Child Entertainment Performance

Frequently Asked Questions for this Service

Question: When does a child need a Child Entertainment Performance Licence?

Answer: All children below statutory school leaving age, including those who have not yet started compulsory schooling, require a licence to perform in entertainment if:

- they have to miss school
- they are receiving payment
- they have performed four or more days in the previous six months (including the number of days they are due to perform in the upcoming performance)

Note that this includes photographic and live ‘modelling’.

There are very few exceptions when a performance licence is not needed, for example performances arranged by an ordinary school (not a dance school) do not require a performance licence for children taking part.



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Question: Who is responsible for obtaining licences?

Answer: The organiser of the performance or activity is responsible for obtaining all licences.

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Question: What is the procedure for children travelling abroad to perform?

Answer: UK children performing abroad may be required to obtain a licence from their Local Magistrates Court. The Local Authority does not process these licences, they must be sought directly from the court.

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Question: What is the procedure for children travelling from abroad to perform in the UK?

Answer: Children travelling from abroad to perform in the UK are required to to be licenced in the UK and follow UK legislation. The licencing process will be exactly as it is for UK children, performing in the UK. Children can be licenced by the Local Authority in whose area the applicant has his/her main residence; the applicants head office or the Local Authority in whose area the child is performing or living in during his/her stay in this country.

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Question: Do fetes and carnivals need to be licensed?

Answer: No, the Local Authority does not process child performance licences for fetes and carnivals, although the organiser may need to apply for other licences through the Local Authority. The organiser of the event/agencies involved in the event will need to ensure that they are adhering to the child protection policies that are in place.

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Question: Do festivals (e.g. Isle of Wight Festival) need to be licensed?

Answer: Yes, if there is an admission charge and it is held on licensed premises then under Section 37(2) of the Children and Young Persons Act it would fall into the category of a public performance and as such would require licensing.

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Question: Do competitions need to be licensed?

Answer: We have recently been advised by the National Network for Children in Employment & Entertainment (NNCEE) that if a competition is held on licensed premises and there is a charge for admission then best practice would be to licence. The Isle of Wight Council appreciate that the admin work associated with licensing competitions would put a huge strain on the organisers of competitions and could mean that these competitions no longer run, which in turn would be detrimental to the children who wish to compete. The safety of the children taking part is of the upmost importance and we are therefore creating a process that will make certain that the organiser has done all they can to ensure that the children’s safeguarding is the priority at all times.

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Question: Are children allowed time off of school during a performance period?

Answer: The Local Authority will only issue an individual licence if the pupil's absence from school has been authorised by the Headteacher. A signed letter by the Headteacher giving authorisation for the pupil's absence on the relevant days must be provided to the Local Authority with the licence application. The Local Authority and schools will communicate and checks will be made to ensure that children are not taking time off from school. If it is found that a child is missing school without the schools prior permission, due to performing, the entire licence may be revoked.

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