How should the permissions needed for looked after children to take part in musical activity be managed?

Why this is an important question

Seeking permission for a looked after child or young person to take part in an activity is not simply a technicality.  There may be reasons from the young person’s past or their present which means serious thought may have to be given about whether it is safe for them to take part. Practices about who has to give permission for a looked after child to take part and (if the situation arises) be photographed can vary from local authority to local authority. They can take a long time to complete. Some music organisations are confounded and frustrated by this.

Towards answers

Understand the statutory requirements placed on CYPS re permissions and the processes in place in particular local authorities. Make a good relationship with those administrative staff who may play  part in collecting permissions.

Illustrations from practice

(Taken from music projects funded by Sing Up and Youth Music)

"As soon as I accepted that everything was going to take longer than I wanted it to, the project felt much more manageable and achievable. This was also the same when it came to participant numbers within the sessions."
(Project Manager)

"We needed to collect four separate permission forms for this project. This task was further complicated by the fact that our partners ... could not give out addresses of LAC to an external agency so we could only coordinate this effort remotely through Children’s Services. This prevented us from documenting the sessions and creating a film of the concert because we only got all the permissions at the last minute. We sent out permission forms at the beginning of the project so it took approximately four months to collect them back in, which was quite frustrating."
(Project Manager)

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