Child performance licences

Child performance licences latest

The safety of the children performing or in employment is paramount.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19 we are following to the Government guidance. We are rigorously assessing applications for licences for children in entertainment, work permits and chaperones.


Please note that during school holiday periods the service runs with a skeleton staff. So please allow additional notice for applications at these times.

East Sussex will issue licences where fully completed applications give 10 clear working days notice during this time. (Every endeavour will be made to issue all children’s licences where possible within reasonable expectations). We will return incomplete applications.

Any child of school leaving age or younger - GOV.UK involved in a performance must be licensed and have a chaperone if they:

  • do not have to miss school
  • receive payment, or
  • perform more than three days in any six-month period

Performances arranged by an ordinary school (not a dance school) do not need a performance licence.

Rules apply on when and for how long children can perform. Child employment restrictions also apply.

Applying for a licence

The person responsible for the production must apply 21 days before the first performance. Download and complete part 1 of the

(If you have any problems accessing or completing the form, please email or telephone us – details listed below).

They then give it to the parent or carer to complete and sign part 2 and return it to the Child Employment officer with:

  • a copy of the child’s birth certificate
  • two identical unmounted passport size photographs of the child. These must be taken within the last 6 months and can be scanned to us
  • a letter from the child’s headteacher. This must agree the child can attend the performance in school time
  • a declaration under section 38(1)(a) or (b) of the Children and Young Person Act 1963, stating that only a child can play the part
  • a copy of the child’s work contract, agreeing to regulate the child’s appearance in the performance
  • a copy of the licence held by the child’s chaperone

Please refer to updated government guidelines - GOV.UK on coronavirus (COVID-19) before proceeding with any child performance/activity. Safety of the children and prevention of the spread of the virus is paramount. If in any doubt, the performance/activity should be postponed.

What records need to be kept

The Child Employment Officer may ask to see the licence at any time. The licence holder must keep records on:

  • the nature and dates of the performances
  • the time of the child’s arrival and departure
  • the time of each meal or break
  • the child’s education arrangements
  • details of 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 who it’s paid to

Criteria for granting child performance licences

The Child Employment Officer will look at the following:


The child’s education must not suffer because of the performances. It’s the licence holder’s job to make arrangements with the child’s headteacher.

Children in long-running performances can have private tuition. The council must approve the tutor and classroom. Class sizes are limited to a maximum of 6 pupils of mixed age or ability. This rises to 12 if children are a similar age and standard.


A child isn’t allowed to perform if they’re unwell or at risk of becoming unwell. They need a medical certificate from their doctor to be involved in a performance that is:

  • longer than three weeks or
  • going to be broadcast

Contact us

Child Employment and Entertainment team
St Mary's House
52 St Leonards Road
East Sussex BN21 3UU

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