When a license is needed for child performance

Children who perform or take part in a paid activity such as modelling or sport may require a child performance licence. Laws exist which are designed to protect children's health, welfare and education. While we want to give children the opportunity to work and gain experience, we have a statutory duty to prevent the work impacting their education and to prevent children from being exploited.

The law applies to all children from birth until completion of compulsory schooling. This is the last Friday in June, during the school year in which the child turns 16.

Who needs to apply for the licence

  • Performances - the person responsible for production
  • Modelling - the person who proposes to engage the child
  • Paid sporting activity - the person responsible for organising the event

Performances that need a licence

Performances at a licensed premises or a registered club

  • If a performance is to be broadcast. This includes performing on stage, TV, filming and modelling
  • If children will be paid
  • If absence from school is required
  • If the production will be directed in any way
  • If it includes working in paid/professional sport

Performances that do not need a licence

A child may perform without a licence for up to four days, but only if:

  • It is unpaid
  • No absence from school is required
  • The child has not performed in the previous six months (If the child will have performed for more than four days in the previous six months (including the number of days that they are due to perform in the upcoming performance) but will not be paid or require time off from school, then they will more than likely require a licence; however we may be able to issue a Body of Persons Approval.

Performances arranged by schools, scouts, guides, and youth clubs are exempt from licensing and you do not need to tell us. However, if a child is absent from school for rehearsals or performances, then they must be licensed.