Issues have increasingly arisen in recent years for leisure-time music groups over the interpretation of the Children and Young Person’s Act 1963, after the introduction of the new Children (Performances and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014 (equivalent regulations in Scotland (2014) and Wales (2015)). These led to guidance by the NNCEE (National Network for Children in Employment and Entertainment) in 2016.
Unfortunately – as it was designed to safeguard children in employment in entertainment – young people’s amateur musical activity (unlike sporting activity) is captured by the Act and Regulations. Even more unfortunately, the interpretation of what is required for any activity in order to comply with the regulations is up to each individual local authority.
These two issues have led to demands being placed on those running amateur musical activity with or for under-18s which are clearly disproportionate to the activity proposed. Secondly, due to wildly differing implementation by councils, young people in some areas now have fewer musical opportunities than those in others; and organisations straddling several local authorities have found it difficult to accommodate different sets of requirements and conditions.
Making Music is working with other organisations in the Music Education Council to clarify the situation so that we can give music groups the appropriate guidance, as the regulations have inadvertently placed an intolerable strain on many members.
We are currently looking at evidence we have gathered from groups via a survey to help us understand the problems they face and what we can do to effect change.