Children in Entertainment
A child performance licence must be obtained if a child under compulsory school leaving age performs in either:
- Theatre – where a charge is made
- Modelling & sport – where the child or any other person is paid (this is not an admission charge but a ‘wage’)
- Licensed premises or a registered club
- Any broadcast or any performance recorded by whatever means with a view to its use in a broadcast or film intended for public exhibition, including internet streaming.
- Performances that require time off school (paid or unpaid)
A child does not require a performance licence when:
- If, in the 6 months preceding a performance, the child has not exceeded the 3 day unlicensed exemption period;
- and they do not require time off school
- or the performance is under arrangements made with school or a Body of Persons
- and no payment is made to the child or any other person, except for defraying expenses
If a child performance licence is not required the organiser of the performance/show is still required to register all children taking part. This can be done by downloading, completing, and returning the Performance Licence Exemption form to the Child Employment Team.
The Guidance for Licence Holders and Chaperones explains the rules and regulations in place for children working in entertainment, Broadcast and Non Broadcast performances and how to apply for a licence.
It is a legal requirement that whenever children of compulsory school age are engaged in public performances or entertainment under a licence issued by the Local Authority, they must be supervised at all times by a registered chaperone unless they are under the direct supervision of either parent or an agreed tutor.
Note: grandparents, any other family member, childminders etc. are NOT legal guardians (unless they are recognised as such by the courts) and therefore need to be approved in order to chaperone a child. Parents, unless they are approved chaperone, cannot be responsible for children other than their own.
To become a licensed chaperone you will need to:
- complete a LCC Chaperones application form
- provide two personal references
- provide two passport sized photographs
- have passed the DBS check
- Complete a mandatory on-line training
- Attend an informal interview where proof of identity will be gathered.
*Professionals working with children as part of their day to day job, regardless if in a voluntary capacity (dance teachers, drama teachers, theatre or production companies’ staff and others) , and applicants wishing to become a professional chaperone will have to provide their own enhanced DBS certificate, issued after August 2014 and that has been registered with the DBS online system.
The Local Authority can refuse a chaperone licence if not fully satisfied that an applicant has demonstrated his or her suitability for the role.
As several checks need to be made we cannot guarantee a clear timescale for issuing your chaperone licence. However as a rough guide you should make your application at least 12 weeks before the date you need your licence
The Chaperone Licence is free and lasts for 3 years.
Body of Persons Approval
Lincolnshire County Council has the power under Section 37(3)(b) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1963 to approve an organisation which would normally have to license individual children taking part in a performance. This approval is called a Body of Persons Approval and allows the children to perform without the need for an individual licence to be issued.
The Body of Persons must then provide the Local Authority with the following information in advance:
- The names, addresses and dates of birth of all the young people who will be performing;
- The venue and dates of performances;
- The names and addresses of the adults forming the Body of Persons.
Applicants should submit an Application for a Body of Persons Approval not less than 21 working days prior to the first performance provided they can meet the following criteria:
- The child performers receive no payment other than expenses;
- The performance is for an amateur stage production;
- The performances all take place within the Lincolnshire County Council area;
- The child performers are supervised by the adults who form the body of persons and are licensed chaperones;
- The organisation complies with the regulations on days and permitted hours of Performance contained in the Children (Performances and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014;
- That the Child Employment Team agreed that the rehearsal/performance venue(s) are suitable places for children to perform;
- The organiser/Body of Persons have ensured appropriate arrangements are in place to transport child performers to and from the venue and released into the care of an appropriate person;
- The organiser/Body of Persons will not allow the children to take part in performances that may be dangerous;
- The organiser can demonstrate that it can meet any health, safety and welfare conditions set by the local authority;
- The organiser has obtained from each child’s parent a medical consent form saying the child is fit to take part in the performance;
- The Body of Persons has a Child Protection Policy in place and has supplied a copy to the Local Authority;
- The Body of Persons/Organiser allow access to an authorised member of the Local Authority to carry out an inspection at both dress/technical rehearsals and productions;
- No child of compulsory school age requires any absence from school for a rehearsal or performance (Full licence applications are required where absence from school is required).