The Scottish Government is committed to making Scotland the best place in the world to grow up. That means placing the rights and wellbeing of our children at the centre of everything that we do. It is undeniable that the opportunity to perform, whether it be on stage or screen, can significantly benefit our children and young people.
That being said, as with most things in life there is the potential for children to encounter risks as a result of their involvement in a performance, both in terms of their immediate safety and their longer term wellbeing. In order to minimise these risks, all local authorities in Scotland operate a licensing system for children below school leaving age who wish to be involved in performances.
The range and nature of performance opportunities available to children and young people has increased significantly since the current licensing arrangements were put in place. New genres of programmes and emerging media technologies have undoubtedly influenced the shape of our creative industries. Furthermore, our approach to protecting, promoting and supporting the wellbeing of our children has been strengthened considerably in recent times.
In summer 2013 Ministers established a working group to review the existing arrangements for child performers. Following detailed consideration, the group concluded that the current licensing system was in need of modernisation and made a series of recommendations.
The Scottish Government has considered the work of the group and this has formed the basis for the consultation. It is important we put the best possible arrangements in place for our young performers and we would welcome your views on the proposals we have brought forward.