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"A step too far": Grandparents barred from school event for bizarre reason

<p>A Melbourne school has come under fire for refusing to let a group of grandparents into the classroom for a special event because they did not have a Working With Children Check (WWCC). </p> <p>Furious grandparents have slammed St Joseph’s Primary School in Yarra Junction for taking it "a step too far" when they asked them to provide the WWCC after being invited to attend the “Inquiry Afternoon”. </p> <p>The event was held for year one and two students to speak about “technology and the world has changed over time”, according to <em>The Herald Sun.</em></p> <p>Grandparents were asked to provide a WWCC on the back of the invitation, which some of them missed. </p> <p>“The Working With Children Check isn’t set up for the one-off visit — it is a step too far,” founder of the National Grandparent Movement Ian Barnett told <em>Sunrise</em>. </p> <p>“I understand we’re living in a time when we want more checks and balances, but it is unrealistic to think that grandparents attending such a day would actually need to go and provide a Working With Children Check."</p> <p>The grandparents without a WWCC were forced to sit in the principal's office and do their show-and-tell via a video call. </p> <p>“I’m sure they had very good intentions — no one set out for this to happen,” <em>Herald Sun</em> education editor Susie O’Brien said. </p> <p>“But imagine turning up, arranging your entire week, your day to come to your grandchild’s event … and the child’s school refuses entry.”</p> <p>She added that although schools did have some discretion over such requirements, when a group of people are invited for a specific event, it is usually not required. </p> <p>Barnett also said that "for such visits you don’t need a Working With Children Check,” in most states. </p> <p>“I haven’t heard of this in NSW. I have to admit, I’m from NSW. So it is really going a bit extreme. Schools do have the right to decide who comes onsite. But it just seems it’s not required.</p> <p>“To actually drag the child out from the classroom to sit with nana or grandad, it’s a step too far and embarrassing, I think, for the school as well.”</p> <p>A spokesperson for the primary school acknowledged that although there was some confusion, the school had to comply with the child safe standards. </p> <p>“There was advance notice to all St Joseph’s families on this requirement, with 29 grandparents signing in on Friday with a working with children clearance," they told the Herald Sun. </p> <p>“We acknowledge the disappointing experience of the four grandparents who couldn’t attend the grandparents’ day and are attempting to call these families this morning.”</p> <p><em>Images: Sunrise/ The Herald Sun</em></p>


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