Thursday, 4 October 2012

I Wonder Why They Are Making A Drama Out Of It?

The Isambard Community School in Swindon, Wilts., insists all parents must clear a Criminal Records Bureau check to weed out potential paedophiles.
Not to send their offspring there, oh, no! Just to watch the school sports day.
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. "
Yes, but you see, schools care nothing for government guidelines when they mean they might have to work a bit harder.
"George was really upset by it all. What are they going to stop you going to next? Parents' evening? The school play? "
Oh, no, Neil! Stop there! Please, stop there! They don’t need any encouragement! They certainly don’t need any ideas!

It appears that this stems from an issue with access to the school grounds. But their statement makes no sense whatsoever:
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."
So, you are vetting the accessing parents – why not simply make them prove they are parents, and not the local dirty-mac brigade? Wouldn’t that be easier?

And please don’t start wrapping yourselves in the Shroud of Victimhood because of the problems that are of your own making:
"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."
Oh, boo hoo! You’ll notice other schools don’t have this problem with parents.

Why not? Simple. They welcome them viewing their children at sports!
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."
So what sort of school is Isambard Community School? Well, the OFSTED report is glowing, and tells us:
The school has specialist status for the performing and media arts.
And, buried in the last few pages of the latest report, perhaps a clue?
A smaller proportion of parents and carers responded to the Ofsted questionnaire than is commonly found. The large majority of parents and carers who did so have positive views on all aspects featuring in the Ofsted questionnaire. However, concerns were expressed by a small minority about a number of aspects. These include how the school helps parents and carers to support their children’s learning, the extent to which children are prepared for the future, the way the school deals with unacceptable behaviour and its leadership and management. Inspection evidence does not endorse these concerns.
I wonder if the tiny subset of parents referred to here is equal to the tiny subset of parents objecting to being forced to pay £26 for a pointless CRB check?

After all, even those using taxpayer money are getting fed up with the hassle that goes with paying it!

Clarissa notes that they have since published a further PR missive. Though whether it clarifies matters or further muddies the waters, it’s hard to say.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

They have back tracked and now let parents watch sports.

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/local/9959457.Dad_is_now_allowed_to_watch_his_son_play_sport/

On the other point of the Ofsted report The school should have got the top rating it's only been open 6 years and at the time of the last ofted report it had staff for a full school but no year 11. Any overstaffed school should at least be capable of good

Anonymous said...

Sorry pardon but pedants point :

Isambard Community School explanation for them behaving like a complete bunch of ... ahem ... making the safety of pupils uppermost ...

""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."

But other Swindon schools (apparently) "in the area have no plans to implement this new policy however."

So, do we have an even bigger scandal and outrage about to blow - why is the Isambard Community School the only one following Swindon Council dictated policy and why aren't the heads of all the other Schools who are being quite open about giving it two fingers being brought to heel, suspended etc. And so how come no quote of any sort from a spokesperson from Swindon Council?

Rob said...

So some of the staff have received verbal abuse. Boo hoo. You have a policy which explicitly views all parents as paedophiles unless they pay to prove they aren't and you are surprised you get abuse in return

If I alleged a bloke in the pub was a paedo unless he could prove otherwise I'd expect a punch in the face. Behave in a civilised manner to people who are in effect your customers and you will get a civil response. Why not try it?

Woman on a Raft said...

This is ridiculous. There is no requirement for a CRB check to come on to school property for this purpose. A simple call to the Home Office would have clarified this. Parents are not being recruited; they are spetcators.

A school might reasonably object to strangers, regarding it as a club activity where the parents are club members, but all that means is a ticket or some ID, not a CRB.

This is a complete misuse of the CRB system which is already backed-up with trying to do the checks which are genuinely needed.

I trust Michael Gove will be down there by teatime, explaining why they are mistaken.

Farenheit211 said...

Rob to those who work in the public sector the users of such services are not considered as customers but simply as product.

Anonymous said...

Crazy! Nonsense! WTF?

I saw Jimmy Saville outside there once.

Crazy gang said...

The madness of those 'in charge' shows no sign of abating. In fact, it's like a ratchet: the idiocy only winds upwards.

One may wonder by the year 2020 whether the lunacy will be so deep that parents cannot see their own kids at home unless they have been vetted and labelled. In fact by then I expect a mother may not give birth unless she has a CRB check.

R Sole said...

Paedos are not all bad. Thet do drive slowly past schools.

Anonymous said...

Let's be clear here, it's those disgusting MALE parents they want to exclude.

What's the betting there isn't a single male teacher employed there. I'd guess they're following the feminist meme of 'all men are rapists/paedos some just haven't been caught yet' probably exacerbated by a mother demanding the father be excluded for some spurious made-up reason (to use their children as weapons).

Reading things into the situation that aren't there? Highly likely, but personal experience has shown that that is all it would take.

Mr Grumpy said...

"Why's your dad not watching, then?"

"They wouldn't let him in 'cos he's got a criminal record."

Clearly a school which is passionately committed to building the self-esteem of kids from difficult family backgrounds.

Jack said...

What happens if you do have a criminal record? Criminals have children too!

Jack said...

What happens if you do have a criminal record? Criminals have children too!

JuliaM said...

"They have back tracked and now let parents watch sports."

An when one door opens, another closes!

".. and why aren't the heads of all the other Schools who are being quite open about giving it two fingers being brought to heel, suspended etc.

Because no such policy exists, and Isembard's taking a flyer?

"If I alleged a bloke in the pub was a paedo unless he could prove otherwise I'd expect a punch in the face."

That's easy to get round. Wait until he's dead.

"This is a complete misuse of the CRB system..."

Which, I seem to recall, we all said would happen when it was mooted.

JuliaM said...

" In fact, it's like a ratchet: the idiocy only winds upwards."

So very, very true!

"Let's be clear here, it's those disgusting MALE parents they want to exclude."

Not always! See the link in the last comment.