Skills and responsibilities of a chaperone

Skills required for a chaperone

The Local Education Authority must be satisfied that the chaperone can exercise proper care or control of the child(ren), including their health, comfort, kind treatment and moral welfare.

The Law states that "the chaperone is acting in loco parentis and should exercise the care which a good parent might reasonably be expected to give that child". Your first responsibility is to the child(ren) in your care.

  • Children often work in an adult environment. Take into account the child's age and experience, concentration span, and exposure to adult conversation and expectations.
  • Consider health and safety issues on stage and on set. For example, be fully aware of evacuation procedures in case of emergencies such as fire and have a basic understanding of emergency first aid treatment.
  • Take action when a child is tired, ill or upset.
  • Be aware of bullying.


The Children (Performances and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014 lay down the Regulations for chaperones, which include the following:

The chaperone shall be in charge of the child(ren) at all times except when a child is in the charge of his parent or a tutor. For example, escorting the child(ren) from the performance area to the dressing room.

A chaperone must not be prevented from carrying out their duties as chaperone by other duties.

The law states that the maximum number of children in a chaperone's care should not exceed 12. In some instances 12 may be far too high, for example with very young children or if the children are living away from home. Please consider these when deciding on the number of children that you agree to chaperone.

At no time should a child perform when unwell. If a child falls ill or is injured while in the chaperones charge, medical assistance must be gained, and the parent and licensing authority informed immediately. In the event of a child being too ill to perform, the chaperone must make arrangements for the child to be sent home under proper escort. In case of serious illness or accident the child should be sent to hospital and the child's parents and LEA should be informed immediately.

The chaperone should have a basic understanding of 'duty of care' in a workplace situation and be satisfied that suitable risk assessments have been carried out by those responsible for the rehearsal/performance. The chaperone should be satisfied that any risks which may affect the child/(ren) in their care have been identified and that effective control measures are in place.

Below is a list of typical hazards associated with theatrical and film performances. The list is not exhaustive but covers some of the more common areas that may give cause for concern:

  • fire procedures
  • safe place to stand in wings or off the set
  • movement of scenery
  • flying scenery
  • movement of any machinery
  • periods of temporary darkness (for example, scene changes)
  • falls from a height
  • smoke effects and dry ice
  • noise (for example, bomb tanks)
  • pyrotechnics
  • trapdoors
  • animals
  • electrical cables

If the performance is outdoors then in addition to some of the above the following may need to be considered:

  • protection from inclement weather
  • movement of vehicles

By law (Children and Young Persons Act 1963 Section 39(5)), records should be made available to a visiting officer of the LEA by producers. Chaperones are often designated to keep these in respect of the child:

  • times child is at the place of the performance
  • time child performs and rehearses
  • time child has breaks and meals
  • time child is waiting between performances (re-scheduling)

Children should be signed in and out of the place of performance by the parent or named person.

Children must be in the care of the registered chaperone at all times until collected by the parent or named person, even if they are late.

If you are unsure of the legalities of what producers may be asking of the child, check with the LEA for advice or support.

In the event of any contravention of the licence, or incident affecting the well-being of the children, inform the LEA who issued the licence at the earliest opportunity.

The chaperone must safeguard the child(ren)'s welfare, and not do anything that could jeopardise the child(ren)'s welfare, or cause them any harm. For example protection from stress, strain and bad weather. The child(ren) must be guarded against exposure to possible harm, including abuse or discrimination.

The chaperone must ensure that the child(ren) have suitable opportunities for recreation, and the right breaks for rest and meals. Children should be provided with nutritional food and not have take-away snacks. Any special diets required for medical reasons, or on moral or religious grounds, must be provided for.

The arrangements for the journey from and the return to home must be satisfactory for the child(ren)'s safety.

The chaperone must be satisfied with the arrangements for the dressing rooms, toilets and any other facilities that the child(ren) make use of. Children over the age of 5 must have separate sex changing facilities.

All chaperones registered by City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council are to ensure that no child is discriminated against on grounds of race, gender, age, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin.