child(ren) and any other children with you in entirety- aside from we take your child out of your hands and into the water as part of the scheduled training exercise until the lesson finishes and we return them to you. We do not assume responsibility for you, your children, or any other visitor that may be with you at the lesson. This includes children waiting for their lessons, dressing after lessons, and any other children you may have brought to the pool. All siblings and guests must remain at your side. There is NO RUNNING allowed around the pool. Playing on the steps, or swimming in the pool before or after the lesson is forbidden. Each individual pool has its own health and safety rules to be followed. You will be reminded of any specific rules at your location when you begin and at the beginning of each subsequent term.
- PROVIDE RELIABLE INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR CHILD’S HEALTH AS A PRIORITY
We heavily rely on the information we are given regarding your child’s health and any conditions/allergies etc. your child may have, that you will provide in completing the Registration Form. Please advise your Instructor before they enter the water if your child has had any signs of illness, injuries, or taken any type of medication in the past 24 hours. Please see point 12: Cancelling a Lesson for Illness, for further information on swimming and sickness.
- PLEASE DO NOT FEED YOUR CHILD FOR AT LEAST 2 HOURS PRIOR TO HIS/HER LESSON
Do not feed your child for at least 2 hours before their class is scheduled to begin. Whole fruits with skins and milk-based products, in particular, are not recommended as they are not easily digested and can be brought back up with just a strong burp. This includes blueberries, strawberries, grapes, apples, pineapple, tangerines, celery and other similar foods. Recommended foods for earlier in the day include rice, applesauce, toast, crackers, Cheerios, rice dream and water. This is important advice to follow as failure to follow these instructions may cause your child to vomit and could lead to closure of the pool due to contamination concerns. Your child may eat as normal after their lesson.
- HOW SOON CAN I EXPECT MY CHILD TO LEARN TO SWIM?
Swimming is the ability to rely on yourself for your own safety in deep water. Swimming independently in the water is a different skill than swimming strokes such as Front Crawl, Backstroke, Breaststroke or Butterfly.
From around 1 year old, children can learn how to develop the independent Swim-Float-Swim technique. Then from 3-5 years old, when the child is physically strong enough, they can learn traditional swimming strokes.
The Basic Programme usually takes around 20 lessons to complete. Most children learn in 4-5 weeks for an intensive course, around 10 weeks with lessons twice a week, and around a term with one lesson per week.
Do not be alarmed if your child is not progressing as quickly as another child. Just as children do not walk or talk at the same time, each child will progress in their own time.
If your child has been using armbands, a life jacket, a swim trainer bathing suit, or any other flotation device, while taking part in regular swimming lessons, your child may take a little longer to progress as we will need to undo any previously learnt bad habits before we can teach the new, correct postures.
Once your child has completed basic training (around 20 lessons), they will
be ready to start mastering the Swim-Float-Swim sequence, then (if they are at the correct age) they will begin with the swimming strokes.
- WILL MY CHILD BE DROWN-PROOF?
No child can ever be drown-proofed. However, children who possess basic swimming/survival skills have a significantly higher chance of surviving an accidental fall, as it could buy valuable time for a supervising adult to come to the rescue. No child should ever be left unsupervised around water.
- HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR LESSONS?
Please arrive at least 10 minutes before the start time of your lesson. Allow plenty of time to get your child changed, to go to toilet etc. Your lesson time begins at your scheduled time. If you arrive late, we can only give you the remainder of your lesson time.
All children who are not toilet trained must wear a reusable “swim nappy”. Disposable swim nappies trap air which can interfere with balance and aid flotation, so are therefore unsuitable for this programme. The reusable swim nappy should have elastic around the legs and waist tight enough to prevent any leaks or “accidents” from contaminating the pool. These are available for purchase for £10 at the pool. Please let us know in advance if you would like to buy one so that we can ensure we have the correct size available for you.
We hold termly “clothes check outs” where we will ask you to bring summer or winter clothes (that you don’t mind going into the pool!) and a regular nappy.
- HOW ARE THE LESSONS CONDUCTED?
Swimming lessons in the Basic Programme are approximately 10 minutes in length. You can choose how many lessons you would like to attend per week. Consistency has proven to be an important ingredient to success with this programme, so we recommend at least 2 lessons per week. Lesson time may be slightly shorter if the Instructor sees any signs of temperature fatigue. Short, constant repetitions yield better results than longer lessons.
The Instructors will advise you when your child is ready to move into the next level (this depends on age, as well as ability).
*See point 13 for terms and conditions of make-up sessions.
- HOW IS OUR BASIC PROGRAMME DIFFERENT TO OTHER SWIM PROGRAMMES?
Babies are not born knowing how to swim or float, they need to be given the right instruction to master these skills in order to be safer around water.
Our course is not an introduction to water course, it is a swimming course that teaches children and babies to float and swim independently in approximately 20 lessons. That’s why we only teach children from around 6 months onwards, as babies mostly move using reflexes before this time, such as the Moro, Epiglottal, swimming and diving reflexes. We need children to be moving in a controlled way, such as crawling and rolling over, otherwise teaching would be counterproductive. We run Parent and Baby courses from 2 months as an introduction to the water, where parents are allowed in the pool.
The requirements for entering the Basic Programme are:
- Aged around 6 months+
- Rolling over; particularly from face down onto their backs
- Reach with their arms
- Strong enough to push themselves up
We teach children how to be safe, confident, independent swimmers who can enjoy the water, splashing around, playing and having fun.
The specific, unique method we use is based on child psychology and behavioural principles. Our dedicated, highly trained Instructors have over 160 hours of in-water training with over 200 children in both the UK and USA. This method is suitable for children with mental, physical disabilities, as well as any other disability or condition. We would just require doctor and parental approval to participate in ISA swimming programmes.
–We do not use or recommend the use of floats, noodles, or any other floating aid. Children learn from their own experiences and feelings in the water, they put their faces in to get ready to swim. If your child has been using armbands and/or has been taught incorrect positioning, we will need to undo these bad habits before we can teach the new ones.
–We don’t use the Ready Go cue or any other commands as the children learn to control their breath by themselves from the very beginning.
-We don’t teach children to blow bubbles in the water as we want them to hold the air inside to float and swim independently. We teach correct breathing at a more appropriate and advanced stage when learning strokes.
-We DO NOT push or throw the children into the water. From the first moment they enter the water, they are taught the correct swimming position. Once the child has learnt the skills, the Instructor recreates an accidental falling in scenario (A Winter Clothes Check out E.g. Going in wearing jacket, trouser, shoes etc.)
–We teach the children to orientate themselves in the water with their eyes open. They learn to swim without goggles on as we don’t want them to become goggles-dependent.
-No parents or guardians are allowed in the water during the Basic Programme. However, we will teach you how to enjoy the water with your child without undoing any progress they have made so far
- AFTER LESSONS
Please bring 2 towels or 1 large towel for your child to lay on to rest after the lesson. Little ones use lots of energy in the process of learning to swim and will likely need a rest when the lesson finishes.
- WHY CAN’T PARENTS PARTICIPATE IN THE LESSONS OF THE BASIC PROGRAMME?
We don’t want the child to initially associate the water with the love, attention and affection of their parents. It takes a lot of concentration and objectivity to teach the child how to respond to an aquatic emergency, and research shows that parents often find it too difficult to be objective, effective teachers with their own children.
We do, however, offer the possibility to get into the water with us so we can teach you how to enjoy the water with your child while supporting the learning of the programme. Please ask a Customer Service Advisor to arrange this session for you.
Our Parent and Baby classes are different, in that they are an introduction to the water. It is highly unlikely the children would learn to swim or float independently until they begin the Basic Programme.
- CAN I TAKE PICTURES OR VIDEOS?
Yes (at most locations)! Kids to love to watch themselves! Even if they are crying, it sometimes helps them overcome it more quickly. Please be aware that this may not always be possible due to stricter policies regarding photos at certain locations.
- CANCELLING A LESSON DUE TO ILLNESS
Although consistency of attendance is important, there are times when the lesson should be cancelled. Please see below some circumstances when your child should NOT be swimming.
- FEVER over 37.8 – Resume in 24 hours
- VOMITING OR DIARRHEA – Resume in 48 hours
- CONTAGIOUS DISEASES (Chicken Pox, Conjunctivitis, Strep Throat etc.). CROUP (Dry cough), WHEEZING – Resume in 24/48 hours
- HEAD INJURY or SEVERE REACTION TO AN INSECT BITE – Resume in 24 hours
- OTITIS EXTERNA- Requires Doctor’s approval
- SEIZURE- Requires Doctor’s written permission to swim
- MAKE-UP LESSONS
Each package and stage of our programme has 2 make-up sessions available. These make-up sessions can be used to replace a session missed for any reason including, but not limited to illness or holidays. Please see below for more information with regards to how these sessions work:
- You will only be eligible for these 2 make-up sessions for sessions that you have given us PRIOR NOTICE to missing. We understand that in some circumstances this may be more in advance than others, but to qualify for your make-up sessions, you must send us an email 24 hours in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you know the dates you will miss at the beginning of the term, please let us know when you enrol so that we can use those slots for other make-up sessions
- We understand that it is not always possible to know in advance, but if your child is unwell please try to give us 24 hours’ notice that you will not be attending
- All your make-up sessions must be used before the expiry date on your enrolment email/end of term (depending on which programme you have purchased) and cannot be transferred over to the next term as regular lessons or otherwise
- Try to book in your make-ups as early in the term as possible to avoid an end of term rush with us struggling to find suitable slots for everyone
- Please note, we are not obligated to offer make-up sessions and they do not replace regular sessions. We still have to rent the pool for your regular slot, so please keep this in mind and give us as much notice as possible where a class will be missed and a slot could be used for someone else
- Your make-up sessions will be related to the package you have purchased, for example, if you normally have a 30-minute 321 lesson or 20-minute 221 lesson, we could offer a 10-minute 121 if we cannot find a suitable 30-minute 321/20-minute 221 lesson to substitute. We will maintain the Instructor/Child time ratios according to your purchased pack
- If you are in a 321 or 221 lesson normally, but the other child or children doesn’t/don’t show up, then you get a 121 session for that time that may be considered as a make-up due to the increased Instructor/child time ratio
- If you have purchased the Basic Programme Pack, please keep in mind that any lessons booked after the expiry date (the last day of your 20 lessons as outlined in your enrolment email) will be charged as extra. If you are unsure of when this date is, please contact a Customer Service Advisor for confirmation before your lessons end
We will always try our best to accommodate make-up sessions, please be as flexible as possible about days, times and Instructor to help us do this. We only have limited pool availability. If everybody follows the rules as above, we will have much better availability to offer make-up sessions to all of our customers.
It is important to note that if you agree to a make-up session, it is not possible to cancel this session with less than 48 hours’ notice. For any notice given that is less than 48 hours, or if you do not show up for the session, it will be considered as one make-up session delivered from your allowance.
- WHY IS MAINTENANCE NECESSARY? WHY CONTINUE LESSONS AFTER MY CHILD COMPLETES THE BASIC PROGRAMME?
Children need updates; not because they will forget their skills, but because they will outgrow them. Especially during the first two years of life, babies’ rapid growth causes their centre of gravity to shift, which affects their ability to float. These lessons are similar to seeing the health visitor and doctor for their check-ups as they grow. It also continues to build confidence. Leaving the programme before your child is completely water-confident may result in a fear of the water. Consistency is key.
Payment is due 24 hours before the first lesson. Payment is to be made in full by the date outlined in your confirmation email. Failure to do so by this date may result in your slot being given to another family. We will send you details on how to pay after you have completed both the Registration form and have agreed to these Terms and Conditions.
The initial programme consists of 20 lessons to be completed within 1 term (where there is availability and you are able to come multiple times per week). If your child learns the full SWIM-FLOAT-SWIM sequence in less time, we can convert the remaining Basic sessions into Intermediate sessions. We also offer a Term Pack version of the Basic Programme for those attending just once per week.
Please do not enter your child into this programme unless you fully intend on completing the entire learning process.
All payments are non-refundable. All agreements are made on the payment basis and do not rely on the conditions or locations of the following term to be valid.
Once your child begins lessons, the balance paid cannot be refunded if you withdraw your child.
It may take several weeks for your child to work through his/her feelings about the water and leaving could make a child feel unduly anxious about his/her lack of ability.
- ADMIN FEES
Once you have enrolled onto the course, you may make one change to your course day/time/location etc. An admin fee may be applied in cases where you change your course details multiple times, request access to specific information or ask for a specific course requirement that incurs extra costs to the company. It can vary from around £10-£50 depending on the factors involved in your request. Please ask for an estimated cost based on your request.
Children are all different; some take to strangers easily, some don’t. The water is an added dimension to this. It may take your baby/child a while to adapt to this new situation.
Most children cry at some point during the lessons. Some only for the first few lessons, some throughout the programme. Even as they cry, they are still learning the skills.
Crying is the fastest form of communication for children, even in children who can already speak. They know that if they cry, their parent will try to do something to stop them crying as soon as possible. We pay attention to the crying and get to know your child to encourage them. Please don’t be alarmed by the crying. In most cases, crying is due to the baby/child not being in control of the lesson. Crying can also be due to the frustration of learning a new sensorimotor skill. When children first learn to walk, ride a bike, or use a scooter, there are often tears along the way, for various reasons, yet they don’t grow up to be afraid of walking, riding a bike or a scooter. It’s important to remember that they are not crying because they are hurt, afraid or being forced to do something they are not capable of doing.
Remember, we are all doing everything we can to make it a safe and pleasant experience for you and your child. Please see point 18 for more detailed guidance for parents.
- GUIDANCE FOR PARENTS
Many parents of preschool age children, particularly verbal toddlers can find the first several days of lessons quite challenging. It’s not uncommon for older children to announce that they “don’t want to” do what the Instructor asks, or they may call out for Mum or Dad before or during lessons. This is generally a reaction to the fact that the first few days of learning a new skill can be quite challenging, or that the child is not in control of the lesson. This period is usually brief, and these same children are often demonstrating how proud they are of their new skills, after just a few lessons.
It is very important that your child sees a positive reaction from you. Children take their cues on how to behave from their parents, so it’s essential that you show your enthusiasm, especially if your child is crying. Watch intently, smile and clap approvingly.
During lessons, we ask that you avoid saying anything instructional, like “Float on your back!” or “Swim to the wall!” even if it appears to you that the Instructor is working on that particular skill. Your Instructor needs your child’s complete attention throughout the lesson and hearing your instructions may be confusing for him/her.
After the lesson, when your child is resting on the towel, use the opportunity to talk to your child about how proud you are of what they achieved in that day’s lesson. Try to give specific examples, such as “You did a great job of getting onto your back and floating all by yourself!” or “I saw you holding onto the wall all by yourself!”- this will show your child how proud you are and will reinforce the concepts he/she is learning.
REMEMBER, YOU ARE YOUR CHILD’S NUMBER ONE CHEERLEADER!
As a company, we hold Employers’ Liability and Public Liability Insurance.
Discounts such as block bookings and referrals may be given after examination on a case-by-case basis.
- SCHOOL HOLIDAYS
During half-terms and other school holidays, we run Intensive swimming courses of 4/5 days. We will advertise these in advance, fees are to be paid within 48 hours of booking and spaces are given on a first come, first served basis.
- CHANGE OF MEMBER’S DETAILS
Parents are responsible of notifying us of any changes to their address, contact details, swimmer’s health condition, or if there is any change of care-giver. These, and any other relevant changes should be made in writing to email@example.com where the Administration team can update records. The security and care of our pupils is of paramount importance to us. We conform to the 1998 Data Protection Act.
Before the end of the current term, we will contact you via email to begin the re-enrolment process, we ask you to respond promptly.
- CHANGES TO TERMS AND CONDITIONS
From time to time, International Swimming Academy may update these terms and conditions by sending you either an updated version, or a notification of minor changes. If you are not happy to accept these changes, please notify ISA in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org of your non-acceptance within 14 days of receipt. Failing any such communication from you, we deem that you full accept our updated agreement terms.
- COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE
Our aim is to ensure that you are happy and satisfied with our service. In the unlikely event that you need to make a complaint, please email email@example.com and we will contact you within 48 hours to try and resolve the issue.
- IF THE TEACHER IS UNWELL
In the event that the Instructor is unwell, and such is absent from the class, International Swimming Academy is within their rights to substitute another Instructor to cover that lesson and no credit will be given for this lesson.
If we are unable to provide a replacement Instructor and have to cancel the class, we will credit you with the lesson. This credited lesson can be used against future bookings. If you are not going to continue with lessons, we will give a refund on this occasion.
We will inform you of any changes outlined above via email and/or via text message. While all efforts will be made to give you 24 hours’ notice of these changes, please by aware that from time to time, this may not be possible.
Unless we contact you to say otherwise, our lessons will be going ahead regardless of the weather conditions. If you miss a make-up session arranged for that day due to the weather and we have not communicated any lesson cancellations, then it will count as one make up lesson delivered.
- WHEN WE CANNOT FIND A SUITABLE MATCH OF SWIMMERS FOR 321/221 LESSONS
In the case that we cannot find a suitable match of swimmers for 321 or 221 classes by the second week of term, you will be given 2 options going forward:
- The class duration will be reduced to the ratio of 10 minutes per child participating
- Pay the difference to make it a private 30/20 minute class
Should you choose option 1, the first 2 classes at the longer duration will count as your 2 make-up sessions for this term.