1- Section 37(3)(b) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1963 (“the Act”) provides that a licence shall not be required for a child to take part in a performance if:

“the performance is given under arrangements made by a school (within the meaning of the Education Act 1996 or [Scotland] ) or made by a body of persons approved for the purposes of this section by the Secretary of State or by the local authority in whose area the performance takes place…”,

and no payment in respect of the child’s taking part in the performance is made, whether to him or to any other person, except for defraying expenses.

2- Rationale for Body of Persons Criteria and Contract

2.1 – Portsmouth City Council (“PCC”) is mindful of the legal responsibility to safeguard children from harm and exploitation and has therefore applied the following criteria for approval.  However, the criteria are guidelines and PCC retains the discretion to grant Body of Persons Approval only where the applicant group (“the Applicant”) has satisfied PCC of its suitability to be granted such approval.

2.2 – The Applicant should:

  1. be a body of persons rather than an individual;
  2. normally have complied with the licensing provisions for a 2 year period or have conducted six properly licensed performances involving children, whichever is the greater;
  3. have a child protection policy and procedures approved by PCC (“Child Protection Policy and Procedures”);
  4. satisfy all the legislative requirements that would normally apply to an individual licence;
  5. assist PCC with the investigatory process referred to in paragraph 3.2 below; and
  6. sign a Body of Persons Contract produced by PCC (“the Contract”) which incorporates further conditions that must be adhered to by the Applicant.

2.3 – The Applicant should use the Model Child Protection Policy which has been developed by the National Network for Children in Employment and Entertainment (NNCEE). This has been reviewed by PCC and is considered to meet PCC’s safeguarding requirements.  To enhance further the safeguarding responsibilities of each approved body of persons (“Body of Persons”), some additional conditions have been included within the Contract.  Furthermore, the Applicant’s Child Protection Policy and Procedures should refer to the Keeping Children Safe in Education 2023 guidance and the safeguarding policy and procedures of Portsmouth’s Local Safeguarding Children Board.

  • Approval is granted per performance to ensure regular contact between PCC and the Body of Persons. Within this period, PCC will monitor compliance with their requirements, as well as with any applicable legislative requirements, by the Body of Persons regarding rehearsals and performances in which children participate.
  • Subject to the issue of payment referred to immediately below and to paragraphs 2.6 and 2.7 below, once a Body of Persons Approval has been granted, the Body of Persons is no longer required to apply for individual licences for the participation in rehearsals or performances of children who reside in the area of PCC. This exemption applies only where the Body of Persons makes no payment in respect of the child’s involvement in the rehearsal or performance, other than for defraying expenses, to the child or to another person.
  • If a child who is involved in a performance will need to be absent from school in order to take part in the performance, or a rehearsal for the performance, the Body of Persons Approval will not apply in respect of that child. Therefore, the Body of Persons would be required to apply for a licence in accordance with Section 37 of the Act in respect of that child.  This is because the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 only permit a person authorised by the proprietor of the school to grant leave of absence from school for a child to take part in a performance under the authority of a licence granted under Section 37 of the Act.
  • Failure by a Body of Persons to comply with PCC’s requirements and/or applicable legislation may result in PCC revoking the Body of Persons Approval with immediate effect.

3- Procedure for applications

3.1 – Applications should be made online using the Body of Persons Application Form.

3.2 – On receipt of the application, The Team Leader will instigate appropriate checks and meetings within 28 days of receipt of the application.

3.3 – The Team Leader will endeavour to notify the applicant of a decision within 8 weeks of the application. Any delays will be notified in writing via email. A decision to refuse approval will be explained in writing.

3.4 – The Body of Persons Approval can be for a single performance or a series of performances within a given time.

3.5 – Applications for renewal must be made at least 28 days before the Body of Persons Approval lapses.

4- Review Process

4.1 – If the Applicant is not satisfied with the explanation provided regarding refusal the Applicant should write to PCC within 28 days of the decision providing their grounds for requesting a review of the decision.

4.2 – The case will be referred to the reviewing officer who is the Director of Children’s Services or a person or persons authorised by the Director of Children’s Services to review the decision (“the Reviewing Officer”).

4.3 – The Reviewing Officer will be provided with legal advice and assistance by a legal adviser within the Council.

4.4 – The letter requesting review will be acknowledged within 7 days of receipt.

4.5 – The Reviewing Officer will consider the case taking into consideration:

  • the original papers in the case
  • any further information submitted by the Applicant
  • legal advice and assistance
  • any other information including information from third parties

4.6 – Within 21 days of receipt of the request for review the Reviewing Officer will write to the Applicant informing of the Reviewing Officer’s decision. Full reasons for the decision will be given.

4.7 – In some cases further information may be requested by the Reviewing Officer before a decision can be reached. In these cases the Reviewing Officer will write to the Applicant asking them to supply the information or to give consent to the Reviewing Officer to obtain the information on their behalf. The review process will then be stayed pending receipt of the further information.

4.8 – Upon receipt of the information the Reviewing Officer will provide the Applicant with a decision together with full reasons for the decision within 21 days.

4.9 – The matter can be dealt with by written submission only, or in exceptional cases by oral submissions, at the discretion of the Reviewing Officer. In cases where oral submissions are to be made the hearing will be held within 28 days of the request for review unless further information is required in which case the hearing will be held within 21 days of receipt of the further information.

4.10 – Oral submissions will be limited to issues already raised in the request for review documents and further information provided.

4.11 – The Reviewing Officer will determine the matter at the hearing or may reserve his/her decision. In either case the Applicant will be advised of the decision within 7 days of the date of the hearing.

5- Expectations Post Approval

5.1 – The Body of Persons shall provide the Authorising Officer with a written schedule of performances including rehearsals. The Body of Persons must document the names, addresses and dates of birth of every child involved in each performance and rehearsal.  The Body of Persons must obtain a statement from each child’s parent confirming that he or she is fit to perform in the designated role.  The schedule must include the dates, times and locations relating to all rehearsals and performances.  The schedule must also include details of any proposed overnight stays and the arrangements that have been made for accommodating the children.

5.2 – The applicant will ensure that an appropriate number of Local Authority approved Chaperones are engaged to care for the children performing having specific regard to their sex and age, ensuring that each child is supervised at all times.

5.3 – Visits and checks by any duly authorised officer by PCC will be facilitated by the Body of Persons during the currency of the Body of Persons Approval to monitor children taking part in rehearsals or performances.

5.6 – A copy of the Body of Persons’ Child Protection Policy and Procedures will be provided by the Body of Persons for the retention of PCC

Contact information

Child Entertainment & Employment
School Attendance Team
Floor 2, Core 6
Civic Offices
Guildhall Square
Portsmouth
PO1 2EA