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'Broad brush' of child protection

For the last 10 years, Shrewsbury Children's Bookfest has been bringing children's authors and illustrators into our community and schools, with magical effect.

Such authors and illustrators have a wonderful and instinctive gift for understanding how children think and how to inspire their imaginations. Even in just a short visit, the work they do in bringing books alive and enthusing them with a motivation to read is incalculable.

Shrewsbury Bookfest gave 3,700 children a chance to meet an author, illustrator or storyteller during our Authors in Schools Week this year, and more than 2,000 children and parents came to our literary festival.

So we are dismayed and saddened that a broad-brush approach to child protection now threatens to alienate those whose work, energy and genius should be most welcomed and treasured by schools.

Sophie Peach, Chair, Shrewsbury Children's Bookfest.

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