GDPR and child performance licencing – are you up to date?

Do you find the rules on data protection confusing? With new regulations coming into force at the end of May we’re being bombarded with information at every turn.  We know how difficult it can be to get straight to the ‘nitty gritty’ so this month Lisa Mayo, Head of Gloucestershire Music, has written a blog to help direct you to the right places.

Lisa has also included some really useful tips for those of you who are tasked with taking children to performances that are not organised through the pupils’ schools.  There are a lot of regulations that you may not be aware of, but hopefully this will help you along the way…


Are you up-to-date with the changes?

We all understand the frustrations and confusion that surrounds the many different legislations involved in data protection, asset management and various issues around policies to do with safeguarding but all of these areas exist to ensure the protection of the rights of our customers and the safety of the children in our groups.  However, knowing what changes have occurred or are going to change can be overwhelming.  So here are a couple of pointers to help with some of the areas which we have been busy ensuring compliance with over the last year.

General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)

New regulations coming in on 25thMay 2018 help to ensure anybody collecting and handling data has considered the legitimacy and necessity of the data required and a balance with individuals’ interests, rights and freedoms.  New accountability and transparency requirements will help to ensure that robust procedures are in place to handle of data effectively.  Non-compliance can have severe consequences and huge fines so it’s important you are confident with the new regulations coming into effect and that you have the appropriate procedures in place.


Would you benefit from a more interactive approach to finding out about these changes?  There are lots of courses currently being held around the country for people interested in attending – simply make an internet search for this and you should find a list of courses, as well as some online modules that can help you to build on your understanding.

Website links for guidance

The following website links might also be of use if you want to find out more about the changes in the first instance:

For information about what a ‘legitimate interest’ is for various areas click here

For detailed guidance about GDPR click here

Blog link

An interesting blog was published recently by Michael Navarro (Chief Executive Officer of Spektrik) on the ‘Arts Professional’ website regarding the concerns over customer relationships with the implications of these new guidelines entitled ‘A customer-friendly approach to GDPR’.  They also offer a free toolkit at the end of the article, which is designed to help arts marketers and fundraisers with their approaches to these changes.

Child Performance Licencing

People organising performances with the involvement of children may need to ensure they obtain a child performance licence (unless it is a school who are making the arrangements).  The extract below from the website outlines the basic description of when a licence may need to be applied for but the guidance is far more detailed in reality and has many more scenarios listed that might require you to obtain a licence.  One of the main areas for consideration are regarding when schools or parents are not the organising parties of an activity/event and therefore an external body is directing children, if this applies to your organisation then you’ll need to read the documentation issued by the Department for Education carefully!

Performance licences and supervision for children

A child may need a licence if they’re under school leaving age (you can leave school on the last Friday in June if you’ll be 16 by the end of the summer holidays) and taking part in:

  • films, plays, concerts or other public performances that the audience pays to see, or that take place on licensed premises
  • any sporting events or modelling assignments where the child is paid

The person in charge of running the event must apply to the child’s local council for a child performance licence. Ask the council if you’re not sure you need one.

Supervision for the child

If the child won’t be with their parent, school teacher or home tutor, they must be supervised by a chaperone approved by the council. Chaperones can apply for approval from the council.

Supervision of children

The issue around supervision of children being conducted by a chaperone (as mentioned above) is also an area which requires additional training and chaperone licences to be applied for by staff, which are issued by the local council.  Just having a DBS and having attended safeguarding training is no longer solely adequate when an event calls for ‘chaperones’ to be present. Where an event requires a child licence then the staff accompanying must normally be approved chaperones.

Important document

This document, issued by the Department for Education, helps to outline the child performing and activities licensing legislation in England so is an important read for anyone wanting to understand more about this area.

Organisations that hold multiple events involving young people

If you have a variety of events which would require child performance licences throughout a year then it might be worth applying for a Body of Persons approval (BOPA) from the local authority.  The extract below is taken from page 10 of the document link in the paragraph above and helps to explain what a BOPA is and who it is appropriate for:

Body of Persons approval (BOPA)

1.3.7 Also under section 37(3)(b) of the 1963 Act, a licence is not required where a performance is given under arrangements made by a ‘body of persons’ approved by the local authority in whose area the performance takes place or, in a few exceptional circumstances, by the Secretary of State. Further detail is set out below.

What is a BOPA?

  • A BOPA can be issued for an organisation (known as a ‘body of persons’ for these purposes) for a specific performance or for a limited period of time as set out in the approval, to put on performances involving children.
  • The granting of a BOPA to an organisation replaces the need to apply for individual licences from each child’s home local authority during the period of approval – as long as the BOPA criteria and conditions continue to be fulfilled.

Who can apply?

  • The organisation responsible for putting on the performance, and for ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the children taking part, must apply.
  • Any type of organization can apply; it doesn’t matter if they are a professional company, amateur group, stage or broadcast – as long as no payment (other than expenses) is made for the child to take part.

Who can issue a BOPA?

  • BOPAs are issued by the local authority where the performance is taking place.
  • The Secretary of State has the power to issue a BOPA, but will not generally consider applications. This is because local authorities are better placed to assess arrangements made to safeguard children in local activities, to inspect those arrangements and enforce any requirements or conditions intended to protect children.
  • The Secretary of State will not consider any applications that do not involve a large number of performances with a large number of children across a significant number of local authority areas.

What needs to be considered?

The decision whether to issue a BOPA is at the discretion of the local authority (or Secretary of State). They would want assurance that the body had clear, robust and well embedded policies for safeguarding children.

  • A BOPA does not authorise absence from school for any child involved in the performances. If the performance involves absence from school that should be approved by the school – but see 3.2 in respect of the ability to approve absence from school.
  • Where a performance is taking place under the auspices of a BOPA, the legislation does not require that the child be supervised by a chaperone approved by the local authority

Our local authority – Gloucestershire County Council

If you organise events involving children then the best plan is to get in touch with Gloucestershire County Council’s Education Inclusion Service as soon as possible and they will help to guide you through the approapriate arrangements for your event.

For more documentation and guidance on all child performance licence and chaperone issues then please click here


Time scale

Please note that you need to plan ahead for licence applications, as it can take a minimum of 21 days before an event for the licence to be considered and issued, so our advice is to get your paperwork in long before your event is due to be held!

This blog aims to simply raise awareness and touch on some of the areas which have certainly affected us in our line of work over recent years so we thought it might be of interest to others working with children in the arts and hopefully will help to signpost you to some helpful areas if you wish to find out more. 

#gloucestershiremusic, #gloucestershirecountycouncil, #GDPR, #artsprofessional, #performancelicences, #musicinclusion, #BOPA, #DofE, #musiceducation,

Posted on April 16, 2018, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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