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Rules apply to the catwalk too;Letter

THE story of Rosalind Halstead's successful career in modelling (TES, March 12) is interesting. However, if, as her mother is reported to have said, the school gave Rosalind permission to be absent to work, it exceeded its authority.

All modelling work for young people of compulsory school age requires a licence under the Children (Performances) Regulations. Those licences are issued by local authorities for performances in the UK and Ireland, and may grant leave of absence from school. Licences to perform abroad are issued by the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate at Bow Street, however.

Schools are expressly forbidden to grant leave of absence for any sort of employment.

The licensing system is designed to ensure that children and young people are protected from exploitation or other ill-treatment, are properly supervised and do not suffer educationally. It is an important defence for children. All schools, parents, agencies and, in this case, young models, should be aware of it.

David Bowen Principal education welfare officer Dorset County Council County Hall Colliton Park Dorchester

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