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Performing Arts: Children

Volume 462: debated on Wednesday 11 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform whether children’s agencies specialising in theatre, TV and modelling have to register with a Government Department or other body. (148727)

While entertainment agencies do not have to register with a Government Department, they are required to meet the provisions under the Employment Agencies Act 1973 and associated Conduct Regulations. These are designed to protect the interests of those using the services they provide. The Regulations include provisions to prevent agencies supplying unsuitable people to work with the vulnerable, including children.

Children may not work in television, theatre or other similar activities, including modelling, without a performance licence issued by the local authority under the Children and Young Persons Acts 1933 and 1963, as amended. It is however the responsibility of employers, rather than agencies, to ensure that a child is licensed and that the terms of a licence are complied with.

In addition, the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, which will be implemented from autumn 2008, provides the legislative framework to help prevent unsuitable people from working with children.