Dad is now allowed to watch his son play sport

This Is Wiltshire: Neil Park and his son George Neil Park and his son George

A SCHOOL has made a dramatic U-turn on a policy which meant parents had to have Criminal Records Bureau checks to watch their children play sport.

Isambard Community School turned away dad Neil Park when he went to watch his 12-year-old son George in a rugby match last week.

He was told he needed to produce the form to show he had no criminal record relevant to being near children.

Isambard stated it took children’s safety “very seriously” and had implemented the rule over fears strangers could access the building through the playing fields.

But the school released a statement yesterday that did not mention the council CRB checks but said parents could watch via the Tadpole Lane entrance.

The area had not been given as an option at the time parents were informed of the policy.

The statement said: “Parents are more than welcome to attend to watch sports fixtures at Isambard Community School.

“However, there is no access to the sports pitches through the main school building. Parents are requested to use the Tadpole Lane entrance where there is ample parking.

“There have previously been issues with parents and other visitors arriving at the Isambard Way entrance and being annoyed to be asked to drive to Tadpole Lane.

“However, we are unable to allow visitors access through the school during the normal school day, which includes the enrichment time between 3.15pm and 6pm. We hope this clarifies the school’s position.” The school said it was “disappointed” by the media coverage of the story and added: “We apologise for the fact that the Advertiser were given out-dated information regarding this issue prior to the article going to press.”

The statement is thought to be referring to the fact that though CRB checks are needed for parents going through the front of the school, they are not needed for access via Tadpole Lane.

But Mr Park, 54, of Oakhurst, said: “The statement is a complete U-turn even though they do not mention CRB checks. They are doing a complete turnabout but trying to cover their backs at the same time.

“They have backed down because it caused such a stir, and they looked silly.

“At the same time, though, they are accusing me of giving misleading information to the press when the only information they had issued at that point was that CRB checks were needed. It’s a direct attack on my honesty and integrity and I will be taking further advice.”

The school’s policy was further undermined by the NSPCC yesterday.

Spokesman Jon Brown said: “CRB checks protect children and can, and do, save lives. But they were never intended to be used for one-off events such as parents attending sporting competitions and the NSPCC would never support their use in this way. In fact, schools doing this may find they are breaking the law.”

Comments (15)

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9:46am Tue 2 Oct 12

The Real Librarian says...

The school were stupid to impliment this policy in the first place and even more stupid to lie about it now.

A reminder of what they said in the Isambard Newsletter sent to all parents

QUOTE "Spectating at Isambard Sports Fixtures
**Important Information**
parents wishing to spectate at our sports fixtures
MUST be in possession of an up to date Swindon Borough
Council CRB check. If you wish to spectate at a sports event the
following procedures apply.
Parents wishing to come and spectate regularly at fixtures need
to contact Miss Carter (carterel@isambard.s

windon.sch.uk). Miss
Carter will send you the relevant links to the CRB site or ask for
proof of your current CRB if it is from Swindon Borough Council.
(Getting this is free but may take 2-4 weeks)
Once your CRB has been granted you will be able to enter and
leave school signing in via reception if you wish to attend a
sporting fixture.
Unfortunately if you do not follow these procedures we will be
unable to grant you access to the school"

Would someone please show me where it mentions Tadpole Lane there?
The school were stupid to impliment this policy in the first place and even more stupid to lie about it now. A reminder of what they said in the Isambard Newsletter sent to all parents QUOTE "Spectating at Isambard Sports Fixtures **Important Information** parents wishing to spectate at our sports fixtures MUST be in possession of an up to date Swindon Borough Council CRB check. If you wish to spectate at a sports event the following procedures apply. Parents wishing to come and spectate regularly at fixtures need to contact Miss Carter (carterel@isambard.s windon.sch.uk). Miss Carter will send you the relevant links to the CRB site or ask for proof of your current CRB if it is from Swindon Borough Council. (Getting this is free but may take 2-4 weeks) Once your CRB has been granted you will be able to enter and leave school signing in via reception if you wish to attend a sporting fixture. Unfortunately if you do not follow these procedures we will be unable to grant you access to the school" Would someone please show me where it mentions Tadpole Lane there? The Real Librarian

10:12am Tue 2 Oct 12

PaulD says...

Isambard stated it took children’s safety “very seriously”


No it doesn't. Taking things seriously means doing things properly, not making up rules
[quote]Isambard stated it took children’s safety “very seriously” [/quote] No it doesn't. Taking things seriously means doing things properly, not making up rules PaulD

10:15am Tue 2 Oct 12

dgsrsmlly says...

I managed to watch my son play football for the school team a few times last year by entering by the tadpole lane gate. However I was not told I could get in this way by the school, my son told me that the football coach would open the gate to allow parents in. The school told me that I had to be CRB checked before I could watch him play. This is pretty typical of the school to attempt to make out they are doing something the right way, when they are clearly just being a pain. They also refuse to accept the notion that any bullying happens within the school, but that is another story.
I managed to watch my son play football for the school team a few times last year by entering by the tadpole lane gate. However I was not told I could get in this way by the school, my son told me that the football coach would open the gate to allow parents in. The school told me that I had to be CRB checked before I could watch him play. This is pretty typical of the school to attempt to make out they are doing something the right way, when they are clearly just being a pain. They also refuse to accept the notion that any bullying happens within the school, but that is another story. dgsrsmlly

10:24am Tue 2 Oct 12

jamesgr says...

Personally I would feel a lot happier if people who wanted to get on to school property for sports, where there might not be the same level of child supervision,had to have some kind of CRB check.
If it is free and it only takes a couple of weeks then what is the problem...
Personally I would feel a lot happier if people who wanted to get on to school property for sports, where there might not be the same level of child supervision,had to have some kind of CRB check. If it is free and it only takes a couple of weeks then what is the problem... jamesgr

10:44am Tue 2 Oct 12

RichardR1 says...

It seems the school are still misrepresenting the position as advised by Ofsted. Parents visiting a school whether via a front gate, side gate or any other gate are not required by law or Ofsted advice to be CRB checked, and if Swindon Council are actually carrying out such checks then they are acting unlawfully.

Clearly the school could adopt a policy of not allowing the use of the main gate during certain times, but that is wholly different to what they have said.

Conkers anyone:)
It seems the school are still misrepresenting the position as advised by Ofsted. Parents visiting a school whether via a front gate, side gate or any other gate are not required by law or Ofsted advice to be CRB checked, and if Swindon Council are actually carrying out such checks then they are acting unlawfully. Clearly the school could adopt a policy of not allowing the use of the main gate during certain times, but that is wholly different to what they have said. Conkers anyone:) RichardR1

10:46am Tue 2 Oct 12

The Real Librarian says...

QUOTE
jamesgr says...
10:24am Tue 2 Oct 12
Personally I would feel a lot happier if people who wanted to get on to school property for sports, where there might not be the same level of child supervision,had to have some kind of CRB check.
If it is free and it only takes a couple of weeks then what is the problem...
UNQUOTE

Its not free.
It costs money.
But mostly its unnecessary.

You are not talking about people who are going to have access to the changing rooms or indeed any scool buildings. You are talking about people who are going to stand on the touchline, in front of dozens, perhaps hundreds of witnesses.
QUOTE jamesgr says... 10:24am Tue 2 Oct 12 Personally I would feel a lot happier if people who wanted to get on to school property for sports, where there might not be the same level of child supervision,had to have some kind of CRB check. If it is free and it only takes a couple of weeks then what is the problem... UNQUOTE Its not free. It costs money. But mostly its unnecessary. You are not talking about people who are going to have access to the changing rooms or indeed any scool buildings. You are talking about people who are going to stand on the touchline, in front of dozens, perhaps hundreds of witnesses. The Real Librarian

10:53am Tue 2 Oct 12

Davey Gravey says...

Crb checks are often a complete waste of time anyway. To make all parents have one was pathetic really
Crb checks are often a complete waste of time anyway. To make all parents have one was pathetic really Davey Gravey

11:13am Tue 2 Oct 12

RichardR1 says...

I thought I would post this once again, it's nothing to do with cost it's whether it's either lawful in the circumstances outlined, or necessary under Ofsted/CRB rules. It is neither necessary or lawful.

'Checks for visitors
Are Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks required for all visitors or volunteers to schools and colleges?

Visitors Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks are not required for visitors. Visitors do not have unsupervised access to children.
Volunteers Checks are required only for those who have regular and unsupervised access to children and young people. Under the terms of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 where a volunteer is being adequately supervised, they are not considered to be working in regulated activity however often they do this, and the school does not need to request a CRB check. The Department for Education will shortly be publishing guidance to help schools decide what level of supervision would be considered adequate.
For the purposes of an Ofsted inspection, schools (and colleges) should be able to explain the rationale for those who have been checked and those who have not. The key criterion for checking volunteers is regular unsupervised contact with children.'
I thought I would post this once again, it's nothing to do with cost it's whether it's either lawful in the circumstances outlined, or necessary under Ofsted/CRB rules. It is neither necessary or lawful. 'Checks for visitors Are Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks required for all visitors or volunteers to schools and colleges? Visitors Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks are not required for visitors. Visitors do not have unsupervised access to children. Volunteers Checks are required only for those who have regular and unsupervised access to children and young people. Under the terms of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 where a volunteer is being adequately supervised, they are not considered to be working in regulated activity however often they do this, and the school does not need to request a CRB check. The Department for Education will shortly be publishing guidance to help schools decide what level of supervision would be considered adequate. For the purposes of an Ofsted inspection, schools (and colleges) should be able to explain the rationale for those who have been checked and those who have not. The key criterion for checking volunteers is regular unsupervised contact with children.' RichardR1

11:17am Tue 2 Oct 12

WoodsideLady says...

Pleased to see that common sense has prevailed...........
. it was pure nonsense by the School! I appreciate the need for childrens' safety is paramount but CRB checks for family spectators???? REALLY??????
Pleased to see that common sense has prevailed........... . it was pure nonsense by the School! I appreciate the need for childrens' safety is paramount but CRB checks for family spectators???? REALLY?????? WoodsideLady

4:33pm Tue 2 Oct 12

Amberflame says...

A few of things need to happen now. Firstly, the school need to meet with Mr Park as their statement today calls into question his version of events. Secondly, they need to apologise to all the other parents for their inability to produce a clear policy on this issue causing confusion and thirdly and most importantly they need to apologise for having lost all common sense and entering 'overkill mode'

Parents do not need to be CRB checked when watching enrichment events. This sounds more like a security issue not a safeguarding one.
A few of things need to happen now. Firstly, the school need to meet with Mr Park as their statement today calls into question his version of events. Secondly, they need to apologise to all the other parents for their inability to produce a clear policy on this issue causing confusion and thirdly and most importantly they need to apologise for having lost all common sense and entering 'overkill mode' Parents do not need to be CRB checked when watching enrichment events. This sounds more like a security issue not a safeguarding one. Amberflame

7:11pm Tue 2 Oct 12

itsamess3 says...

RichardR1 wrote:
I thought I would post this once again, it's nothing to do with cost it's whether it's either lawful in the circumstances outlined, or necessary under Ofsted/CRB rules. It is neither necessary or lawful.

'Checks for visitors
Are Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks required for all visitors or volunteers to schools and colleges?

Visitors Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks are not required for visitors. Visitors do not have unsupervised access to children.
Volunteers Checks are required only for those who have regular and unsupervised access to children and young people. Under the terms of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 where a volunteer is being adequately supervised, they are not considered to be working in regulated activity however often they do this, and the school does not need to request a CRB check. The Department for Education will shortly be publishing guidance to help schools decide what level of supervision would be considered adequate.
For the purposes of an Ofsted inspection, schools (and colleges) should be able to explain the rationale for those who have been checked and those who have not. The key criterion for checking volunteers is regular unsupervised contact with children.'
You could have simplified that to--any parent has the right to be involved in any part of their education-unless there is some notification to the contrary by a parent with a court order that disallows unsupervised contact or similar order.
Taking the law into their own hands is not acceptable.
[quote][p][bold]RichardR1[/bold] wrote: I thought I would post this once again, it's nothing to do with cost it's whether it's either lawful in the circumstances outlined, or necessary under Ofsted/CRB rules. It is neither necessary or lawful. 'Checks for visitors Are Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks required for all visitors or volunteers to schools and colleges? Visitors Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks are not required for visitors. Visitors do not have unsupervised access to children. Volunteers Checks are required only for those who have regular and unsupervised access to children and young people. Under the terms of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 where a volunteer is being adequately supervised, they are not considered to be working in regulated activity however often they do this, and the school does not need to request a CRB check. The Department for Education will shortly be publishing guidance to help schools decide what level of supervision would be considered adequate. For the purposes of an Ofsted inspection, schools (and colleges) should be able to explain the rationale for those who have been checked and those who have not. The key criterion for checking volunteers is regular unsupervised contact with children.'[/p][/quote]You could have simplified that to--any parent has the right to be involved in any part of their education-unless there is some notification to the contrary by a parent with a court order that disallows unsupervised contact or similar order. Taking the law into their own hands is not acceptable. itsamess3

8:31pm Tue 2 Oct 12

Alaughaminute says...

"Tadpole Lane entrance" is that the entrance to Brimble hill and Uplands special schools?
"Tadpole Lane entrance" is that the entrance to Brimble hill and Uplands special schools? Alaughaminute

9:15pm Tue 2 Oct 12

timt1964 says...

is this part of david camerons big society? alienating anyone who breathes near children even parents.isambard want to teach their pupils road safety as when they kick them out at hometime the pupils cross the road without looking.or will that be the motorists fault?
is this part of david camerons big society? alienating anyone who breathes near children even parents.isambard want to teach their pupils road safety as when they kick them out at hometime the pupils cross the road without looking.or will that be the motorists fault? timt1964

8:47am Wed 3 Oct 12

RichardR1 says...

Itsamess3 it's a direct quote from the Ofsted website, as I indicated previously, stop seeking to start another futile exchange.

Why add things that simply do not apply in this case.
Itsamess3 it's a direct quote from the Ofsted website, as I indicated previously, stop seeking to start another futile exchange. Why add things that simply do not apply in this case. RichardR1

8:55pm Tue 9 Oct 12

itsamess3 says...

Bob
Nothing in my post detracts from the law as it stands.
I would suggest you learn to read and understand comments--before you level false allegations.
Bob Nothing in my post detracts from the law as it stands. I would suggest you learn to read and understand comments--before you level false allegations. itsamess3

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