Being a children’s author was once a charming career, building mysterious worlds of fantasy trees and secret adventures. Yet children’s authors do meet a lot of children: they do readings with children, they get letters from children; they are admired by children. And this, according to Ofsted, makes them a potential risk.
Before, Ofsted decided that children’s authors did not need a CRB check, but that they should not be left alone with children when they visited schools. Now the organisation has decided that they do need to be checked, even if they are supervised, ‘because there is a chance for authors to build up a trusting relationship with the child’.
The article in the Bookseller also noted that ‘Many authors also now communicate with their readers online, following events in schools and libraries or via their own websites.’ Well, talking to young readers online – that’s got to be grooming, hasn’t it?