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A chaperone acts in place of a parent 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 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.'

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.
  • Up to 12 children can be looked after at any one time by a chaperone. However we consider this to be too many particularly when there are a variety of ages.
  • 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.
  • 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 eg clean, adequate room and toilet facilities.
  • You must also ensure that all meals are provided both on and off the set.

Record keeping

A record must be kept to show:

  • the place of and dates of the 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.
  • 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.

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.

Applying for a chaperone licence

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.

  • If you live in Bedford then you need to apply to Bedford Borough Council. If you don’t live in Bedford Borough you need to apply to the council that you reside in. 
  • 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). Please note DBS applications can take up to 6-8 weeks.
  • Once the DBS has been cleared, please contact the Child Employment 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.

You can apply for a chaperone licence by emailing Child Employment Officer Debi Momi on: debi.momi@bedford.gov.uk 

Inspection

It is Bedford Borough Council’s practice that inspections are carried out at places of entertainment within Bedford. The Child Employment Officer carrying out the inspection would make him/herself known to the chaperone on arrival and will have identification with him/her.

Contact the Child Employment Officer

For Further information please contact Debi Momi on debi.momi@bedford.gov.uk 

Statutory Support Services
Bedford Borough Council
Borough Hall
Cauldwell Street
Bedford Borough Council
MK42 9AP

See more information relating to Restrictions on Performance (PDF)

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