Children in entertainment
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The legislation controlling children in entertainment is very complex and cannot by fully explained in a short document such as this.
There are strict laws and regulations governing children who take part in performances of all kinds, including performing in theatres and other venues, broadcasting and films. Paid modelling and paid sport also come within this legislation.
The Law requires children under the upper limit of compulsory school age (a child’s compulsory schooling finishes on the last Friday in June of the school year during which they have their 16th birthday and not on their 16th birthday) to be licensed by their Local Education Authority for such entertainment, apart from those who are expressly exempted under the legislation.
A child Performance Licence must be obtained for all children, from babies until they cease to be of compulsory school age in accordance with:
Licences are granted when the LA is satisfied that the child's health, welfare and education will not suffer, that all relevant conditions are met and that all applicable information has been provided.
In Law the pupil's school may veto the issuing of the licence if they think it will prejudice the education of that pupil.
There are occasions when a child taking part in entertainment must be looked after by an adult chaperone Chaperones must be approved by the child’s local authority.
A child will not need a licence if :
- he/she has not performed more than 4 days in the 6 months preceding (and including) the date of the first performance being applied for. The total days must also include those for any other organisations, but not school performances; and they do not require time off school (paid or unpaid)
- a Body of Persons exemption has been granted and no payment is made to the child or any person, except for defraying expenses
- the performance has been arranged by or on behalf of a school, such as a school play or concert
Notification of non-licensed performance (LTP)
Body of persons
The exemption for a ‘body of persons’ is intended primarily for entertainment given by such bodies as youth organisations and amateur dramatic societies.
Approval for exemption by the ‘body of persons’ must be sought by completing the
The enclosed information may be helpful for those groups considering making an application for a body of persons approval (PDF, 75KB).
Licences for all types of performances, including paid modelling must be applied for by the producer of the event or the model agency. Using the child performance licence application form (MS Word, 60KB).
The holder of the licence is the person who is responsible for observing the restrictions and conditions subject to which the licence is granted.
We require a minimum of twenty one days in order to process forms and carry out relevant checks; incomplete forms will be returned.
How to apply for an entertainment licence or body of Persons application