Child performance licences
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
- Child performance licence application [32.8 KB] [docx]
(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
Child Employment and Entertainment team
St Mary's House
52 St Leonards Road
East Sussex BN21 3UU
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