CHILDREN IN ENTERTAINMENT
For many years there have been strict laws and regulations governing children who take part in performances of all kinds, including dance competitions and theatre productions. You might be aware that in recent months there has been increased attention from children in entertainment authorities towards the running of dance competitions.
To keep in line with these regulations, all future HIPHOP UK events are going to run under a “Body of Persons” agreement with the local authority for where the event is being held. This is a type of collective licence that permits all dancers aged 16 and under to perform.
There won’t be any changes whatsoever in the way that the competitions will run but we do ask that in order to comply with the regulations for the Body of Persons approval that children aged 16 or under who perform at these events must be supervised at all times either by their parent/guardian. If for any reason they won’t be with a parent/guardian please advise us so that we can ensure that they have suitable level of care as set out in the Body of Persons guidelines. It also a condition of entry that all dancers are well and fit for taking part in the event.
Some areas will request that we submit a list of names taking part. When required this will be taken from the competition entry. In most areas the name, age and dance school will be sufficient. Please be advised that this information will be passed on to the relative authority if requested.
One of the conditions of being approved as a Body of Persons is that we provide a couple of licensed chaperones that will be present at our competitions to overlook the event and deal with any concerns or issues that may arise. The training for a licensed chaperone includes gaining insight into safeguarding and child protection issues as well as understanding the legislation for children in entertainment. Here are a few examples of what they might look out for whilst at a competition and will report any concerns to the event organiser immediately and appropriate action will be taken:
- Fire exits remain clear
- Aisles and gangways remain clear
- Venue temperature suitable
- Toilet facilities adequate
- Children not getting changed in public areas
- Children are warming up in the designated area
- Spectators observing video policy
- Children are being supervised by their parent/guardian at all times
- Dancers are wearing appropriate clothing and footwear
- Teachers behaving appropriately and following our code of conduct
- Watching for any unusual or suspicious activity
At a recent meeting with our local children in entertainment representative it was given as a recommendation that dance teachers attending competitions consider applying for a chaperone licence for themselves. This isn’t to look after the children as they all will be accompanied by a parent however it would give dance teachers a basic understanding of child protection and safeguarding issues and an outline of the guidelines for children taking part in performance/competition. This can be applied for with your local children in entertainment authority and normally costs £30 for a licence lasting for three years.