Working with Children and Young People

The rules around filming and interviewing children and young people in the UK are very clear.

They apply whether you are working for radio, TV, newspaper, magazine or online.

If you want to film/interview anybody under the age of 18 you will need his/her parents to consent.

The child/young person cannot consent for themselves.

Here is a downloadable contributor consent form for broadcast/documentary which can be used for parental consent as well:

If you are filming at a school, the teacher or head-teacher can consent on behalf of parents, (what’s called in loco parentis) but they are unlikely to do this under normal circumstances. What normally happens is that if they know a journalist is coming they will write to all the relevant parents and get them to say yes or no to interviews.

Bear in mind that an impromptu interview with a child/young person gathered on location in an unplanned way will not be useable unless you get parental consent afterwards.

All of this may seem a bit strict, but the rules apply to the BBC and ITV and Sky News and everybody else in the industry here — not just you.

When children are interviewed, it is accepted practice not to caption their full name.

BBC Wales Today

If you want to interview young people or children in another country as part of your major project, you should talk to your supervisor.

Children and young people should have a voice. We don’t want to ignore them. But we have to follow the process to make sure nobody can accuse us of behaving unprofessionally.