Before authors make school visits they need to be cleared by the Criminal Records Bureau. The NAWE issue a universal clearance for authors else you have to have individual clearance from each separate education authority. The Society of Authors has recently produced a quick guide to visiting schools which covers, amongst other things, agreements before you go in to the school and invoicing.
But, even if you have this clearance it is recommended you insist you are not left alone with the children. All too often teachers see author visits as an opportunity for some desperately needed non-contact time. But, you are putting yourself in a compromising situation if you agree to this. And I'm talking as an ex-teacher.
My CRB clearance ran out last July. I filled in the forms to re-new it in September and I am still waiting for West Berkshire to clear me. I would have thought since it was simply a case of renewing my previous clearance it would not have taken over four months.
Anyway, I found this cool site today when I was zapping on the ‘Next Link’ tab at the top of the page. I’m trying to leave messages on three new blogs every day. So, if you are visiting me because I visited you, please leave a message and let me know.
Well, about this blog I found - you can do a criminal record check on anybody you want. Isn’t that cool! Here is the link: Undercover Detective. Maybe I should tell West Berks?
I believe the delay in my clearance has a lot to do with the discovery that the records of many sexual offenders coming to the UK from abroad were not put on the database and so they’ve been able to get jobs in schools, etc. In my mind, this is probably what is holding up all the police clearances. It makes me wonder, for how long were they aware of this before it hit the news. Somehow, I think the problem was discovered during the summer.
Anita Loughrey (Amateur Sleuth)