01/10/2012 14:39 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

School Bans Parents From Watching Children Compete In Sports Without A Criminal Record Check


A school has banned parents from watching their children take part in sports events - unless they pass a criminal records check.

The red tape restriction from over-anxious Isambard Community School in Swindon, Wiltshire is prompted by a fear of potential paedophiles.

But dad-of-five Neil Park, 54, saw red when he was turned away from watching his son George, 12, play rugby because he had not completed a Criminal Records Bureau application.

He said: "I couldn't believe it.

"George was really upset by it all. What are they going to stop you going to next? Parents' evening? The school play?"

The school says it introduced the new rule at the start of the term to prevent strangers from accessing other parts of the school from the playing fields.

A spokesman for the school said: "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 any time 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."

Other schools in Swindon have no plans to follow Isambard Community School's policy.

Clive Zimmerman, head at Lydiard Park Academy, Swindon, said: "We don't have that policy here because there are always staff supervising the children.

"We think it is important that parents can support their children."

Government guidelines require anyone working with children to have passed a CRB check.

Parents who want to cheer their children on at sports events at Isambard are required to fill in a £26 four page CRB form. The government website advises the time for checks to be completed may be between two and eight weeks.

The school has issued this statement.

Have you ever been asked to fill out a CRB form in order to cheer your child on at a school sporting event?

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