ITV Chaperone Concerns

ITV Workshops have raised some concern over how chaperoning was carried out on our production for Olivia since filming has wrapped. I have been going back on forth explaining the change in the initial situation, but despite this how we have still abided by the rules and regulations. This set of emails has made me review how we carried out these responsibilities and how we have done more than what is expected from us considering the circumstances. The majority of the rules and regulations relate to full time paid work, whereas our student work is a voluntary choice with reimbursement for travel/expenses only.

A licensed chaperone is required only for child performers who are working with a license. In our case Olivia came under the exemption category as she was not missing school, nor were we paying for her services (reimbursement does not count). The grey area in this circumstance is:

When participating voluntarily children can work for up to 4 days without a license, as long as they don’t miss school or have not been in anything requiring a license for the past 6 months

Olivia had not worked more that 4 days in total, as I have calculated this from the hours she actually worked. Personally I feel like we have gone over the expected responsibilities by providing a stand-in chaperone (as the original dropped out the day before production).

Working hours for Olivia, note these aren’t precise hours as they don’t accommodate for breaks in the day and actual hours of work, but the hours we required her available for:

  • Wed 21st: 18.30 – 21.00
  • Sat 24th: 12.00 – 16.00
  • Sun 25th: 11.00 – 18.00
  • Fri 30th: 16.00 – 20.30
  • Sat 31st: 08.30 – 14.00, 15.00 – 18.00
  • Sun 1st: 07.30 – 12.00, 14.00 – 19.00
  • Total Hours: 37 of 96

Delving further into the regulations the following ‘Good Practice’ document reads:

Children who take part in a rehearsal, group meeting sessions or are unlicensed are not required by law to have a chaperone. However, as a matter of good practice it is suggested that chaperones should always be present at rehearsals and performances.

This idea of the ‘Four Day Rule’ is continuously brought up concerning whether children are eligible for a license, therefore a chaperone. The document clearly outlines this rule stating a license is not required for a child if:

– They perform for only 4 days in any 6 month period
– They do not need time off from school to undertake the performance
– They do not receive any payment other than expenses.

To summarise in my personal opinion we have followed all the rules and regulations concerning working with Olivia. Originally we treated it as a full time paid production, but once the first chaperone had dropped out it meant we were still following regulation as it is a voluntary and amateur production, not a professional paid piece. All of the actors and parents were happy and I feel confident I have carried out all of my responsibilities as a producer. I can understand the room for concern, and I shall highlight this with my tutor so they can speak to ITV.

To quote some extracts from my current conversation with ITV:

  • Unfortunately the day before shooting they [chaperone] dropped out on us so we had to make a last minute substitute.
  • All of us have received chaperone training from our university and are CRB checked, however our training did not come with any official certification.
  • We spoke to the parents and all were happy with the arrangement knowing one person on set will be focused on looking after the young actors.
  • We have done everything in our power to ensure chaperoning has been carried out efficiently and effectively.
  • I regularly checked in with actors and parents between shooting days to make sure there were no issues and that everyone was happy with how the shoot was running.

Another point to further support any concern is the fact all parents and actors signed a release form/contract stating they were aware and happy with the production and how it was run, therefore they have accepted all the terms and conditions of how the work was executed.

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