Cheaper swimming lessons in Soho
By poppy_smith | Monday, January 14, 2013, 21:56
Swimming lessons in Westminster are to get bigger, better, and cheaper in January once they are taken in-house by a council contractor.
Westminster City Council, working with Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL), will be making a splash with GLL's Better Swim School programme from today (7 January 2013) – offering greater choice for residents at a lower price while delivering higher quality swimming lessons.
Parent and baby sessions will cost £5 – which is £7 cheaper than under the previous arrangement. Adults and juniors wanting one-to-one tuition will save 25 per cent on lessons with the price dropping to £30.
The cost of lessons for juniors is being frozen at 2012 prices – offering an inflation-busting saving for Westminster residents. Adult lesson prices will increase by £1.20 – but lesson duration is being increased by a third making them cheaper overall.
Under Better, the largest swimming lessons provider in London, the teaching and coaching will be aligned with the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) national teaching plan.
On top of this, the Better Swim School is to create links with Westminster's swimming clubs – which will help young and talented swimmers get the best coaching earlier on, making it easier for the future generation of stars to get on to the path to success.
All existing customers and swimming teachers will be able to transfer to the Better Swim School. The current timetable of teaching will be delivered with Better planning to extend this provision even further in Westminster's five swimming pools.
Teachers who worked under the expired Swim Nature contract are being given the opportunity to transfer to the Better Swim School, allowing continuity from the old arrangement. Staff working for Better will get the chance to develop their skills, and every teacher will be ASA Level 2 (or equivalent) qualified.
Flexible course dates and payment options, including online and direct debit are also being introduced.
Cllr Steve Summers, Westminster City Council's lead member for sport and leisure, said: "This move will make it much cheaper and easier for parents to take their young children swimming for the first time, as well as anyone else who wants to learn how to swim.
"I will stress that the lower cost will not result in a drop in quality, in fact it is quite the opposite. The programme of lessons is being brought in-line with ASA's teaching plan and teachers will have greater opportunity to develop their skills further.
"These changes will help drive forward our Olympic legacy in Westminster by giving people the best possible chance to get in the water at their nearest pool."