Terms & Conditions
Places are booked on a first come first served basis. Customers book a space in our learn to swim programme on the basis of a vacant space within a pool.
Child registration must be completed online. Once initial contact has been made Stepping Stones will provide you with the options at your local venue. Once the day and time has been agreed Stepping Stones will arrange for the relevant direct debit link to be sent to you, so allowing you to sign up.
Spaces will only be confirmed once payment has been confirmed and a live direct debit mandate has been returned.
Once you have registered for your first lessons your space will be guaranteed for all future lessons. Any spaces that are not confirmed before the first session cannot be guaranteed.
We aim to continually progress our swimmers throughout our programme, progression and class moves do not always occur at the start or end of an academic term. We work closely with all our teachers behind the scenes to ensure that your child is swimming at the correct level for their ability.
Stepping Stones aims to accommodate class moves to the next stage with immediate effect. On occasion spaces may not immediately be available, Stepping Stones employ the highest quality swimming teachers so rest assured your child will still be receiving the correct level of teaching within their current class until a space is available within the next stage.
We understand that logistically timings may or may suit families who have siblings within the same programme. Consideration will be made to families with siblings and we aim to create minimum time changes but we cannot guarantee class timings.
We aim to offer a mix of classes at each venue / day, where the pool allows we will aim to offer a range of abilities at the same time to help keep lesson times family friendly. Stepping Stones will control pupil movements when required. Class placement is the responsibility of the teachers and the lesson
Stepping Stones Direct Debit:
Stepping Stones operate a direct debit payment system. Once your Direct Debit is set up you will be enrolled into the Stepping Stones programme. To terminate your contract with Stepping Stones a 1 month (30 day) notice period is required to cancel your subscription. There are no termination fee’s and you will be welcome to attend any remaining lessons in the month in which your last payment was made. All cancelation requests must be made in writing via email, or alternatively the direct debit can be cancelled directly with your bank bank. Either option will notify Stepping Stones of your intention to terminate your contract, this allows the Stepping Stones office time to process all cancelation requests in an effective manor.
Your space in the programme will remain your space until you let us know you no longer require it. You will be given an annual calendar off all the term dates that will be included in your monthly payment. Your Direct Debit payment is simply a fixed price per month and each monthly payment covers the lessons within that calendar month.
The monthly direct debit covers lessons over the full 12 months of the year, this includes weekly delivery throughout the school term. The delivery dates are detailed in your term dates which can be downloaded via the Stepping Stones website. The weekly delivery will pause over the summer break and the delivery switches to the summer swim schools format. The Summer Swim School programme will be released in May. Swimmers will have the option to attend one summer swim school which includes a further 5 delivery sessions (equating to an additional 5 weeks of delivery).
The direct debit must remain active to secure you place within the programme, any swimmer who no longer has a direct debit confirmed will be removed from the programme, however they can reapply to join the programme at any point.
Term time lessons will run in line with advertised term dates throughout the academic year & one 5 day summer swim school will also be included ensuring delivery across the full year. Lessons will run in line with school terms and will take into account the main school holiday periods. As public holidays are not the same for every school, some lessons will take place on local public holidays.
We do recognise that the summer is a long time without weekly lessons however we also know parents don’t want to be tied to turning up each week during the holiday period when the children are on holiday and have other commitments. The summer swim schools will run across all our venues during the summer holiday periods. We will inform you of all the Swim Academy dates as they are confirmed for you to book (Booking opens May each year).
The Swim school week can be used at any of our venues. You do not have to use your Swim school week in the venue that you currently attend the lessons. If a different venue has a more suitable date and time then you are more than welcome to attend! (Please note to use Bannatynes’ Swim school you have to be a member of the health club)
Prices will be reviewed annually in August, however if you enter into a contract with Stepping Stones you will never be subject to any price increases. This does not apply if you leave and re-join the programme.
Frequently asked Questions?
What happens if I miss a lesson due to sickness?
“We will try our best to offer you a catch up lesson on a different day/venue depending on spaces so that you don’t miss out on week’s lesson. We do not issue refunds for missed lessons.
What happens if my payment rejects but I want to keep my space?
“We understand there can be a variety of reasons why the Direct Debit payment rejects. If you find yourself in this situation please contact the office by email or phone as soon as possible for us to resolve the issue so that you don’t lose your space in the programme”
I pay monthly – Do I need to do anything each month to secure my space?
“No your space is secure in our programme until you let us know you no longer require your space”
How do I book my Swim School Week that is included in the monthly subscription?
“We will realise all the dates on the run up to the Swim School weeks and you can choose which week and venue you would like to book into”
I have booked a lesson however my child did not settle or refused to attend the class
“We understand that on occasion some children may not settle into the programme, this may due to a variety of external factors. Stepping Stones will do everything we can to help settle every swimmer into the programme. If you chose to cancel your space or not return no refund will be given for weeks in which your child continues to hold the space within the lessons. ”
I have already attended my included Swim School Week but can I attend another?
“Yes, you can attend as many or as few of the Swim Academy weeks as you like. You have one included that you don’t have to pay extra for. We will send you an additional invoice for any additional weeks you want to attend”
Terms and Conditions
Monthly Direct Debit
Payment will be debited from your account on the 1st of the Month
If your payment has rejected for any reason we will contact you via email to make the payment before the first lesson of that month.
If we do not receive payment before the first lesson of that month we will remove your child from the registers and their space will be opened up to children on our waiting lists to book.
If you choose to leave the Stepping Stones programme you will be unable to access any “new swimmer” offers, please note that prices are subject to change annually.
There is a freeze option available only in July (discounted holding fee) , this allows you to freeze your space for July and holds your place in the programme for the lessons resuming in August. If you choose to do this your regular lesson price will remain unaffected. If you choose to leave and re-join the programme you may be subject to a higher lesson cost (depending on current lesson pricing).
Cancellations or Venue Change:
Once your space has been confirmed and payment has been made no refunds will be given for non attendance.
Change of Venue and/or Time slot: For continuity it is best for your child to remain at the same venue for their swimming lessons, however, we understand that from time to time the need for change may arise.
Lessons may be subject to change. Lessons will be in line with school terms and will take into account the main school holiday periods. As public holidays are not the same for every school, some lessons will take place on local public holidays. Catch-up lessons will only apply to lessons missed in the unlikely event of a pool closure.
If a make up lesson is offered by Stepping Stones this is by gesture of good will only and will not hold monetary value or discount off future bookings. Catch up lesson may not always be offered due to the class numbers within each of the venues.
Stepping Stones hires swimming pools from various providers such as councils, local schools and health clubs, and therefore is not directly responsible for pool maintenance. This means we occasionally come across problems out with our control. In the event of a closure we will contact each customer individually by e-mail & text message. If short notice is given, make every attempt to text parents via our messaging partners. Closures are very rare as generally pools are well maintained.
All parents/guardians are asked to supply an email address and mobile telephone number for quick communication purposes.
In the unusual event of a pool closure we will offer an alternative date and/or venue. No refunds will be given in any circumstance. Where possible a “catch- up” lesson will be offered. If a swimmer is not returning to our lessons, they will be offered a make-up lesson only and will not receive a refund. The catch-up lesson can be taken anywhere in our Programme, subject to the availability of places.
Catch up Lessons:
As you may know, at Stepping Stones we always try to offer you a catch-up class if you have to miss a class due to illness or planned holiday.
As you can appreciate, this is a huge administrative task for us, and so we have a catch-up class policy so that everyone can benefit from this flexibility:
We can only offer you a catch up class if you inform us by email of your absence prior to your class. The further in advance we know about your absence the better. We appreciate in the case of illness this is not always possible until the day of the class itself. We have maximum numbers in each class, for safety and for everyone’s enjoyment, and as many of our classes are full, to be able to offer spaces to other people we need to know if anyone is not using their space on a particular day.
We cannot guarantee a catch up class, as it entirely depends on people letting us know in advance of their absences, and also on your flexibility in being able to attend one of the catch-up classes offered. It is not the case that we ‘owe’ you a class if you miss one, as our costs remain the same and your fees reserve your place for the whole term, but we really will try our best to accommodate you as much as we can.
If you know that you cannot attend a class and would like to make it up please email [email protected]. We will then provide whatever options we have for catch-up classes (i.e. where there are spaces available). Due to demand it is not always possible and we have no obligation to fulfill the request, catch up lessons are offered as a gesture of good will.
We will try to arrange a maximum of one catch ups per term per client.
Catch up classes cannot be carried over from one term to the next.
The Stepping Stones programme offers small class sizes, each of the lessons run for approximately 30 min. this is inclusive of a 3 min changeover time. During each change over slot your Stepping Stones instructor will give all parents a brief overview of the lesson content for that day. Individual feedback may also be given during this time but due to the time restrictions this may be limited. We aim to provide every swimmer with the feedback they require to improve and progress throughout our programme. If a teacher feels more in-depth feedback is required they will contact the central office and we will make contact with you directly to issue specific feedback from the lessons.
Stepping Stones class ratio’s 1:6 teacher to children for non swimmers to beginner 2. We aim to maintain these ratios in all classes (with the exception of our Stepping Stones Stroke Development Classes) but on occasion this ratio may be exceeded due to demand. Stepping Stones will aim to address and classes that is running over ratio at the earliest opportunity.
We pride ourselves on having the best swimming teachers, however on occasion we may need to cover classes due to illness. Every effort will be made to substitute your class teacher with another Stepping Stones teacher, on the rare occasion that cover is not possible we may look to join classes together where appropriate.
Progression of swimmers will be at the judgment of the Teacher, the Teacher Trainer and the lesson coordinator in accordance with the progression within the Stepping Stones learn to swim pathway. Pupils will be moved during the course of lessons if they meet the skills criteria required for movement to the next Stage, and will not be deliberately held back.
Child protection, including bullying, is in line with the Scottish Amateur Swimming Association (SASA) child protection policies.
Photography and Filming:
There is no photography of filming permitted on poolside. Any parent or carer that is caught filming during the lessons will be asked to delete the footage that has been taken. On occasion Stepping Stones may look to promote lessons and arrange for lessons to be photographed or recorded. On these rare occasion we will submit a parental consent to filming to each family that will be using the pool at that time, only once each child’s consent has been returned will any filming take place.
Teaching and Office Staff:
All teaching and office staff are Enhanced Disclosure Scotland checked. The Stepping Stones operates within an equal opportunities programme. The Stepping Stones reserves the right not to offer places if it is deemed that a pupil is living with a limited physical or mental ability; our main reason for rejection would be that of unqualified staff.
Pupil to teacher ratios are in line with small numbers to teachers in the lower stages and increasing to higher numbers of pupils to teachers as the child moves through the programme of lessons. Numbers also reflect in the allocation of space required to enhance a child’s progress.
Teachers will be Enhanced Disclosure Scotland checked and will wear appropriate Stepping Stones uniform to perform their job of working in and out of the water. All teachers will take part in regular teacher training on various aspects of learn to swim skills, along with CPD (Continuous Professional Development) courses to ensure that they are up-to-date with modern methods.
Teachers are challenged regularly to respond to weekly online-learning videos to ensure that they are constantly refreshing their knowledge and skills as swimming teachers. Quality Assurance checks on each teacher’s performance are monitored at each session by a Teacher Trainer in attendance at the pool.
Children should come prepared for a pool session, swimming trunks, and swimming costumes. The Stepping Stones swim vest is also available to all swimmers to include an added layer of protection whilst in the pool. It is advised that all swimwear is well fitted to avoid any unnecessary drag. Goggles are an essential accessory for any swimming lessons and children are expected to come equipped with goggles each week. Long hair should be tied up to avoid any unnecessary visual obstructions.
Parents / carer are responsible for their child(s) in the changing area. Stepping Stones responsibility to look after pupils begins when the children come onto poolside in preparation for their lesson. If parents/ carer choose to leave the changing area during the course of your child(s) lesson, we would ask that you please ensure you return at least 5 minutes before the lessons end; children can get very distressed if parent / carer cannot be found. Change-over periods are exceptionally busy and children will only be released to a responsible adult. If you are not on poolside your child will return to the teaching area and wait on poolside.
Parents / carers attempting to speak with a teacher, during the period that lessons are in progress, can be very dangerous and pose a safety issue for all pupils participating. Please do not attempt to talk or contact any teacher whilst they are in the water teaching.
Stepping Stones cannot accept any responsibility for the loss or damage to clothing or personal items at any venue. In the event of a loss of property parents/carers are advised to contact the janitorial staff or reception desk at the venue directly.
We always like to encourage communication and welcome discussion and points of issues to be raised with our staff. In order to ensure that lessons are not interrupted, we would request that, if you have any questions for the teacher, you call or email the Stepping Stones office directly
At most venues parents / carers will be permitted on poolside; you will be advised accordingly. If a particular venue does not allow this practice, we would ask that parents / guardians adhere to the rules as set out for safety and insurance purposes. When permitted on poolside, we request that all parents / carers realise that we are dedicated to teaching the children and that the Company cannot take responsibility for parents / carers sitting on poolside. Noise is a distraction and all parents/carers must appreciate that noise levels can increase very quickly within a pool environment, please be mindful of this during your child’s lesson.
It is also very difficult for the teaching staff to gain full attention from their pupils if they are constantly being distracted by outside sources; progress can be affected if children are not fully able to concentrate. Customers must appreciate that most of pool venues are school pools and are not designed for spectators, therefore parents should not demand that seating is available specifically for their use. We insist that parents / carers comply with our pool venue rules as we can often be in danger of losing a let due to parental misconduct.
Parking is only permitted in allocated spaces at each venue. Stepping Stones has to adhere to the regulations laid down by the letting facility for each pool. Individual parking regulations and restrictions are in place for the safety reasons; please help us to ensure everyone safe and out of harm’s way. Parking is normally plentiful as most venues have large play grounds / parking areas. Parking is free at almost all venues.
Offers and Discounts:
Stepping Stones have the right to offer incentives to new customers which should not be directly comparable to specific circumstances. Stepping Stones may on occasion offer discounted lessons to new swimmers to fill spaces within a programme. We aim to keep all our lesson cost affordable to all and running a programme at capacity or near capacity ensures the long term continuation of the lessons within each of the venues.
At Stepping Stones we know that parents talk!! We want to recognise the people who help promote the work that we do.
Swimming is a life skill for many children, we want to make it fun, enjoyable and progressive. The only way to do this is to get to know every single child, know their needs, and their limits. That is why at Stepping Stones we offer a service that has small class numbers, consistent teacher’s week to week and options for progression. We create pathways and links to allow your child to take swimming to the next stage through swim club.