No police checks for religious speakers visiting schools

The Department of Education and Children says members of a religious organisation who visit the Island's schools aren't required to undergo police checks.

Guidelines on keeping children safe in schools and colleges on the Isle of Man allow visitors to go into schools without criminal record or disclose and barring service checks if the visitors are supervised.

In response to a Freedom of Information Act request, the Department confirmed it isn't necessary for members of the Living Hope Church to undergo such checks before going into schools to speak to pupils.

A recent request recently revealed seven of the Island's schools have received visits from the Living Hope Church to discuss creationism, including five primary schools.

Living Hope Church made the following comment on this article:

"As we have not been asked for comment, I wish to point out the following:

  1. All Living Hope staff and leaders are required to comply with our safeguarding policy which includes enhanced police checks undertaken by an independent organisation, Due Diligence Checking (DDC).
  2. Anyone serving in any capacity within Living Hope’s children and youth activities is required to comply with our safeguarding policy including enhanced police checks undertaken by an independent organisation, Due Diligence Checking (DDC).
  3. Living Hope members, in common with all other churches and faith organisations on the island, have only ever been involved with schools by invitation and operating within their guidelines. This includes any discussion of religious faith matters.
  4. No Elder from Living Hope has ever taught creationism in schools and neither is this explicitly stated in the Department’s response to the information request, which we have seen."