16 July 2009

UK - Another database

Several high-profile authors are to stop visiting schools in protest at new laws requiring them to be vetted to work with youngsters. Philip Pullman, author of fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials, said the idea was "ludicrous and insulting". Former children's laureates Anne Fine, Michael Morpugo and illustrator Quentin Blake have hit out at the scheme which costs £64 per person. The Home Office says the change from October will help protect children. Anyone who has "more than a tiny amount" of contact with children or vulnerable adults will have to sign up to the Vetting and Barring Scheme before November 2010. But the authors, including fantasy writer Mr Pullman, say they have worked in schools for years without ever being left alone with children.