Becoming a Chaperone
If you have been asked to chaperone a child, other than your own, for a television, film or stage performance, you should apply to the Children Missing Education Service to become an approved chaperone. (Sometimes chaperones are called matrons.)
In addition to an application form you will be expected to attend an interview to discuss the role of a chaperone in relation to the Children's Performance regulations and provide names for references.
You will be required to have a Disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) before Bath & North East Somerset can approve you as a chaperone. A fee is requested to cover the administration costs for the disclosure. Allow 3 months to complete the registration process. Disclosure checks through the DBS (formerly CRB) can take 6 weeks or more to come through. You need, therefore, to think ahead when applying for chaperone approval, especially if you are booked to chaperone a forthcoming production.
What is a Chaperone?
A chaperone is an adult approved by the Local Authority (LA) to take charge of children at all times during a performance except when the child is in the charge of his/her parent or tutor. A chaperone is engaged by the production company.
The following legislation covers the role of chaperones:
· Children & Young Persons Act 1963
· Children (Performance) Regulations 1968
· The Children (Performance) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 1998
What does a Chaperone do?
· A chaperone is responsible for ensuring that the performance licence is being complied with and the child is being properly cared for. The Chaperone acts in loco parentis and should exercise the care which a good parent might be reasonably expected to give that child.
· A chaperone's first priority is always to the child.
· A chaperone is the key person to whom the child looks to for guidance, protection, clarification and support.
One of a chaperone's greatest strengths is her/his ability to negotiate with the production company 'on site' and be able to say 'no' when what is being requested of the child is contrary or detrimental to either the child's health, well being and/or education. For example, requesting a child to stay at a place of performance over and above the hours/times laid down on either the child's licence or within the regulations, lack of education time, and so forth.
The maximum number of children that LA approved chaperones are allowed to have in their care at any one time is 12. However in some circumstances, the LA may insist on a smaller ratio of children per chaperone, or that more chaperones are required in order to split the care of boys and girls and/or where there is a wide difference in the ages of the children. Ratios are at the discretion of the child's licensing LA.
The child must be in the care of the chaperone at all times.
Once approval has been granted information will be provided to explain legislation in relation to children in entertainment and the role of the chaperone.
Who to contact
If you would like to apply to become a chaperone please contact the Children Missing Education Service on 01225 394241 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org