Why did the Swim School enrolment process have to change?

26 August 2021

We acknowledge the feedback from parents about the new enrolment process and how this can be frustrating. Find out why we can’t offer priority enrolments anymore and why enrolling early is the best option:

Background of Online Enrolments
In 2020, our customers were desperate for online enrolments. The previous enrolment process was a stressful experience for parents. Come enrolment time in Week 8, parents would need to dedicate hours to wait on hold over the phone, or stand in a queue at front reception. If for some reason parents couldn’t wait, there was a good chance that they would miss their spot. Parents only got one week priority before anyone could enrol into the next term. If for some reason they missed Week 8, it was really hard to find a spot for them as new customers would fill up the spaces. We wanted to improve this for you, so we worked with our software developers and we created the ability to enrol online!

Unfortunate Limitations
While online enrolments was an amazing improvement, it has limitations. There’s no way for the system to recognise a new customer or an existing customer. It can’t differentiate between a Monday client or a Tuesday client. It means that as soon as we open online enrolments, anyone can enrol anywhere they like.
It was at this point that we needed to choose an option that would give us the greater benefit for customers:  
Option 1: keep priority enrolments, but no online enrolments
Option 2: roll out online enrolments, but lose priority bookings
Given the volume of feedback from parents wanting online enrolments, the way the technological world is moving, and the overall benefits of moving online, we had to go with option 2.

Work Arounds
To give customers who were swimming in the current term somewhat priority, we open enrolments earlier now. Instead of opening enrolments two weeks before the end of term, we now open enrolments a term in advance (i.e. Term 1’s enrolments open on the first day of Term 4). Traditionally new customers tend to enrol the week or two before the term starts, so this gives current customers a little time to get in first.
We also have an audit process in place that finds children that have been enrolled in the incorrect level. These are identified prior to the next term and our office team will fix these up. However, if you enrol into the wrong level, your preferred time for the correct level might not be available by the time we fix it up.

So how do I know what level to enrol into, when enrolments open a term in advance?
We know this part is difficult. We agree that it’s not the smoothest process in the world, but again we’ve got another work around.

First of all, there are several programs that you can enrol into in advance without having to wait:
  • Baby & Tots Lessons: as this program is age-related and not competency based, you don’t need to wait until the end of the term to enrol in advance. Simply find out what age your little one will be at the start of next term and enrol straight in
  • Taddies 1: if your child is going to be over 3 years old and under the age of 6 years old at the start of the next term and is a beginner swimmer, you can enrol straight into this
  • Level 1: if your child is over 6 years old at the start of the next term and is a beginner swimmer, you can enrol straight into this
  • Adult Beginner Swimming Lessons: if you are an adult who is learning to swim and you are a beginner, you can enrol straight into this
  • Teen Swim Beginner Lessons: if you have a child who is aged 12-18 years old who is a beginner, you can enrol straight into this
  • Family Swimming Lessons: these customised classes are ready to go as soon as enrolments open
  • Private Swimming Lessons: these customised classes are ready to go as soon as enrolments open
  • Special Needs Swimming Lessons: these customised classes are ready to go as soon as enrolments open
Our new work around is we can progress children at any time. So if you were to enrol your child into the same level for the next term, and they progressed in the current term, we would move them up into the next level for the current term and the next term.
The benefit of progressing children at any time, is that you are not required to wait until the end of the term for your child to pass their level. This means we can start teaching them the next level skills, giving you value for money and better development for your child.

When a child passed mid-term, there are two options:
Option 1: we can move your child to the next level (note: this may or may not be the same time/day)
Option 2: if we have no suitable times for you, we can split the current class they are enrolled in

Because of this, it is vital that all students start the term in the correct level and we minimise the number of split levels at the start. Otherwise we may end up with a child who is a beginner in the bottom level, with a child passing the top level, resulting in a three way split class (which is something that we try really hard to avoid).
Example: if your child is a Level 2 in Term 3 and you enrol into a Level 3 for Term 4 (because you’re just hoping they will pass by next term), this is what is likely to happen:
  • Your child may not pass, and you may not get your preferred time for Level 2
  • If we kept them in the Level 3, and made the class a split Level 2/3 class, any of the Level 3 children that pass mid-term who can’t move to another day will then stay and we would be required to split the class into a Level 2/3/4
  • This means that there is a chance your Level 2 child will really struggle in that class
Unfortunately this is just a limitation to a term based program, rather than having a continuous perpetual program. And these work arounds are the best options that we can do to satisfy the following parent requests:
  • Being able to enrol online
  • Being able to progress my child as soon as they are ready to pass
Enrol in advance to secure your preferred day and time
Enrol into the current level
Be flexible with your times when your child passes
We know some parents find this frustrating, but overall benefits outweigh the cons. It’s better than not having online enrolments, and wasting money on your child being stuck in the same level even if they are ready to pass.

extraMile by Integranet