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We have traditionally tested pupils for ASA awards (National Awards and Distance Awards) as part of our programme delivery.
When we polled our clients last year, the majority we unconcerned about achieving an award (particularly one that was of little relevance) and preferred to use the time effectively in having their pupils learn to swim.
Since the poll (September 2007) the ASA have changed the award process and we have as yet been unable to evaluate whether it is useful or not. We hope to be able to do this before the end of the Summer Term 2008.
We have evaluated alternatives and at present we have been unable to locate an award process which we feel is of benefit to our pupils.
Most clients made a preference to be tested using Floaters awards linked to the SwimCare programme rather than ASA (or other) awards. We are in the process of developing these awards and as soon as they are available, we will offer them to clients on a "on demand" basis as an alternative to the ASA awards.
These awards will test:
a) Distances on Multi-Stroke basis. ASA awards do not require any defined level of technical ability or variation of stroke in their distyance awards, so they tend to be a test of survival rather than actual ability to swim an distance.
b) Technical skill. This will be an award that tests competance against the SwimCare programme criteria.
So, in the interests of our pupils, for the moment we will not be offering award assessment.