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Licensing of children in entertainment


Under the Children (Performance & Activities)(England) Regulations 2014 Statutory Instrument 2014 No. 3309 Bath & North East Somerset Council is responsible for the licensing of all children who appear in a performance either on the stage, or on television, who take part in certain sporting activities, or who work as models.  The regulations governing children in entertainment apply to all children from birth until the end of their last year of compulsory education.

Licences will be granted if the authority is satisfied that all relevant conditions are met and that all applicable information has been provided.


Child Performance Licences are issued based on the area where the young person lives. 

A child requires a Licence from the age of 0 until they reach their official school leaving age of 16. 

(The official school leaving date is the last Friday in June of the school year in which the child is 16.)


A licence is required for any performance:

  • If payment is made in respect of the child taking part.
  • If the child has performed for 4 days in the previous six months, whether or not a licence was required for that performance.
  • Any broadcast and or any performance recorded by whatever means with a view to its use in a broadcast, or film intended for public exhibition.
  • Any child used as a stand-in (understudy).

Performances which do not require a licence:

  • For performances organised by school.
  • For performances put on by a body of persons approved and granted exemption by the Secretary of State or the Local Authority.
  • Any activity which the Local Authority does not consider to be a performance.  For example children interviewed or filmed whilst taking part in some normal activity, not specially arranged for the purpose such as school lessons, playing in a park or at a Youth Club. 

Whether or not a performance licence is required, producers of performances involving children should consider the following recommendations:

  • There shall be at least one registered chaperone for every 12 children, whose role will be to supervise the children while not on stage.
  • No child shall share a dressing room with an adult or with a child of the opposite sex. 
  • Each child must be accompanied to and from the place of performance by a responsible adult, preferably by his or her parent.
  • Children should not be allowed to perform when unwell. 
  • Appropriate First Aid facilities shall be available in case of accident or injury.

Legislation governing children who perform:

  • The Children (Performance & Activities)(England) Regulations 2014 Statutory Instrument 2014 No. 3309

How to get a performance licence

Application for licences usually come from the agency who is responsible for the children's entertainment placement.  The person responsible for the performance in which the child is taking part is the person who will receive the issued licence.

We request each application must be supported by:

  1. A copy of the birth certificate of the child
  2. Two colour passport type photographs taken during the last 6 months

  3. A copy of the child's contract, or other documents, if payment is being made to the child

  4. A declaration (when necessary) stating that the part cannot be undertaken except by a child of about his/her age

  5. Medical certificate, or as required by the Licencsing Authority

  6. A letter from the child's school giving their permission for the child to be absent from school (if required)

Producers should work with the child's parents to complete the application form and send it to the Children Missing Education Service at least 21 days before the first rehearsal or performance.  The Local Authority require this period of notice to carry out the necessary checks before a licence can be issued.

  • Applications received with less than 21 days notice may be refused.

(Please note that we need to be in receipt of ALL paperwork in order to commence the processing of a Performance Licence.)

It is important to know that any person who fails to observe any condition subject to which a licence is granted, or knowingly or recklessly makes any false statement in or in connection with the application for a licence is liable to a fine or imprisonment or both.


If you have any concerns about the welfare of a child taking part in an activity or production please contact the local authority [Email:] or the Police - all concerns will be treated seriously, in confidence and fully investigated.



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