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.
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 1,300 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 of Trustees, you are the entity responsible for the day to day running of the school, and therefore you are 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 in:
- Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (external link) (Legislation website)
- Building Act 2004 (external link) (Legislation website)
- Building Code (external link) (including the new Clause F9 for pool fencing) (Building Performance website)
- NZS 5826:2010 'Pool water quality' (external link) (Standards NZ website)
- NZS 8500:2006 'Safety barriers and fences around swimming pools' (external link) (Standards NZ website)
Manage school pool use
Information about managing pool use during and outside school hours:
Build, replace or remove a school pool
Information about how to build, replace or remove a pool, and how to pay for it:
Information about pool maintenance, including how to pay for operational maintenance, capital work and damage:
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