Translation disclaimer (Translation disclaimer)

This content has been translated by a computer program and may not be 100% accurate.

(This content has been translated by a computer program and may not be 100% accurate.)

Children in entertainment

Here you can find out about the licences needed for children who take part in stage show, TV or filming.

Children under statutory school leaving age who take part in entertainment performances and certain other activities need to be licensed. The licensing requirements are designed to:

  • Protect the child's health, education and welfare;
  • and to make sure that the child is not being exploited or overworked.

Licences are often not needed for a performance arranged by a school. However, one will be needed if children take part in:

  • Stage shows;
  • broadcasting;
  • filming;
  • or other forms of public entertainment, which includes modelling.

Children's performances and activities are regulated by these laws:

  • The Children and Young Person's Act.
  • The Children Performance Regulations.
  • The Children Protection at Work Regulations 1998 (for sporting events).

Licences are issued by the Council and cover a child from birth until they reach the official school leave date. The types of licence and the areas they cover are listed below.

Performance Licence

Television or film

Children that appear in films or on television need a Performance Licence.

Please note: This applies whether time off school is needed or not.

Theatre, music or dance

Most children who take part in this type of performance will need a Performance Licence, unless:

  • They are a member of an amateur society;
  • which has been given an exemption called a 'Body of Persons Licence'.

A licence is needed if:

  • A child requires time off school;
  • is getting paid
  • or if the productions lasts for more than four days.

Activities Performance Licence


Children can take part in modelling assignments from birth. They are usually registered with one or more modelling agencies.

Please note: A child involved in modelling needs a Performance licence.

Apply for a licence

To apply for any of the above types of licence, a Licence Application form needs to be completed:

Your form must be with us at least 21 days before the performance date. Applications can not be backdated in anyway.

Part 1 is completed by the person responsible for the production/event or modelling agency.

Part 2 is completed by the parent/guardian, who must all provide:

  • The child's birth certificate or passport.
  • A recent passport-sized photo of the child.
  • A completed health questionnaire or statement of fitness from the child's GP.

Both parts of the application must be submitted together in a single email. This is to be returned to:

Body of Persons Approval (BOPA)

A BOPA removes the need to apply for a licence for each child. It is granted to the company that is responsible for the performance.

The approval is granted by the local authority where the performance is taking place. They can grant the approval even if the children taking part do not live within its' boundaries.

The BOPA cannot be issued where performers:

  • Are paid;
  • need time off school;
  • or have already been involved with four days performance in the previous six months.

To apply for a BOPA, please contact us. You will be sent an information pack to complete and return.


These can be employed in either a paid or voluntary capacity. They supervise children who are licensed by the Council to take part in performances. The Council must make sure that they are suitable. Also, that they can exercise proper care or control of the children they are responsible for. This includes their health, comfort, kind treatment and moral welfare.

  • The law states that the chaperone is acting in loco parentis;
  • and should exercise the care that it might be reasonable to expect from a good parent.

Children often work in an adult environment. The chaperone must take into account the child's age, experience, concentration and exposure to adult conversation and what they expect.

The Chaperone must be fully aware of health and safety issues. Anyone applying to become a chaperone must:

  • Complete an application form;
  • provide references;
  • be subject to a police (DBS) check;
  • and complete both Safeguarding and Chaperone Training.

To apply to become a chaperone, please contact us. You will be sent an information pack to complete and return.

The to register as a Chaperone involves a number of safeguarding checks. These are to check your identity and how suitable you are, which includes a DBS check.

Note: Due to this, you should apply around 12 weeks before to the date you want the licence to start.


  • Child Employment and Entertainment
  • Education Welfare

    Children & Young People’s Service

    1st Floor, Princess Buildings

    Princess Street


    HX1 1TP
  • Telephone: 01422 266125
  • Email:

Webpage feedback

Was this page helpful? Rate this page helpful Rate this page unhelpful