Swimming pools at schools

It's really important that young New Zealanders are able to stay safe in the water. Swimming is part of the curriculum so that every child gets the opportunity to learn basic swimming skills.

Learning aquatic skills

The Health and Physical Education Curriculum expects that all students will have had opportunities to learn basic aquatic skills by the end of year 6.

Around 1300 schools, or 60% of schools, have pools. Those schools that don’t have pools use community or council swimming pools. These can provide a safer swimming environment, better year round facilities and more trained instructors.

Schools without a pool can use their operations grant funding to help take students to a nearby swimming pool.

Managing a school pool

As a Board you're the entity responsible for the day-to-day running of the school, and therefore you're also responsible for the management and operation of the school pool.

This means you have the primary duty of care as the person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU), under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, to take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure everyone using your pool with your permission remains safe and healthy.

You must put in place arrangements for the safe use of the pool, including developing rules for safe use, installing and maintaining adequate fencing and gates, and managing the pool’s water quality.

The relevant legislation, regulations and standards are set out on the following websites.

Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 — NZ Legislation website (external link)

Building Act 2004 — NZ Legislation website (external link)

Building Code (including Clause F9 for pool fencing — Building Performance website (external link)

NZS 5826:2010 'Pool water quality' — Standards NZ website (external link)

NZS 8500:2006 'Safety barriers and fences around swimming pools' — Standards NZ website (external link)

Manage school pool use

Find out about safe pool use and community use, during and outside school hours.

Manage school pool use

Build, replace or remove a school pool

Find out how to build, replace or remove a pool, and how to pay for it.

Build, replace or remove a school pool

Pool maintenance

Find out about your responsibilities regarding pool maintenance, including how to pay for operational maintenance, capital work and damage.

Maintain a school pool

Last reviewed: Has this been useful? Give us your feedback