STUDENTS
01/10/2012 07:17 BST | Updated 01/10/2012 07:28 BST

Parents 'Told To Get Criminal Records Check' In Order To Watch Kids Play Sport At Isambard Community School

Parents have expressed fury at being asked to undergo a criminal records check before they are allowed to watch their children play in school sports.

Staff at Isambard Community School, Swindon, say they have been "verbally abused" by parents after informing them they must fill out the four-page Criminal Records Bureau check, costing £52 for both parents.

Parent face up to an eight week wait to find out whether their CRB check has been approved.

Parents will not be able to watch their children compete in school sports until they have a CRB check

Neil Park, 54, said he had been banned from watching his son George, 12, represent the school in the rugby team, until he had completed the CRB check.

The father of five told This Is Wiltshire: ‘The kids are so disappointed we can’t come and watch them any more. George is disgusted by it all.

"I don’t intend to get a CRB [check] at all, it is petty and ridiculous. Where will it stop? Will we need to get one if we want to attend parents evening or to watch the school play?’

“Or what if England under 16s are playing at the County Ground , will they ask all fans there to be CRB checked?

"Other parents are pretty appalled by it as well. Isambard is the only school in the area with this policy.

"It costs £26 a person. If my wife and I wanted to go then that would be £52 for both of us. We may as well travel to the away games. It’s a joke."

A spokesman for the school said the policy was to prevent strangers from wandering into other parts of the school through the playing fields.

"It is with regret that from now on we will be unable to accommodate parents wishing to spectate at our sports fixtures unless they are in possession of an up-to-date Swindon Council CRB check.

"At Isambard we take safeguarding very seriously and because of this we are unable to leave gates open for access to sporting venues at anytime during the school day.

"The current access arrangements are frustrating for both Isambard staff and parents and have recently resulted in reception staff and PE staff being on the receiving end of verbal abuse from parents who have become frustrated trying to get into or out of the school."