UK – A school has banned parents from watching their children take part in sports events – unless they pass a criminal records check.
The Isambard Community School in Swindon, Wilts., insists all parents must clear a Criminal Records Bureau check to weed out potential paedophiles.
Neil Park, 54, was furious when he was turned away from watching his son George, 12, play rugby.
The father-of-five said: “I was turned away from the school because I had not been CRB checked.
“I couldn’t believe it. Government guidelines state that parents are allowed to watch games.
“But any strangers can be questioned and requested to show the appropriate paperwork, which is fair enough.
“George was really upset by it all. What are they going to stop you going to next? Parents’ evening? 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?”
The school introduced the new measure at the start of the term to prevent strangers from accessing other parts of the school from the playing fields.
A spokesman 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 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.”
Other schools in the area have no plans to implement this new policy however.
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.
“We had our inaugural hockey game at the Link Centre this week, and half of that stadium was filled with parents which is fantastic.”