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Child licensing guide issued to tackle ‘varying interpretations’ of law

Canterbury schoolchildren in the RSC's A Midsummer Night's Dream: A Play for the Nation. Photo: Topher McGrills
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A guide aimed at addressing the “inconsistency of practice” within child performance licensing has been drawn up.

Providing information about the regulations surrounding child performers, and examples of best practice, A Guide to Child Performance Licensing in England has been published by the National Network for Child Employment and Entertainment.

Author Sandra Rothwell said it was aimed at all those who work with child performers, but in particular local authority licensing officers. It also includes information on chaperones.

The report has been compiled after the Children (Performances and Activities) Regulations 2014 came into force in 2015. These replaced the Children Performances Regulations 1968.

The new legislation marked the biggest change in legislation in more than 40 years. However, Rothwell said a number of issues had been identified, including “the varying interpretations by licensing officers and the industry and varying working practices”.

Following discussions with the Department for Education, it was decided a new document was needed to provide further advice on the legislation.

The guide covers issues such as when a licence is required, how long children are permitted to work each day, and what breaks they are entitled to.

It also states that children should be part of a curtain call, because it acknowledges their “hard work and contribution to the success of the show”.

Download the report

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