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Children in Entertainment

Children in Entertainment

General Overview

Every child, from birth until their official school leaving date, is subject to the Children and Young Persons Act 1963, s.37,  the Children (Performance) Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 1998 and the Children (Performance and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014.

This means that if they are involved in television, filming, theatre, photographic work or a sporting event, they need either a licence or an exemption from the licensing procedures. Either a licence or a letter of exemption will be issued by the licensing authority which must by law be informed of the details of any performance involving children.

A licence/exemption is not required for a school organised event, such as a school play or nativity.

Exemption Application

Exemption letters are issued to the organisation arranging the performance if the child(ren) meet(s) the following criteria:

  • Will not miss any school time
  • Is not being paid
  • Will not have performed on more than 4 days within a 6 month period
  • If the child is not being filmed

Please note Staffordshire County Council require your application 21 days prior to the first day of the performance – if this is not the case, please call ahead of sending in the application to discuss if it will be possible for the application to be processed in time for the first day of the performance.

The person responsible for the performance is responsible for submitting the exemption application.

Please ensure you apply to the correct council to avoid a delay in your application.

If any of the above criteria is met the child(ren) then require a license in order to take part in the performance. 

License Application

Performance licences are issued to children where:

  • A child must miss school in order to take part
  • The child is being paid
  • The child has or will perform on more than 4 occasions within the      previous 6 months
  • If the child is being instructed whilst being filmed

Please note Staffordshire County Council require your application 21 days prior to the first day of the performance – if this is not the case, please call ahead of sending in the application to discuss if it will be possible for the application to be processed in time for the first day of the performance.

The person responsible for the performance is responsible for submitting the entertainment license application.

When submitting a full licence application we also require:

  • A passport sized photo of the child
  • A copy of their passport or birth certificate
  • Signed letter from their head teacher authorising school absence (if time off school is required)

Please ensure you apply to the correct council to avoid a delay in your application.

Which Council to apply to?

You should apply to Staffordshire County Council for a exemption or license if the child resides within Staffordshire, if you are unsure, you can check here

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the latest a child can be at a venue?

10pm up to the age of four, 11pm ages five and over.

2. Until what age does a child need to be licensed?

Until they reach the last Friday in June of year 11.

3. Who is responsible for ensuring the children are in a safe environment?

The organisation that are putting on the performance. There should be a dedicated child protection officer (could also be a head chaperone) who would be the applicant within the organisation. This duty also falls upon the chaperones to ensure they have sight of the children in their care at all times and they do not come into contact with any danger.

4. Are children allowed time off school to perform?

Yes, if this is authorised by their Head teacher. This decision has to be made for every individual application of leave and is completely at the Head teacher’s discretion. 

Contact us

Children in Employment & Entertainment
Staffordshire Place 1
Tipping Street
Stafford
ST16 2DH

email: ew.statutoryactions@staffordshire.gov.uk

Telephone: 01785 278 927 / 277 409 / 276 937

Chaperones:

Chaperone licences

A child under school leaving age, who is involved in a theatrical production, filming or modelling must be accompanied by a registered chaperone at all times.

What is a chaperone?

A chaperone is an adult who supervises a child who is taking part in performances. They ensure the health, safety and education needs of children in their care are met at all times.

Note: grandparents, uncles, child minders etc are not legal guardians (unless they are recognised as such by the courts), and must be approved in order to chaperone a child.  Parents, unless they are also licensed chaperones, cannot chaperone children other than their own. 

The chaperone is acting in loco parentis and should exercise the care which a good parent might be reasonably expected to give that child. A chaperone's first priority is always to the child. A chaperone is the key person to whom the child looks for guidance, protection, clarification and support. At no time should a child perform if unwell. If there are ever serious child protection issues the chaperone should contact the police immediately and remove the child from the situation. The chaperone has the authority to negotiate with the production company on site and be able to refuse if what is being requested of the child is contrary or detrimental to the child's health, well-being or education. For example, requesting a child to stay at a place of performance over and above the hours/times laid down on either the child's licence or within the regulations or lack of education time.

The chaperone should keep a note of important contacts, for example their licensing authority, the child's licensing authority, the local authority in whose area the child is performing, the child's agent and the child's parent/legal guardian.

The chaperone should always ask to see the licence of the child they are chaperoning on arrival at the place of performance, if they have not already received a copy. If the production company cannot prove that the child is licensed, the chaperone should, on all occasions, inform the child's local authority, or the local authority in whose area the performance is taking place as soon as is practicably possible, otherwise a contravention may have occurred.

What must a chaperone do?

  • Ensure they have disclosure and barring service clearance before undertaking duties.
  • Be aware of the safeguarding children procedures.
  • Inform the first response team of any child protection concerns.
  • Make sure that emergency contact details of the children are held at the place of performance by the production company and are accessible if requested.
  • Record injuries in the accident book and inform parents and the local authority as soon as possible.
  • Be familiar with first aid and emergency procedures and always check that escape routes are clear before each performance.
  • Ensure that suitable travel arrangements are in place and that the person previously agreed collects each child.
  • Make sure that children leave no later than 30 minutes after the end of their part, and no later than 10pm (under 13 years), 10.30pm (13 years and over).
  • Remain with the children at all times, except when the children are performing.
  • Look after no more than 12 children.
  • Co-operate with local authority officers if they enter premises where a performance is taking place.

How do I apply?

By completing and returning the application form and supporting documents below.

Please note: If intend on applying to become a chaperone with Staffordshire County Council that we receive your application three months prior to the first day of the performance you intend to first chaperone for.

If you do not have a valid enhanced DBS (for a child workforce, dated within the last 3 years) you will need to complete and return all of the forms below including a passport sized photograph and an admin fee of £17.25.

  1. Word Document Chaperone Application Form (103 KB)
  2. Word Document Chaperone Self  Disclosure (79 KB)
  3. Word Document Chaperone Applicant Schedule (64 KB)
  4. PDF Document DBS Application Notes (177 KB)

If you need to apply for a DBS check through us, you will also need to call into your local office (please make an appointment prior to arrival) with a passport size photograph and three forms of ID from the following list: 

  • Photo Driving Licence
  • Bank Statement (dated within the last three months)
  • Current Valid Passport
  • Birth Certificate
  • Utility Bill (dated within the last three months)

Please note: If you already have a valid enhanced DBS (dated within the last three years) then you will just need to complete form 1 and return with a copy of your Enhanced DBS certificate and a passport sized photograph.

If you do apply via Staffordshire County Council for an enhanced DBS certificate, you may receive your certificate before your chaperone licence; this is normal as we may still be undertaking checks such as awaiting to hear back from your nominated references.

Please note: To chaperone a performance it is essential that you have your badge with you at all times. Any badges which are misplaced during the three years will incur a £5 administration fee for a replacement badge to be reissued.

Which Council to apply to?

You should apply to Staffordshire County Council for a chaperone license if you reside within Staffordshire, if you are unsure, you can check here

Please ensure you apply to the correct council to avoid a delay in your application.

Contact us

Children in Employment & Entertainment
Staffordshire Place 1
Tipping Street
Stafford
ST16 2DH

email: ew.statutoryactions@staffordshire.gov.uk

Telephone: 01785 278 927 / 277 409 / 276 937

 

 

 

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