A child taking part in a performance, which can include television, film and theatre productions and paid sporting activities or modelling assignments, must be in the care and control of either their legal guardian (usually their parents) or an approved chaperone at all times. Other relatives, including grandparents, uncles, aunts and adult siblings, or childminders and nannies are not permitted to chaperone a child unless they hold a chaperone approval/licence.
Chaperones are approved by the Local Authority in which they reside, to safeguard, support and promote the wellbeing of the child whilst the child is taking part in a performance or regulated rehearsal, or whilst living away from home in order to perform.
A child must be in view of a chaperone at all times. The chaperone must accompany them to and from the dressing room, school room, studio, set or stage and must remain in the studio, on set or by the side of the stage whilst the child is performing. They must remain with the child during meal, rest and recreation breaks. If the child is staying away from home the chaperone must stay with them at the lodgings.
A chaperone’s first responsibility is to the child - their care is paramount. The chaperone is the main point of safety a child looks to for protection, clarification and support and plays a major role in ensuing the child’s experience is enjoyable and beneficial. They act as the voice of the child should production’s arrangements be found wanting. They are responsible for:
- ensuring the child has enough breaks and meals
- taking action if the child is ill, upset or tired
- considering health and safety issues
- safeguarding issues
A chaperone should not undertake any other duties whilst chaperoning, including involvement with any technical aspects of the production, directing or performing.
How to apply to become a chaperone
Any Bracknell Forest resident over the age of 18 can apply.
You will need to complete an application form to act as a chaperone (PDF, 48kb) and make an online application with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) (formerly CRB). There is a £10 fee payable online. Please contact the Child Employment Officer for information on how to access the DBS online system and make the online payment.
The applicant must arrange to meet with the Child Employment Officer with their supporting ID, who will run through the role and responsibilities of a chaperone, the child performance legislation and safeguarding best practices.
Once the application has been approved the licence is valid for 3 years, however Bracknell Forest Council reserve the right to withdraw approval if there are concerns over the chaperone’s conduct.
The council will hold the person’s details but they are not employed by the council, nor will the council find them work or recommend them to any prospective employer.