Consultation on child performance legislation
Paul Dancey on 22/07/2012
This is a joint consultation by the Welsh Government and the UK Department of Education on proposals to reform the procedures safeguarding children who take part in performances.
The proposals affect people under school leaving age (ie aged 16 or over on the last Friday in June) performing or playing in front of a paying audience or in a licenced premises.
The 1968 Child Performance Regulations and three sets of amendment regulations seek to safeguard the health, welfare and education of children taking part in performances from a variety of risks.
The existing regulations are however thought to be too detailed and prescriptive in some respects. Following an independent review to consider the issues and challenges arising from the legislation, officials have been working with partners to consider what changes are required to the law.
The aim is to ensure that robust protections are in place to safeguard children, but that these measures are proportionate and can facilitate opportunities for children to perform.
The proposals include specific exemptions for recognised sport (Sport England or Olympic) whether they are paid or unpaid, and children under 13 are exempt if they are unpaid. But in this context the term "paid" covers commercial or other financial sponsorship and goods as well as wages. There are also grey areas in the consultation with respect to paid involvement, and therefore a danger that non-monetary contributions like goody bags, badges, etc could end up being classified as payment unless this is clarified.
Unrecognised sports may however find themselves classed as a performance, and therefore require a licence.
Although these proposals are intended to cover England and Wales, only Sport England is mentioned and there is no reference to Sport Wales. Any clear definition of what is regarded as a recognised sport must surely take account of the existing structures across England and Wales, and not simply focus on arrangements within Sport England.
For further information please visit the Welsh Government website.
Further information is also available on the Sport and Recreation Alliance website.
To respond to this consultation please email your comments to CSD3SafeguardingChildren@wales.gsi.gov.uk, or send them by post to:
Support for Learners Division
Department for Education and Skills
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