Here is a brief guide for all persons wishing to apply to be a chaperone. This page explains the qualities required of a chaperone, the duties undertaken and a list of the regulations that apply to all children in performances.
What is a chaperone?
A chaperone acts in loco parentis to the child/ren under his/her care when they are modelling, performing on stage, or taking part in a film production, radio or television programme. A chaperone is expected to exercise the same care and control as a good parent would with a view to securing a child's health, comfort, kind treatment and moral view. The regulations relating to children performing are as follows:
- The Children & Young Persons Acts 1933 and 1963 and the Children (Performances and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014 detail the regulations for chaperones for children taking part in performances, modelling or sport.
- 'The Licensing Authority shall not approve a chaperone unless they are satisfied that he/ she is suitable and competent to exercise proper care and control of a child.'
Who can apply to be a chaperone?
Any trustworthy person [male or female] can apply to be a chaperone. You need to enjoy working with children of all ages [up to compulsory school age] and be able to understand them. As much of your time is spent 'hanging around' production sets/theatres you will need patience and resourcefulness to deal with bored children!
What are the duties of a chaperone?
Your first duty is to the care of the children. To do this you will need to get to know them well and be aware of their needs. If the child is taken ill then you will be responsible for contacting a Doctor/child's parents if necessary.
You will be required to be in charge of the child at all times except when the child is with his tutor or parent. This will include on the set, in the dressing rooms, during recreation, meal and break times. You must not undertake any other duties that could separate you from the child.
Whilst on the set or stage you must be alert to all health and safety issues. You will be required to act as intermediary between the child and the production company particularly if facilities are found 'wanting'. At times you may find yourself under pressure from the Production Company to relax the rules.
Remember your responsibility is to the child's well-being not the Production Company. During the intervals between performing and rehearsing, you will be required to occupy the child with a variety of activities.
Your lodging accommodation must be at the same address as the child and [where possible] in adjoining rooms. You must make sure that the accommodation is suitable e.g. clean, adequate room and toilet facilities. You must also ensure that all meals are provided both on and off the set.
A record must be kept to show the place of performance, when performing or at rehearsals, break times or waiting between performances. Before any rehearsal/performance takes place you must ensure that the producer/agent is in receipt of the child's licence and that you have a copy.
It is your duty to ensure that the Licensing regulations are upheld at all times. You will need to have a good knowledge of the regulations and where to go to for advice.
How many children can I look after?
Up to 12 children can be looked after at any one time. However we consider this to be too many particularly when there are a variety of ages.
What about the child's education?
All children are required to attend a school full-time during term time or be provided with adequate tuition. It is the chaperone's duty to ensure that this takes place. Records should be kept to show whether the child is attending school or receiving tuition.
How do I apply for the chaperone licence?
If you live in Central Bedfordshire then you need to apply to Central Bedfordshire Council. You will need to name 2 people whom we can contact for a reference, and complete a DBS Application form. You will be required to attend the local authority office in person and produce documentation. Your papers will be sent to the Disclosure and Barring Service for checking. The results of this check will be sent to the applicant. Once this information is received, a decision will be made whether to issue a chaperone’s licence. There will be a charge for the disclosure checks. All applicants need an enhanced DBS disclosure (because they are working with children).
How soon can I start?
Once the DBS has been cleared, please contact the Child Employment/Performance Business Support Officer for further details. You are not allowed to be a chaperone until a Chaperones ID card is issued.
You will need to re-apply for a licence every three years when another check will be made with the Disclosure and Barring Service.
The Local Authority does not find employment for chaperones and will not recommend chaperones to employers.
It is Central Bedfordshire Council’s practice that inspections are carried out at places of entertainment within Central Bedfordshire Council where practicable. Child Employment/Performance Business Support Officer carrying out the inspection would make him/herself known to the chaperone on arrival and will have identification with him/her.
For further information, please contact the Child Employment/Performance Business Support Officer:
Central Bedfordshire Council Watling House
High Street North
Tel: 0300 300 4953