School Attendance

As a parent you are legally responsible for making sure that your child goes to school.  If they can not go for any reason you should tell the school and they may authorise the absence.

We can offer support to children young people and their families to enable access and engagement with education by working in partnership with children young people, their families and schools to promote regular school attendance and participation. Each school has a named Education Welfare Office to request support or advice. Referrals can be made by parents, young people schools or any other agencies working with a family where school attendance has been identified as an issue.

If there is still no improvement we will:

  • Write to you to offer help and support
  • Ask you to attend a Parenting Contract Meeting to set targets for your child’s attendance.
  • If there is still no improvement we may take legal action.
Penalty Notice Protocol

Children Missing Education

A child is classed as missing from education if they are of compulsory school age but are not registered at a school nor being taught privately or through alternative education.

We work with schools to make sure all children missing education are found.

Home Tuition

In line with the statutory guidance from the DFE (DFE-00393-2014), Halton offers a bespoke tuition package to all Halton resident pupils on roll at an LA maintained school, Academy, Faith School or Free School, who have a professionally-diagnosed medical condition which means they will miss 15 or more school days in any one academic year.

What happens for pupils who have missed 15 consecutive days (or where medical evidence is provided in advance that they will do so)?

Halton will hold a tuition planning meeting to arrange a bespoke tuition plan. The plan should ensure full-time provision is put in place unless the medical evidence advises the pupil is only fit to engage with a reduced timetable.  The tuition plan will always be guided by the relevant medical professional advice. The tuition plan ceases if the pupil is subsequently declared fit to return to school.

Who attends the Tuition Planning Meeting?

This should be attended by the relevant medical professional who has certified the pupil as unfit to attend school (or by his/her appointed representative), a representative from the school where the pupil is currently on roll, the Teacher-in-charge at the Home Tuition Centre, the Education Welfare Officer responsible for pupils with medical conditions, the parent(s)/guardian and the pupil. Additional agencies may also be invited. The Tuition Plan may include any of the following:

Home Tuition Centre

The HTC is a small unit (max 10 students) located in Dundalk Road, Ditton, Widnes.  It offers independent learning, with support, 5 mornings a week.  Students’ complete work set by the school where they are on roll. Support is offered by a qualified learning mentor and a qualified teacher. Schools and other agencies can arrange for staff to work 1:1 with pupils.

1:1 Tuition

Specialist tutors work with pupils in Community Centres, Children’s Centres etc for sessions up to 2 hours.  The work should be provided and assessed by the school where the pupil is on roll.  In exceptional circumstances, when this is specified by the medical professional, 1:1 tuition may take place in the home. Prior to this commencing a home visit must be undertaken by the responsible Education Welfare Officer to ensure Health and Safety and Safeguarding requirements are met.

NISAI

This is an on-line learning package which may be appropriate for support in a specific subject or in addition to either of the above to ensure a full-time provision is offered.  NISAI provides access to “live” lessons with qualified, specialist teachers in addition to a range of other support packages including a library of stored lessons and PHSCE.

 

When is the Tuition Plan Reviewed?

It will be reviewed every half term and it is expected that all relevant parties will attend the meeting.

What about Exams?

The school where the pupil is on roll will be responsible for examination entries and ensuring all aspects of any examinations are completed. Pupils who remain “fit-for-school” but have a medical condition which means they will miss a total of 15 or more school days, as a result of the medical condition during any one academic year. For pupils in this category, Halton will provide bespoke “top up” tuition. The amount of “top up” provided will reflect the number of school sessions missed as a result of the medical condition and will be tailored to the individual needs of the pupil. “Top-up” tuition will be reviewed every half-term and will cease if advice is received that the pupil no longer has the medical condition or where it will no longer cause the pupil to miss 15 or more school days in any one academic year.

Child employment and entertainment requirements

Child Performance Licence

All children (from birth to the end of the school year in which they turn 16 years old) need a licence to take part in a public performance. This includes:

  • Films or TV for broadcast.
  • Internet or video commercials.
  • Performances on licensed premises or to a paying audience.
  • Dancing and singing competitions.
  • Amateur productions.
  • Any performance that requires time off school.
  • Any performance where a child is being paid, including sporting events.

If the child has been in no more than three performances in the last six months, will not take time off school and will not be paid or filmed for broadcast the organisation can apply for an exemption.

If multiple children are involved in the performance, and they will not need time off school, the organisation may be able to apply for a Body of Person (BOPA) certificate if they meet the BOPA criteria below.

How to apply Performance licence

The child who requires the licence must live in Halton. The person responsible for the performance and the parent should both complete and sign an application form:

 

Download a Child Performance application form »

 You will also need to provide:

  • proof of the child's date of birth, eg a copy of the birth certificate
  • a photograph of the child taken within the last 6 months (a digital image is acceptable)
  • a copy of the contract (if issued)
  • a letter giving permission for absence from school (if applicable)
  • a copy the company’s safeguarding policy
  • any necessary risk assessments

Completed forms and accompanying information should be emailed to childemploymentandperformance@halton.gov.uk 21 days prior to the performance. Halton Borough Council will issue a licence if they are satisfied that the child is fit to take part in a performance, that their education will not suffer and that appropriate safeguarding measures are in place.

Body of Persons Approval

In certain circumstances Halton Borough Council may consider issuing a Body of Persons Approval to an organisation for a performance involving multiple children at a venue within the Halton Borough. A BOPA may be appropriate providing no payment is being made to the child (or to anyone else), the child will not be absent from school to take part and the performance is taking place within Halton. One application form can be completed for all children taking part, regardless of their home authority, and must be submitted at least 21 days before the performance.

 

Download a BOP application form »

 The completed form can be emailed to: childemploymentandperformance@halton.gov.uk

An approval will only be granted providing the above criteria are met and the council is satisfied the organisation has clear and robust measures in place for safeguarding the children.

Exemptions

In certain circumstances an exemption from the licensing process may be possible. Where a child has not performed on more than four days in the last 6 months (including this performance), is not being paid and there is no absence from school, the performance may be exempt.

If this is the case you should notify Halton Borough Council and the person responsible for the production should complete the following form and email it at least 21 days before the performance takes place to childemploymentandperformance@halton.gov.uk

Information for parents

As a parent, you will receive a copy of the licence. Please read it carefully. The licence is a legal document and any conditions that have been applied must be adhered to. For TV programmes, commercials, films, sound recordings or theatre productions the licence is issued for the part the child is playing.

If the part is in a long running TV drama series the licence will be issued for a six month period. It will be a condition that the licence holder provides written advance notice to the council of any filming engagements your child has during this period. A licence issued for TV work will state how many days absence the head teacher may be willing to grant for filming work. You will need to contact the school to request absence in advance of each filming engagement.

For modelling, a licence will be issued for a single shoot on a specified date at a named location. A licence can also be issued for a six month period, where several modelling shoots will take place, provided they are all for the same organisation. It will be a condition that the licence holder provides written advance notice to the council of any modelling engagements your child has during this period.

A child must be chaperoned by their own parent/guardian or by a chaperone approved by a local authority.

Useful information

 

Download Exemption application form »NNCEE guidance

 

Chaperones Chaperoning of children in entertainment

When a child takes part in a performance which can include TV, filming, theatre or modelling they must be chaperoned by their own parent, a legal guardian (appointed as such by the courts) or an approved chaperone.

A parent may only chaperone their own child. No one else may look after your child if you are named on your child's licence as chaperone. A grandparent or other family member (unless they have parental responsibility) cannot undertake this role on your behalf, unless they are an approved chaperone.

A chaperone acts in "loco parentis" and should exercise the care, which a good parent would be reasonably expected to give that child. The maximum number of children a chaperone can look after at any one time is 6.

However, this will need to be assessed on a case by case basis as age and gender need to be taken into account along with the limitations of the venue. Chaperone applications will only be considered if you are a resident of Halton.

To apply to become an approved chaperone please complete an application form and return by post or email.

 

Download Chaperone application form »

Email: childemploymentandperformance@halton.gov.uk

Post: Principal Education Welfare Officer, 2nd Floor Rutland House, Halton Lea, Runcorn, Cheshire, WA7 2ES

The duties and responsibilities of a chaperone

  • A chaperones' first priority is always to the child
  • A chaperone is the key person who the child looks to for guidance, protection, clarification and support
  • A chaperone's duty is to look after the child therefore they cannot be involved in other activities such as dresser, make up or actor
  • A chaperone must be strong enough to negotiate on behalf of the child. For example if a producer wants a child to remain at the place of performance beyond the permitted hours or to perform outside of that stated on the licence the chaperone must be confident enough to say no
  • A chaperone must have a working knowledge of the performance regulations to carry out their duties confidently and effectively
  • Production companies are required by law to keep certain records relating to the performance e.g. arrival and departure times, rest times etc. This duty often falls to the chaperone
  • A chaperone must ensure that all children are handed over to their parent/carer at the end of the performance. No child must ever be allowed to go home alone.

A child's performance licence will tell you what the child is allowed to do, you should ask the producer for a copy of the child's licence and familiarise yourself with the terms of the licence.

If a child is unwell and they cannot perform, as a chaperone you have the right to stop them from performing until you are satisfied they are well enough to continue. Chaperones should contact the parent or named contact on the emergency contact register and ask them to collect the child if they are unwell.

If you have suspicions that a child is being neglected or abused or if a child makes a disclosure of that nature you must immediately inform the designated person for child protection or contact Children's Social Care.

Child Employment

No child under the age of 13 can be employed.

Young people may take on a job such as delivering newspapers or working in a shop on Saturdays, but there are laws and rules to be observed to ensure their education does not suffer and that they are safeguarded whilst at work.

When a child is considered to be employed

A child is employed if they assist in any trade or occupation carried out for profit. It does not matter whether the child is paid or not for the work done. This includes working for a parent or relative.

Download an application form

If a child is of school age and has a part time job, they need a Work Permit.

If the child is going to perform on stage, in television, film or commercials or to work in paid or professional sport or as a model, they will need a child performance licence. (see above)

Types of work children can't do

There are several restrictions on premises where children are not allowed to work, these include:

  • Work in a commercial kitchen
  • Be involved in the preparation of meat for sale
  • Work in the bar of licensed premises
  • Work in a factory
  • Be involved in the personal care of residents in a care or nursing home
  • An amusement arcade or on a fairground
  • A slaughterhouse
  • A Theatre, cinema or nigh-club (unless you hold a licence to perform)
  • Mobile food bar
  • Car washing station
  • Billiard Hall
  • Racecourse or track
  • Disco (unless you hold a licence to perform)

There are certain jobs that children cannot do:

  • Deliver milk
  • Sell or deliver cigarettes or alcohol
  • Collect money or canvas door to door
  • Drive or ride on a vehicle, including agricultural implements
  • Sell medicines
  • Be involved in gambling including the lottery
  • Sell anything on a street
  • Work using dangerous machinery or chemicals
  • Door step milk delivery
  • Collecting or sorting of rags, refuse or scrap metals
  • Taking bets
  • Catering in a commercial kitchen
  • Do any job which may cause you harm or injury

There are jobs that children can do with an appropriate licence:

  • Shop assistant
  • Newspaper delivery
  • Clerical assistant
  • Library assistant

This is not a complete list. If you have any doubt about the kind of employment you are offering a child please seek advice from Halton Borough Council. The person employing the child is required to apply for the work permit. If they do not they can be fined up to £1,000.

Babysitting

Babysitting is not considered employment. However, the Children’s Legal Centre and the NSPCC recommend that the minimum age of a babysitter should be 16 years of age.

Working hours

Young people cannot work:

  • During school hours
  • More than 12 hours in any school week
  • Before 7am or after 7pm
  • More than two hours on a school day. Either two hours after school or one hour before and one hour after school
  • More than two hours on a Sunday
  • More than five hours on Saturdays and holidays for 13 and 14 year olds or eight hours for 15 and 16 year olds
  • More than 25 hours per week in school holidays for 13 and 14 year olds or 35 hours for 15 and 16 year olds

All young people must have a one hour break after four hours and must have two consecutive weeks holiday from any employment during school holiday time. A child can be stopped from working if they do not:

  • Have a work permit
  • Do not attend school
  • Are late for school
  • School work suffers as a result of working
  • Heath suffers as a result of working

To apply for a Work Permit you and the young person's parent or guardian must complete the application form and return it to childemploymentandperformance@halton.gov.uk

 

Download application form »

Employer's responsibilities

You must ensure that relevant insurance cover is provided.

You must undertake a comprehensive risk assessment, including Covid-19 government guidelines, of the work involved and make the findings known to the parent/guardian. Employers must provide appropriate PPE in line with the risk assessment outcomes. You must ensure that suitable clothing and footwear are worn by the young person.