"A child taking part in a performance, which can include TV or filming, theatre, sporting activities or modelling, will require chaperoning. Chaperones are licensed by the Local Education Authority."
The holder of the licence is responsible for ensuring that, for the period covered by the licence, the child is in the charge of a person approved by the licensing authority - the chaperone.
Regulation 12 - Chaperones
(1) A person who may be a man or a woman, approved by the licensing authority (the chaperone) shall be in charge of the child at all times during the period beginning with the first and ending with the last performance to which the licence relates except where the child is in the charge of a parent or teacher.
(2) The licensing authority shall not approve a chaperone unless they are satisfied that s/he is suitable and competent to exercise proper care and control of a child of the age and sex of the child in question, and that s/he will not be prevented from carrying out his/her duties towards the child by other activities or duties towards other children.
(3) Without prejudice to the last foregoing paragraph, the licensing authority shall not approve a chaperone if s/he is to be in charge of more than eleven other children during the time s/he would be in charge of the child in question if approval were given.
(4) The licensing authority shall not approve as chaperone the private teacher of the child in question if s/he is to be in charge of more than two other children during the same time s/he would be in charge of the child if approval were given.
(5) A chaperone while in charge of a child under this regulation shall have the care and control of the child with a view to securing his/her health, comfort, kind treatment and moral welfare.
(6) Where a child suffers any injury or illness while in the charge of a chaperone or teacher, the holder of the licence shall ensure that the parent of the child named in the application form and the local authority are notified immediately of such injury or illness.
Guidance on the duties of chaperones
The chaperones first duty is to the children in his/her care - the chaperone is in loco parentis, except while the child is in the care of a teacher, and should exercise that care which a good parent might reasonably be expected to give to the child.
The chaperone is required to ensure that when the child is not actually performing, s/he is properly supervised, and has adequate meals, rest and recreation.
No child should be allowed to perform when unwell. If a child falls ill or is injured while in the charge of the chaperone, a doctor should be called and licence holder should immediately notify the child's parent and the local authority.
While a licence is in force, the place of performance may be visited by an officer acting for the local authority. His/her responsibilities are to ensure that the licence is being complied with and that the child is properly care for. S/he will wish to see the dressing rooms and other accommodation used by the child/ren named in the licence. S/he will wish to meet the chaperone(s).
If, while a licence is in force, it appears to the authority that a chaperone is not performing his/her duties satisfactorily, the approval given may be withdrawn.
Leanne Barker, Education Welfare Officer