Dozens of autistic young Scots have been left high and dry after their surfing trainer was banned from his local swimming pool and refused the right to appeal the decision.

Qualified lifeguard and skilled surfer Kev Anderson launched the surf school for children with autism in July, in partnership with National Autistic Society Scotland, in the hope that it would provide the young people with a fun activity and opportunity to gain social skills.

On a voluntary basis, he has been running the club’s training sessions at Moray Leisure Centre (MLC), a council funded pool where he was a former employee and they have been a great success, with more than 35 children quickly joining and signed up to receive lessons in the pool on how to handle a surfboard.

However the project has been on hold since October when Mr Anderson was banned from teaching in the pool for an alleged health and safety breach.

While he disputes the claim and says nothing took place which had not been agreed beforehand with pool bosses, the centre’s managers refuse to review the decision, leaving the charity which supports him angry and baffled.

He has been told he put staff and pool users at risk by taking a non-swimmer into the deep end of the Moray-council funded baths in Elgin, but argues the activity was risk assessed and the relevant rule is often breached for supervised and unsupervised swimmers, including those with disabilities.

Although he was told he could appeal against the three month ban it imposed, the pool’s management has now reversed that offer. The board of Moray Leisure Centre said an independent panel would reassess the decision in December, but has now written to Mr Anderson saying: “the decision was taken to annul the previous decision of the Board to independently review your suspension and instead to support the actions taken by the Centre Manager.”

National Autistic Society Scotland says it is frustrated that neither the Leisure Centre, nor Moray Council seem willing to meet to discuss a ban it feels is unjust. A spokeswoman for the charity said “We use the pool to do really meaningful work with children with autism. We have lots of questions and we have asked so many times to sit down round the table. But we are getting nothing back.”

There is no obvious alternative to using MLC, which has two pools in the building, allowing autistic swimmers to be supervised in one pool while waiting their turn for the board-based in the other.

Glyn Morris, whose son has autism, is chair of the local NAS branch and helped launch the surf school. He said the manager of the centre was acting as “judge, jury and executioner” and added: “This group was so well received. We have had inquiries about joining from as far away as Glasgow but these vulnerable youngsters can no longer access the facility. Kevin has a fantastic way with the kids.

NAS Scottish Director Jenny Paterson has written to the centre urging the management to reverse the ban, describing the lessons as incredibly popular. “This is Scotland’s only surf school for children with autism, and this decision has prevented winter lessons from taking place,” she said. “We have every faith in Mr Anderson as an experienced and caring lifeguard.”

Jenny Paterson, director of the National Autistic Society Scotland, said: “The surf school’s cancellation has been a huge blow and distressing break in routine for the children we support, so we are very keen to relaunch and continue offering safe, fun lessons. The ban expires in January and we hope Moray Leisure Centre will meet us before then to offer clarity on its health and safety policies and agree a way for us to work together.”

Nobody from Moray Leisure Centre was available to comment however the venue's manager Steve Ash has previously insisted the ban will stay in place, and says the decisions was made in the interests of health and safety.