A SCHOOL has banned parents from watching their children take part in sports events – unless they are cleared by the police.
Dad Neil Park, 54, of Oakhurst, fell foul of the new policy at Isambard Community School when he was turned away on Thursday evening as he tried to watch his 12-year-old son George play rugby for the school.
He was told that to watch the game, despite him being a parent of a player, he needed to produce a police CRB form– which shows the holder has no criminal record relevant to being near children.
“I was turned away from the school because I had not been CRB checked,” said the father-of-five.
“I couldn’t believe it. Govern-ment 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 says it has implemented the rule because of fears strangers can get into the rest of the school from the playing field.
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 do not want to impose such a policy. Lydiard Park Academy head Clive Zimmerman 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.”
A spokesman for Kingsdown School said: “We don’t have a policy, pupils are not left unattended during sports games as a member of staff is always present.
“When going to away games we would adhere to the away school’s policy.”
Any parents who want to contact the Isambard about a CRB check should email carterel@isambard.