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Chaperoning of Children in Entertainment

When a child takes part in a performance (which can include TV, filming, theatre or modelling) they must be chaperoned by their own parent or an approved licenced chaperone.

Unless a parent/guardian is also a licenced chaperone, they can only chaperone their own child. A grandparent or other family member (unless they have parental responsibility or they have a Chaperone Licence) cannot undertake this role.

A chaperone acts 'in loco parentis' and should exercise the care which a good parent might be reasonably expected to give that child.

The maximum number of children a chaperone can look after at any one time is 12.  However, in most cases this will be too many as age and gender need to be taken into account along with the limitations of the venue.

The Duties and Responsibilities of a Chaperone

  • A chaperones' first priority is always to the child.
  • A chaperone is the key person who the child looks to for guidance, protection, clarification and support.
  • A chaperone's duty is to look after the child therefore they cannot be involved in other activities such as dresser, make-up or actor.
  • A chaperone must be strong enough to negotiate on behalf of the child. For example, if a producer wants a child to remain at the place of performance beyond the permitted hours or to perform outside of that stated on the licence, the chaperone must be confident enough to say no.
  • A chaperone must have a working knowledge of the performance regulations to carry out their duties confidently and effectively.
  • Production companies are required by law to keep certain records relating to the performance e.g., arrival and departure times, rest times, etc. This duty often falls to the chaperone.
  • A chaperone must ensure that all children are handed over to their parent/carer at the end of the performance. No child must ever be allowed to go home alone.

A child's performance licence will tell you what the child is allowed to do, you should ask the producer for a copy of the child's licence and familiarise yourself with the terms of the licence. If the child is performing under a Body of Persons Approval, the production are responsible for sharing required information with the chaperone.

If a child is unwell, they cannot perform. As a chaperone you have the right to stop them from performing until you are satisfied they are well enough to continue. Chaperones should contact the parent or named contact on the emergency contact register and ask them to collect the child if they are unwell.

If you have suspicions that a child is being neglected or abused or if a child makes a disclosure of that nature, you must immediately inform the designated person for child protection or contact children’s social care.

Forms and Guidance for Chaperones

Apply for a Chaperone Licence

To complete the application form you will need:

  • Your National Insurance Number
  • The contact details of two referees (one should preferably be professional) – this is not required for renewal applications

Apply for a Chaperone Licence

What happens next?

The team will contact the two references listed on your application form and complete the safeguarding checks. Once complete you will receive an email with information on how to apply for a Disclosure and Baring Service (DBS) Application and available times when you can arrange to meet with the Juvenile Employment and Safeguarding Officer for both your ID check and an informal interview regarding chaperoning.

Once all checks are complete and your DBS outcome has been received, your chaperones licence will be issued. Please allow 6 to 8 weeks for your licence to be processed.

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