In some circumstances an organisation putting on a performance can apply for a Body of Persons Approval (BOPA) rather than applying for individual performance licences for the children taking part.
The decision whether to issue a BOPA is at the discretion of the Local Authority (South Tyneside Council). The Council must be satisfied that appropriate arrangements are in place to safeguard the children.
Who can apply?
The Body responsible for putting on the performance, and for ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the children taking part, must apply.
Any type of Body can apply; it doesn't matter if they are a professional company, amateur group, stage or broadcast.
What needs to be considered?
BOPAs are issued by the local authority where the performance is taking place; therefore in certain circumstances where a production is taking place in several authorities, the Body will have to apply to each local authority separately.
A BOPA can only be issued where no payment is made to the child or anyone else in respect of the child taking part in the performance other than reasonable expenses.
A BOPA can only be issued if children are not required to be absent from school to take part in rehearsals and/or performances. If any absence is required from school then individual licences must be applied for.
The rehearsals and/or performances must comply with the Children (Performances and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014 in respect of the maximum number of days and permitted hours of performance and breaks.
The Body has in place clear, robust and appropriate policies and procedures for safeguarding children including a Child Protection Policy and Health and Safety Policy.
It is the responsibility of the Body:
To ensure that safeguarding arrangements for the children are made and adhered to.
Not to permit children to be at the place of performance outside the hours permitted by the Children (Performances and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014.
To ensure that a notification of performance/performances is submitted to South Tyneside Council at least 21 days prior to each performance, comprising of:
List of all children taking part in performance/s dates etc
A list of Chaperones responsible for the children taking part in the performance/s
To keep records of each child's performance including all of the points requested above.
To ensure that suitable arrangements have been made for the child to get to and from the venue where the performance/rehearsal is being held.
Not to use children in performances that may be dangerous nor to train children for dangerous performances.
To notify South Tyneside Council of any changes to the original application, eg change of premises, etc.
To give any authorised officer of South Tyneside Council unrestricted access whilst any rehearsal or performance is taking place at any venue that the Body uses for such purposes.
How to apply
The person responsible for the Body must complete the Application form36.35KB and return it to us at: South Tyneside Council, Services for Young People, Town Hall, Westoe Road, South Shields NE33 2RL.