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School on Set

August 30, 2017

How to handle education while on location

Children who miss regular school for work should be allowed study time throughout the work day. This isn’t just a good idea, in some states, it’s the law. When the law doesn’t provide for education, union rules usually do.  Regardless, providing education for children, ALL CHILDREN, is simply the right thing to do. It is unreasonable to expect a child to work all day and then go home and make up missed assignments and be fresh for work/school again the next day.

Remember, though they are working with adults, kids are still kids. Education time should be scheduled directly into the minors work day and teachers should be made available to assist them with their work regardless of rules or laws.

School Work:

School age children (6-17) are required to bring three hours of schoolwork with them from their regular school (home school included).  Teachers on set do not provide books and assignments for working children.  They simply tutor them along.  If parents are unable to get assignments from school due to a last minute booking, they must be prepared with supplemental material.  Try Costco, Rite-Aid, a bookstore (wherever) and stock up on age appropriate workbooks and reading materials.

School Room:

Producers are required to provide “adequate schooling facilities,” which include a place where children can study without being disturbed. ‘Adequate’ means that the school facility closely approximates the basic requirements of a classroom, especially with regard to lighting, heating, desks and chairs.

Teacher Requirements:

Requirements for teachers on set vary state to state. We recommend that you investigate the law in the minor’s state of residence, the law in any state you travel to on location and the union rules pertaining to on set education in order to be fully compliant.

Home School:

What about home schooled minors?  Think of home schooling EXACTLY like you think of regular school The only difference is that the school facility is at the child’s home.  When it comes to the labor law, you still need to find out what the rules are in the state of employment as well as in the minor’s state of residence. In California for example, children must be given instruction on set under the direct supervision of a Studio Teacher/Welfare Worker, parents who home school may not act as the teacher for their child on set.

Home Schooling Law:

If you are interested in learning more about home school, first find out what the laws are for home schooling children in your state. ChildrenInFilm.com recommends the Home School Legal Defense Association website at www.hslda.org, for more information.