Child Performance licensing

Child performance licences exist to make sure that the education, health and safety of a child will not suffer if they spend significant amounts of time in performances such as filming, theatre, sport or modelling.

Children involved in any performance, whether it is a local pantomime or a long running broadcast performance, will also need to be accompanied by a registered chaperone at times when their parent or full-time carer is not present. This rule applies no matter how many days the performance runs for.

When does a child need a licence?

Any child of school age (up to and including Year 11) who is involved in a performance must have a licence if:

  • they have to miss school
  • they are receiving payment
  • they perform more than three days in any six month period.

There are very few exceptions when a performance licence is not needed. Performances arranged by an ordinary school (not a dance school) do not require a performance licence for children taking part.

The main factors that we will take into account when we consider whether to grant a licence are outlined in our page about the criteria considered when granting a licence.

Who applies for a performance licence?

The producer of the performance applies for all the relevant performance licences.

Find out more about applying for a child performance licence.

What other records are needed?

During any stage of a performance the Child Employment Officer may ask to see the licence, which should clearly show the child's name and the nature and dates of the performance. The performance producer, as a licence holder, must also keep records on the following:

  • the time of child's arrival and departure and time of each meal or rest break on the day of a performance
  • the arrangements made for the child's education
  • details of any injuries or illnesses suffered at the place of performance
  • medical certificates from the doctor, stating the child's fitness to perform
  • all money earned by the child and details of who it was paid to.

Who deals with child performance licences?

Applications are dealt with by the Child Employment Officer. If you have any questions about child performance licences please contact the Child Employment Officer.