All children licensed by a local authority to perform must be supervised at all times by a licensed chaperone or matron or the child’s parent.
What are the roles of a Chaperone?
Chaperones are responsible for the welfare of children taking part in performance. They accompany the child, provide protection, guidance and support.
Chaperones have a duty to represent the child’s interests and to help ensure that the law and licence conditions relating to the child’s participation are complied with.
- A chaperone’s first priority is always to the child
- A chaperone is the key person to whom the child looks to for guidance, protection, clarification and support
- One of a chaperone’s greatest strengths is their ability to negotiate with the production company ‘on site’ and be able to say no when what is being requested of the child is contrary or detrimental to either the child’s health, well-being and/or education. For example, requesting a child to stay at a place of performance over and above the hours/times laid down in either the child’s licence or the regulations, lack of education time
- At no time should a child perform if unwell
- Chaperones 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 or legal guardian
- The maximum number of children chaperones are allowed to have in their care at any one time is 12. But, in a lot of instances this will be too many (diverse mixture of ages requiring more concentrated supervision and so forth). We recommend eight children to be the maximum in many cases
- The child should not perform if a licence has not been granted, unless they fall within the exemption period
- Chaperones should not presume that a child is licensed. Always ask to see a child’s licence upon arrival at a place of performance
- If the production company cannot prove that a child is licensed, chaperones should contact the Child Employment and Performance Licensing Officer. Otherwise, a contravention may have occurred. Production companies are required to log certain activities during a performance i.e. arrival and departure times at the place of the performance etc.
How to apply
Application for a chaperone must be made to the local authority in whose area the prospective chaperones lives.
The application process involves completing an application form and obtaining an enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check. The DBS checks all criminal records of all people working with children.
The Child Employment and Performance Licensing Officer also takes up references and invites candidates for interview to ensure that they are suitable to act as chaperones. As part of the approval process applicants must complete an online Child Safeguarding Course and attend a session for instruction and training on the many duties of a chaperone.
Due to the various checks that have to be made, the time between the local authority receiving an application and the issuing of a chaperone licence can take a while, so please allow 8-12 weeks to obtain your approval.
For more information about chaperone licences: