Children in Performance

======= Children in Performance =======

To Download 2014 Legislation click here

Here is some helpful information established with Oxfordshire County Council, pertaining to children in amateur drama.  (Last updated - April 2013)

1)    The Law says children (under 16) may perform for 4 days in 6 months without needing licences. Children who are being paid and have to take time off school should always have a licence.

2)    Also they can do several performances per day (not in school time, and with at least 45min/1.5 Hrs between), so for example children in a Wed to Sat run + Sat matinee, ie: 5 or 6 performances over 4 days do not need Licences.  (School productions do not count in the 4 days).

3)    If any children need to be licenced – this can be individual licenses for each child, or a group can now apply for a      
‘BODY OF PERSONS’ approval
– which covers all the children in a particular production.
Also
if any children need to be licensed then the law requires :-

a)    They must be supervised by a licenced chaperone or their own parent. (no parent can supervise someone else’s child unless they are a registered chaperone.)
b)    No more than 12 children per chaperone depending on age and sex as appropriate.
c)    Separate changing areas for boys and girls and adults. (use common sense here, ie: curtain, change in shifts or change at home.)
d)    Signing in and out list. (appropriate form in Children in Entertainment booklet **)
e)    Incident report to be completed when necessary (appropriate form in Children in Entertainment booklet **)
A County Council officer could possibly visit to check the above.
Other recommendations are :-
a.    Name of company first aider and location of first aid box.
b.    Accident report book.
c.    Fire escape route
(These are normal work practices for a chaperone as per their instructions of licensing.)

4)    The rehearsal period (prior to performance dates) is NOT covered by regulations.
a)    Chaperones are NOT required (but recommended),
b)    A suitable adult can chaperone the children.
c)    It is good practice to have parent details and ensure safety of children at all times. Any rehearsals during the performance period (show week) are covered by Child Performance Regulations.

5)    If no children need licenses then they are not covered by the regulations.
a)    Chaperones are NOT required (but recommended),
b)    A suitable adult can chaperone the children.
However it is good practice to follow the Guidelines set out in the Children in Entertainment booklet **. This is for the protection of the child and the Group.

6)    The authorities cannot “stop the show”, but they can prevent the child/children from performing if the Group are in contravention of the Children in Entertainment regulations. (obviously, if your major lead or leads are the ones withdrawn from the show the performance would probably not be able to continue)

7)    Contact details :-

Application Form for Child Performing Licence and Chaperone Licence from Oxfordshire County Council Administrative Office (Specialist) on:  Tel: 01865 323513

Sue Collington :  Administrative officer (specialist), Inclusion, access & engagement.
Email:  ChildPerformanceLicence@Oxfordshire.gov.uk 
Oxfordshire County Council Childrens Performances WebSite:-
 www.Oxfordshire.gov.uk/links/public/PerformanceLicences

Paul Massie :  (Educational Social Worker – the person who comes to inspect that Children in Entertainment regulations are being carried out properly) 01865 323513. 
Email: paul.massie@oxfordshire.gov.uk

Both these people are always very helpful and ready to assist in any matter or query you may have with any of the issues in these guidelines. Please do not hesitate to contact them with your questions.

CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) checks can obtained through your Drama Group. A CRB check is applied for from an organisation, it does not have to be the Oxfordshire County Council. It is valid for 3 years. The cost via OCC is currently £51.00 for each application.  Individuals can apply for a Chaperone licence. A CRB check is needed for someone to apply for a Chaperone Licence. (They usually only apply to the County you are applying through and is valid for 3 years.)
If you need a CRB check it will take about 3 months but if you have a current CRB disclosure then it could take a week.

N.B. CRB checks are now called DBS checks (Disclosure & Barring Service)

Download - Licence Application form (.pdf)

Download - OCC full Children in Performance page (.pdf)

Download - Licence holders & Chaperones info. (.doc)  **